Berry latest Lions player arrested

The Sports Xchange
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--Cornerback Aaron Berry was arrested June 23 for driving under the influence as well as two charges for causing damage to an unattended vehicle and two counts of failing to stop and give enforcement to police. Berry allegedly hit two parked cars and then left the scene. He was eventually apprehended at 4:45 a.m.

In a statement, Berry said, "I want to offer a sincere apology to the Lions organization, Lions fans, the coaches and all my teammates for my actions this past weekend. This is not the example I want to set for young people and it's certainly not what my team and coaches expect from me. I promise to do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again. I understand these are just words and it will be my future actions that ultimately will speak for me."

A statement from the Lions said, "We are extremely disappointed in the reports involving Aaron Berry and the incident in Pennsylvania this past weekend. This is not the standard of behavior we expect from any member of our organization. We have strongly and repeatedly emphasized the need to be accountable on and off the field, which makes this incident with Aaron all the more disappointing. We will have further comments regarding this situation when appropriate."

The incident with Berry was the sixth arrest by a Lions player this offseason.

--Coach Jim Schwartz characterized his team's entire offseason program as "outstanding." But, almost in the same breath, he cautioned against reading too much into 10 organized team activities and a three-day mini-camp.

"I don't mean to be nonchalant, but it's mini-camp and it's OTAs," he said. "It's not football. It's not even a practice, excuse me Allen Iverson. We're sort of installing our preparation for practice. You can't get all 'yippy' and 'hurrah' and start thinking you are in a different spot with your team based on stuff that's not a true evaluation of talent or a true evaluation of where we are and where we are going to go."

--That said, comparing where the Lions are today coming out of the offseason program to where they were the first year of the Schwartz era, is night and day. "We are at a different point in our installation than we've ever been," he said. "We're in the fourth year with our offensive and defensive system, the third year of our special teams system. We've put some new wrinkles in but we are not starting from scratch. After the first couple of OTAs we probably had in as much as we installed the entire offseason my first year. We're in a better spot."

--Several veteran safeties have worked out for the Lions this offseason, including Oshiomogho Atogwe, Chris Crocker, Sean Jones and Deon Grant. But before pulling the trigger on any of those, general manager Martin Mayhew said he wanted to take a long look at younger players on his roster like Ricardo Silva, Alonzo Lawrence, Don Carey and Sam Proctor. He's taken the same stance with the running back position.

"I like the group of guys we have," Mayhew said, referring to Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith. "If they are healthy, and that's a really big if, that's an outstanding group of players. But the injury question with all three is a concern. We talked about adding a guy in the offseason, but the more I see of these guys - of Keiland Williams and Joique Bell - I want to see how it plays out before I go in a different direction."

--Second-year linebacker Doug Hogue, at age 23, has added more than an inch and 15 pounds to his frame. "I've been eating my Wheaties, man," he said, laughing about the extra inch. "Honestly I don't know how it happened. I didn't notice it. When I came back (for offseason workouts) coach (Matt) Burke said, 'Did you grow a little bit?' I said, 'No, I don't think so.' But he took to me to the training room and measured me. Sure enough." Hogue measured 6-2.3 last season. This season, he's 6.3.5. His weight went from 230 to 245. "It's working out for me," Hogue said. "I am dealing with the weight well. I am moving with it."

--Hogue missed the first week of OTAs after a incurring a 46-stitch slash on his left arm. "I was home (Yonkers, New York) Memorial Day weekend helping my sister move," he said. "A big glass mirror fell on me. It was a big, glass, full-body mirror. I was thinking, I hope my arm don't fall off," he said. "Coach (Jim) Schwartz said next time hire somebody. But I am back now and everything is good."

QUOTE TO NOTE
"We're talking. We're still trying to get things figured out before camp. I want to be there long-term, I want to get a deal done. I don't want to play under the franchise tag. I've been with the team for four, going on five years. Started off a little shaky going 0-16 and I want to be with the team when we make the Super Bowl run. I would prefer not to play on the franchise tag but we have a lot of time in front of us. I think the deadline is July 16 and hopefully we get something figured out before then. I haven't really thought past that point." -- DE Cliff Avril to NFL Network on his holdout.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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