|Winless Lions hope to finally win vs. Buccaneers|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 20 November 2008 15:49|
The receiver hasn't had much luck.
``Everywhere you go, you hear about it,'' McDonald said. ``Last week, the guys in the crowd at Carolina were heckling us about our record. When I'm out in town here, people start talking about the Lions when I'm around and I act like I don't know nothing about the Lions.''
The Lions' next chance to restore some measure of pride is Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3).
``I want to win so bad I can't use words that you could print,'' cornerback Travis Fisher said. ``I'm thinking we're winning the next one because 0-10 has already been my last nightmare.
``I'm not even thinking about going 0-16.''
giving them a shot at NFL infamy as the league's first 0-16 team.
Tampa Bay insists it won't overlook the Lions, especially after starting slow and needing a big rally to beat the struggling Kansas City Chiefs 30-27 two weeks ago.
``Taking anyone lightly is very disrespectful and you set yourself up to lose,'' linebacker Derrick Brooks said. ``Records are meaningless right now.
``We're trying to get ourselves to play better than we did last week, and realize the last couple times we went to Detroit they spanked us pretty good.''
Detroit did beat the Buccaneers last year despite being outgained 422-278 because it recovered two fumbles and blocked a punt. But that was back when the Lions were surging toward a 6-2 record.
Since then, they are 1-17.
That fact, however, has not shaken coach Rod Marinelli's belief in the way to lead a team after helping Tony Dungy build a winner and Jon Gruden sustain success in Tampa Bay.
``Everything you see and I tell you right here is from my heart,'' Marinelli said. ``That's what I believe.
``I can't fake it. Some people are great fakers. They're pretty good at it, too. I'm not.''
Gruden said Marinelli is mentally tough enough to deal with adversity.
``He's a great coach and a great leader,'' Gruden said. ``I swear by Rod Marinelli as long as I'm alive.''
While the Lions are the NFL's only team mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, Tampa Bay is very much in the race.
The Buccaneers are one game behind Carolina in the NFC South and lead the wild-card race by a game with six weeks to play.
They will have to close the season without running back Earnest Graham, who had a season-ending injury last week. Warrick Dunn is set to start and Carnell ``Cadillac'' Williams might play for the first time since early last season.
``I think now I can really just let the game come to me and have fun, just really relax and have fun and let the plays come,'' Dunn said. ``When you are in there constantly, you tend to do that and the plays do happen on their own.''
Williams has been recovering from a career-threatening knee injury, trying to regain the form that helped him run for 1,178 yards and six touchdowns as the 2005 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, a former Lion, said he has been impressed with how well Williams has practiced recently.
``He looks sharp out there, he looks fast, and he looks fit,'' Garcia said. ``He has worked extremely hard to get back to this point and to overcome the serious injury that he dealt with.
``It is exciting to see him back out on the field, practicing at full strength and full speed.''