ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Wearing sunglasses and with a hood pulled up on his head, Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young sat in front of his locker Friday afternoon answering questions from the media for the first time since being benched for disciplinary reasons last week.
Young returned to practice Wednesday after being told to stay away from
the team for the previous nine days by coach Jim Schwartz.
The interview didn’t last long — less than two minutes — and consisted of one-word or one-sentence answers.
• On what led to his punishment, Young said: “What happens in-house stays in-house.”
• On how he’s progressing: “Well.”
• On whether he expects to play Sunday against Indianapolis: “That’s all in God’s hands.”
• On Schwartz wanting him to be more accountable: “You’ll have to talk to coach about that.”
•On whether he’s disappointed in himself: “I’m not here to comment about the past.”
And that was about it.
Back in training camp, there were predictions that Young was primed for a breakout season, but that hasn’t materialized. Based on his recent behavior, it may never happen for Young, at least not as a Lion.
What’s sad is that it appeared he was ready to take a big step forward in his career when he came through with nine catches for 100 yards and two scores in a victory over Seattle on Oct. 28.
That performance came six days after the Lions lost No. 2 receiver Nate Burleson to a season-ending injury, moving Young into a higher-profile role.
Young, however, continued his moody, inconsistent ways in the weeks to come.
“We’ve moved on from him,” center Dominic Raiola, one of the spokesmen for the team, told Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. “He wants to be an a**hole, let him be an a**hole.”
Young has 33 receptions for 383 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season. As a rookie, he caught 48 passes for 607 yards and six touchdowns.
Most agree he has the talent to be a quality NFL receiver, but his immaturity has been an issue since he was selected in the second round out of Boise State in the 2011 NFL Draft.
In announcing the disciplinary action last week, Schwartz that Young’s selfish behavior had become a “distraction” to the team.
It wasn’t the first time. Young also was forced to stay away from the team for a week during the offseason workout program after sucker-punching teammate Louis Delmas.
Schwartz was noncommittal Friday on whether Young will be back in uniform Sunday. As for whether Young has been doing what he needs to do since returning to the team this time, the coach said, “We’re taking it day by day.”
With Titus Young, that’s all you can do.
Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham’s reaction when Houston’s touchdown was allowed because of an illegal challenge by the Lions was the most humorous part of the Thanksgiving Day controversy.
TV cameras caught Cunningham, 66, drop-kicking his clipboard on the Lions’ sideline.
“What people don’t know, I was a pretty good soccer player,” said Cunningham, in his 43rd year as a football coach. “There’s a thing called the bicycle kick, I can still do it. I guarantee you I can do it right now. For me to hit that clipboard was a piece of cake.
“I was at the point I wanted to eat the clipboard, I was so angry.”
STANTON RETURNING HOME
Quarterback Drew Stanton, who played for Farmington (Mich.) Harrison High, Michigan State and the Lions, will be making a homecoming Sunday with Indianapolis.
He has been active for all 11 of the Colts’ games, but hasn’t taken a snap yet while playing behind rookie Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick overall in the last NFL Draft.
Stanton has been giving teammates and coaches his insight into the Lions during this week’s preparation. He spent the last five seasons with Detroit.
“He’s met with our coaches on both sides of the ball, gave as much info as he could give to help our game plan,” Colts interim coach Bruce Arians said.