Detroit’s Nate Burleson believes the Lions’ front office brought in enough talent during the off-season for the team to bounce back from their 4-12 season. The wideout told Jim Rome on his radio program he is especially excited about one particular player and what he brings to the team.
“I think the biggest pickup was Reggie Bush,” said Burleson. “As a receiver, the one thing that I appreciate the most about having Reggie here is that he is not just a good running back. I think everybody knows he’s quite the dual threat and that’s exactly what we need on this type of offense.”
Burleson said watching Bush last season, it seemed the former college star was playing with a chip on his shoulder and wanted to show critics he wasn’t just a one dimensional runner.
“It was like he was playing to prove that he was a durable, in-between-the-tackle-type running back,” said the wideout. “Everybody knows that he can catch the ball out of the backfield, everybody knows he can outrun a cornerback if they are trying to chase him down, but he proved he was durable, that he could go get them tough yards and continue to bang throughout the season.”
Burleson also said head coach Jim Schwartz isn’t the only one on the hot seat after the team underachieved in 2012 and finished with 8 straight losses.
“Everybody should feel the warmth from the seat heating up,” said the veteran. “I know at the end of the day, if we don’t win games, I can easily be sitting at home next year. So I got to make sure everybody understands. I think it’s more important for players to feel that way than the coaching staff. We need that pressure on ourselves to know if we don’t do what we need to do, it’s going to be shaken up in here and a lot of furniture’s going to be moving and you won’t see the same nameplates above these lockers.”
Burleson said team discipline wasn’t the reason they didn’t meet expectations last season, a year after making the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
“We just didn’t have the same chemistry,” said Burleson. “There were moments in 2011 where there would be pressure and we would look into each other’s eyes and there wasn’t a blink, there wasn’t a hesitation. We knew, at the end of the day, we were going to come forth and make the game happen and we were going to win the game. Last year, we just didn’t have that. In the fourth quarter, when the “cardiac kids” were supposed to come out and be heroic, we didn’t pull it together. It wasn’t immaturity [or] off the field discipline issues, it was more the team chemistry.”