CBS analyst Scott refuses to pull punches on Lions
San Francisco — Bart Scott made some enemies in Detroit this fall.
The former NFL linebacker is now an analyst for CBS Sports, and in an October interview, he said it was time for the Lions to trade Calvin Johnson and “blow this thing up.”
“Somebody’s finally going to give me some credit for that, right?” Scott said jokingly Monday at a media event featuring CBS broadcasters.
It might not happen via trade, but with Johnson potentially retiring this offseason, life without the star receiver could soon become reality for the Lions.
But for Scott, the backlash from his comments was stunning, especially since he’s a Detroit native and Lions fan who went to Southeastern High.
Scott has regularly provided an honest assessment of the Lions. When he was with the Jets in 2010, he said the Lions were the dirtiest team he’d ever played, which led to exchanges in the media between him and former coach Jim Schwartz.
So, when Scott spoke about the Lions making changes during the 2015 season, he was talking from an educated fan’s perspective.
“At the end of the day, they work for the Lions or they work for the city of Detroit,” he said, referencing Schwartz and coach Jim Caldwell. “I’m from there. That’s home for me, so it’s personal for me. Listen, whether they’re there or not, I’m still going to be a Lions fan. They’re going to coach and get their checks and then quit, and they’re going to go onto the next.
“I’ll always be a Lions fan. When I was saying that, I was saying it from the heart. I wasn’t saying it from a place where I was trying to disrespect anybody.”
Of course, Scott meaning what he said didn’t prevent the backlash.
“I got hammered,” he said. “I don’t understand how people can join your Instagram just to like a picture so they can hate on you for what you said.”
When Scott made the comments, the Lions were 1-6. After falling to 1-7, they closed on a 6-2 run to finish 7-9, but only one of those wins came against a team with a winning record.
“But really, is (Matthew) Stafford the answer?” he said.
Scott said he thinks the Lions are still a few years from being true Super Bowl contenders, and with Johnson retiring, he’s sad to see the team claim the career of another superstar.
“Billy Sims and Barry Sanders, they wasted great players,” Scott said. “Matt Millen tore it up, and it was horrible underneath the Matt Millen era.
“They’re trying to get the right management. They’re trying to get the offense right. They fired everybody upstairs, but it’s a long process.”