On the heels of yet another arrest by a Lions player -- this time, cornerback Aaron Berry took the plunge, getting arrested last weekend on suspicion of DUI -- defensive tackle Nick Fairley will enter a not guilty plea at his arraignment Thursday morning in Mobile, Ala.
That's according to his lawyer, who told the Detroit Free Press that he expects a trial date to be set in 30-45 days.
“I've not seen everything,” lawyer Sid Harrell told the paper. “I still haven't talked to the troopers. I don't know every fact. It's still in an investigative stage.”
Fairley was arrested last month and charged with DUI and eluding a police officer. Alabama police also charged him with reckless driving, no proof of insurance, and having an open container in his automobile.
Continuing his summer tour, Fairley also has a hearing scheduled for July 31 in Mobile on a second-degree marijuana charge stemming from an April arrest.
But if you ask defensive end Cliff Avril, the rest of the Lions organization shouldn't be tarnished simply because four different Lions have been arrested this offseason (Fairley twice, Mikel Leshoure twice, Berry and Johnny Culbreath).
“You can't label us by a few young guys getting in trouble,” Avril said on ESPN on Wednesday, via PFT. “You can't put that on the other 53 guys on the roster. That makes no sense. Obviously they are part of the team, but I don't think it's correct to put that on the other 53 guys who are on the roster.”
Well, he might have a point there, but this is where the entire Lions infrastructure has to be questioned. The team shows little discipline off the field (witness Jim Schwartz's near-fight with Jim Harbaugh last season and the fact team president Tom Lewand was popped for a DUI in July 2010. And it oftentimes doesn't show discipline on the field either (you might recall Ndamukong Suh's stomp last season).
Avril's correct in pointing out that you can't paint all 53 players with the same brush, but it's also true that the entire organization suffers on the account of a few who can't stay out of handcuffs.
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