Marinelli: "I believe in what we are doing."

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Lions didn't win a game in September and they won't win one in October.
After two months of losing, they're running out of ideas.
"I'm tired of saying we are making progress, I'm tired of saying we were close, and I'm tired of saying we just need to execute," center Dominic Raiola said Monday. "It is the same thing week after week."
Raiola has been through this before -- the Lions started 0-12 in his rookie season of 2001 -- but that doesn't make the experience any easier.
"I'm out of things to say," he said, one day after the Lions dropped to 0-7 with a 25-17 loss to Washington. "It's hard to even go anywhere without feeling embarrassed."
Lions coach Rod Marinelli was asked Monday if he felt embarrassed or disheartened.
"I don't use those words," he said. "People use them and like them, but I don't use them. That's the truth. I go back to work."
While the Lions have struggled in nearly every aspect of the game, their biggest problem has been their pass defense. Six of the seven quarterbacks that have started against Detroit this season have put up career-best quarterback ratings, with the one exception being longtime veteran Gus Frerotte.
With the trading deadline passed and the season nearing the halfway point, the Lions don't have many options when it comes to adding talent.
Another option would be a change in the defense, but Marinelli insists that he isn't going to abandon his cherished Tampa Two scheme.
"I believe in what we are doing, and that's why I'm sticking to exactly what I believe in," he said. "My job is to have a belief in what we are doing and not to change that in midstream. Do we have to win games? No question. But I believe you win through belief."
Marinelli also brushed aside any thoughts of replacing his son-in-law, defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
"The defense is being planned exactly like I want it," he said. "We've got to execute better. We have the calls I want and the calls I believe in, and we've just got to execute better."
Which leaves Marinelli with a dilemma: How do you suddenly get the same players to perform at a level they haven't been able to reach?
In Marinelli's eyes, it is a simple matter of details.
"The things that are beating us are the obvious things -- the things that you would see," he said. "This game is about simple execution -- that's how most games are won or lost. Right now, under pressure, when it gets tight, we aren't making plays.
"Losing is a disease, and the way you fight it is to stay tough, stay consistent and have a belief in what you are doing."


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