Lomas Brown played 18 years in the NFL – from 1985 to 2002 – and spent his first 11 seasons playing for the Detroit Lions, who, in case you haven’t noticed, are 5-2 and atop the NFC North.
“I’m so impressed with Coach (Jim) Caldwell and this staff,” Brown, an NFL analyst, said on The MoJo Show. “It’s just unbelievable. I think the most impressive thing for me is how fast they have turned the culture around. Because you have to think about Jim Schwartz was there five years, and you had the Matt Millen bomb that went off for five years. It’s just been bad around Detroit. The culture had got bad. For him to come in and be here less than a year – you know, a matter of months – and change the culture of that whole organization (is impressive). You can see it on the field. You can see the way the guys play. Believe me, two or three of these games that we won, there’s no way we would have won those games last year.”
Heck, this past Sunday, the Lions overcame a 13-point deficit against the Saints in the final four minutes of the game. Matthew Stafford threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate to bring Detroit within 23-17, and then he found Corey Fuller for the five-yard, game-winner with 1:48 to go.
“I just think (Caldwell) and this coaching staff (have) done a tremendous job early in this season,” Brown said. “We’re excited here in the state of Michigan.”
Detroit plays the Falcons (2-5) in Atlanta this Sunday before a Week 9 bye.
While Brown, a Detroit resident, is happy with his Lions, the same cannot be said for his alma mater, the Florida Gators. Florida (3-3, 2-3) has lost 12 of its last 19 games, including three of its last four.
While Will Muschamp is on the hot seat, Brown believes someone else deserves the lion’s share of the blame (no pun intended).
“I hate to say this because football is the ultimate team sport, but I’ll tell you what: You need a quarterback,” Brown said. “You got to have a leader. You got to have somebody that can pull that trigger. You got to have somebody that can bring you from behind when you’re down. You got to have somebody that can make that big throw. You got to have somebody that can get up in other guys’ faces when they’re not blocking or they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And we don’t have any of that in our quarterback, Jeff Driskel.”
Driskel, a junior, has thrown for 928 yards, six touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.
“I hate to pile on that young man because he is a young man,” Brown said. “But when you go to the University of Florida or the University of Michigan or some of these big schools, the expectations are there. They’re there. You just have to deal with the expectations when you go to big-time programs.”
Driskel was 7-of-19 for 50 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions in a 42-13 loss to Missouri this past Saturday. He also rushed five times for minus-29 yards.
“Man, he has just really fallen on his face this year,” Brown said. “When he falls on his face, the team falls right with him. So I hate to kind of pin it on one person, but it just shows the importance of having a quarterback and a good leader.”