We see it on T-shirts. We see it on baseball caps.
It is one of the rallying cries of the Detroit Lions. Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn has grit. Head coach Dan Campbell has grit. Most of the players on the Lions roster has grit.
It is a word General Manager Brad Holmes must keep in mind on draft day. For many years, the Lions front office passed on guys with grit. They did not want to deal with the attitude. They did not want to deal with the disagreements.
The four-letter word the Lions used too often was safe.
They looked for choir boys in the draft.
“It’s a foundation built on grit,” Holmes said. “It’s that wide receiver who threw a 75-yard touchdown. He’s clawing and scratching for everything he gets.”
In football, sometimes a guy has a criminal record. Sometimes he smokes weed or punches somebody. You don’t want a roster filled with bad eggs. But you need some people like that if they can play. Once upon a time, the Lions passed on Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss for cornerback and kick returner Terry Fair.
Moss smoked weed in college and was shuffled from Notre Dame to Florida State and finally to Marshall. His behavior scared a number of teams off, including the Lions. Fair was not a bust. He made Pro Bowls, but he was no Randy Moss.
Defensive back Darius Slay had grit. But the Lions did not like his grit because he spoke out.
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had grit. His problem is he didn’t want to be here, and strategized to get out before he even got here.
The Lions finished the season on a high note and can continue this trend if Brad Holmes does the Gritty during the draft.