Caldwell admits Lions did not give full effort vs. Cardinals

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
The revolt begins Sunday as a Lions fan pulls out a baby mask after a touchdown by the Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald at the start of the third quarter.

Allen Park — Lions safety James Ihedigbo acknowledged the possibility that his teammates quit during Sunday's 42-17 loss to the Cardinals.

Coach Jim Caldwell, though, admitted Monday that his team didn't give maximum effort in the devastating defeat that dropped the Lions to 0-5.

"Across the board, the guys always give good effort," Caldwell said. "That's one of the things that I think these guys do consistently. Was it 100 percent? I'd say no, not 100 percent.

"But I'm going to tell you, typically our guys will fight and scratch and dig and those kinds of things, but oftentimes what happens to you, things get tough. Some things go bad and particularly in sequence, and you've got to be able to fight through it. We didn't fight through it very well yesterday."

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As was the case in the first four games, poor execution, turnovers and penalties were bigger issues than effort as those problems led to the Lions being in a deep hole. When the team trailed by at least three touchdowns for the second half, that's when effort became an issue, most noticeably with wide receiver Golden Tate, but he wasn't alone.

"Some of them weren't out there very long in the game," Caldwell said of how he handles players who weren't trying their hardest. "So, we take care of those things immediately."

Considering the Lions started playing backups with the game out of reach in the second half, it's hard to tell which players were benched due to effort.

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