Raiola says win over Bucs was "personal"
As if trying to snap a 26-game road losing streak wasn’t motivation enough, Lions center Dominic Raiola said some statements made by Bucs coach Raheem Morris earlier this week drew their ire and made Sunday’s win “very personal.”
Raiola said it was brought to his attention that Morris used the words “impose our will” when it came to which players he was going to pick to start on defensive line against the Lions. Morris had been complimenatry about the Lions the whole week, and has used "impose our will" on a few occasions in general terms, but apparently Raiola was angered by it.
“It was kind of personal,” Raiola said. “You want to say something like that, basically taking a shot at (our) offensive line. You take a look back, see what he says. He says he’s going to pick who he wants to start up front to impose his will on the Detroit Lions. He better re-evaluate. Watch some film. That’s very personal to us. It’s like a slap in your face.”
The Lions talked about being able to “gash” the Bucs up the middle running the ball, rushing for 181 yards (6.5 per carry).
“I’m telling you right now, I’m fired up,” Raiola said. “We’re not going to be punks anymore. You saw the film, you saw how violent it was.”
With first round pick DT Gerald McCoy out for the season, the Bucs were trying to shuffle in different guys on the line, including Frank Okam and Al Woods. Bucs defensive tackle Roy Miller said it was embarassing how well the Lions executed against them:
"I don't think we stopped them in the whole second half," Miller said. "There's no excuses at the end of the day. It's our job, it's our fault."
For the Lions, veteran lineman Jeff Backus said the streak-snapping victory was a “big monkey off our backs,” with fellow lineman Rob Sims saying it was like they won a playoff game.
"The plane ride is is probably going to be a party," receiver Calvin Johnson said. "I'm looking forward to it."
As for the Bucs (8-6) it definitely hurt their postseason hopes, and several Lions were aware of that, with one yelling on their way back into the lockerroom after “Playoff crashers.”
“Are they still in the playoff race?” Raiola asked reporters. “Are they getting ready to go make vacation plans now? I hope so.”
-- JOE SMITH