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Game notes: Josh Sitton stands by his comments

Posted Nov 28, 2013

Players aren’t blaming coaches; Ross makes former team pay

DETROIT—At least Josh Sitton was able to maintain his sense of humor.

As the Packers guard was finishing getting dressed in the Ford Field locker room following the 40-10 loss to the Lions on Thursday, Sitton saw the throng of reporters surrounding his locker, ready to ask him about the disparaging comments he made about the Detroit defensive linemen on a radio show earlier in the week.

“Y’all waiting on Marshall?” Sitton quipped, as fellow lineman Marshall Newhouse finished packing next to him.

No, Josh, not exactly.

“I said what I said. I’m not taking it back,” Sitton said. “I’ve moved on from that. I don’t want to sit here and talk about it all day.

“They played good. They played good up front. No one ever said they’re not a good front. We know that. I think they’re probably the best inside front in the league. But like I said, I don’t take anything I said back.”

The Lions’ seven sacks of backup QB Matt Flynn would suggest the defensive front was motivated in some fashion by Sitton, but he questioned that.

“We’re grown men,” he said. “We don’t need extra motivation, and if you do that’s kind of silly. We’re in the NFL. At least I’m self-motivated. I don’t need anything else to motivate me. I don’t know.”

Sitton was at as much a loss to explain what exactly transpired during the game as the rest of his teammates, other than to echo his head coach’s words.

“Yeah, it’s an embarrassment,” he said. “We got our ass beat. Plain and simple, they smacked us today. I’ve been playing this game a long time, this is one of the worst beats I’ve ever been a part of. Yeah, it’s embarrassing.”

No blame game: As the Packers defense continued heading south in the second half of this season, some of coordinator Dom Capers’ players were asked if they’re still behind their coaching leader.

They weren’t about to blame someone who wasn’t on the field.

“Of course, 100 percent,” linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “It’s not his fault that we’re letting them run it down our throat. It’s us. We’re players. We’re on the field. You can’t sit there and blame a coach for that. We’re behind him 100 percent, all of our coaches.”

The offensive players weren’t looking to place blame anywhere but on whom they see in the mirror, either.

“We had good plays called,” receiver James Jones said. “They beat us. They beat us.

“The offense didn’t do nothing. We left our defense on the field for 200 plays. It’s on everybody.”

It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but all the Packers can do is regroup and try again. They’re in the midst of their longest winless streak since a five-game losing skid in 2008, the last time the Packers didn’t make the playoffs.

“We’ve got to get back on the horse and get a win,” Hawk said. “I know we’ve been saying it for four or five weeks now, but we have to do it.”

Another shuffle up front: Just when it appeared the Packers were getting their starting offensive line back together, they had to shuffle the unit again.

Center Evan Dietrich-Smith went down with a knee injury in the third quarter, forcing right guard T.J. Lang to move over to center. Newhouse came in to play Lang’s right guard spot.

“The execution is just not there, and it’s frustrating, because we work so hard at it,” Lang said. “They flat-out kicked our (tail). That’s really what it came down to.

“When I slid over to center, I didn’t do a good enough job communicating with the guys. That’s on me.”

In the fourth quarter, Newhouse was replaced at right guard by rookie Lane Taylor, and Derek Sherrod came in to play right tackle for Don Barclay. It was Sherrod’s first game action since Week 15 of 2011, his rookie season, when he broke multiple bones in his lower leg.

Ross gets last word: The Packers cut receiver/returner Jeremy Ross after his fumble of a kickoff in Week 3 at Cincinnati, the last in a series of ball-security issues for Ross.

Signed to the Lions practice squad and shortly thereafter elevated to the active roster, Ross came back to haunt his old team on Thursday in a number of ways.

In the second quarter, Ross took a handoff on an end-around and rambled 24 yards to convert a third-and-1. On Detroit’s next possession, he caught a 5-yard TD pass on a crossing route to tie the score at 10. Then moments later, he ran back a punt 35 yards, making several tacklers miss, to set up the Lions’ go-ahead score, giving them a lead they would never relinquish.

Ross also averaged 23.3 yards on three kickoff returns, with a long of 30. Late in the game, he returned a punt 60 yards, nearly going the distance, but the return was called back due to a penalty.

Injury update: The only injury reported other than Dietrich-Smith’s knee injury was a blow to the head taken by TE Ryan Taylor.

Taylor was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion but returned to the game.

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