JUST IN: Detroit Lions Derrick Barnes slams NFL Officials on……

This week, linebacker Derrick Barnes is balancing moving forward after being a part of a key play that didn’t go his way against the Dallas Cowboys and having to discuss why he did not deliver what could have been the hit of the season on quarterback Dak Prescott. 

“It’s the NFL. He’s a good quarterback, and s**t like that happens. Also, you’ve got to take into consideration that players are out here getting fined thousands of dollars,” said Barnes. “Not that I was afraid of that, but there’s penalties. 

“We were backed up, and I didn’t want to cause a penalty for my teammates, especially in a critical situation like that,” Barnes said. “So, I was full-speed. I tried to take his head off, and he ended up seeing me at the last minute and he ducked. I didn’t close my eyes. I was trying to get a good shot on him, and he seen me and ducked. That’s what that play was.”

At practice, All Lions highlighted a tackling drill observed just before the window closed and the media leave the viewing area.

Detroit’s linebackers did not particularly too kindly to this reference, possibly feeling it was a disrespectful shot at a player. 

The hope is, truly, players use mistakes as motivation to actually go out and make the next play. Similarly, it is expected Amon-Ra St. Brown will use being slighted in the Pro Bowl to fuel him moving forward. 

“What I want everyone to know is, the reason it’s a big deal — it’s a big deal. I get back to the locker room the next day, my coach told me that’s a play he expects me to make. That’s the type of player I am,” Barnes told All Lions, when discussing our social media post, the play and being part of that game. That’s what he would tell me. But, I think that everybody needs to know, the only reason it’s a big deal to everybody is because they scored a touchdown on it. I’m not making excuses. Next time, I’m gonna make the play, but I feel like it’s only as big as it is because it caused a touchdown.” 

Barnes credits Prescott for his elusiveness and feels it will be crucial for him to react positively moving forward. 

“If it wasn’t a touchdown, nobody would be having these conversations. Nobody would be asking me these questions. So, I think that’s crazy to me, because s**t happens. I’ve seen multiple people miss sacks and it’ll be what it is,” said Barnes. “I’m not trying to be in my feelings about it. I just feel like it’s football, that s**t happens. He gets paid more than I do, so he gets paid to do what he does. He’s an NFL player. Stuff happens, it’s all about how you react.”

Defenders are put in the most precarious situations, as they are tasked with bringing down quarterbacks, but in such a way that a penalty flag is not thrown. 

It almost appears impossible for a linebacker to deliver a big hit without targeting some part of a quarterback that is to be avoided. 

“Obviously, you see that every week. So, obviously, it goes through your mind,” Barnes said. “Like, I’m not afraid. I’ll put my body on the line. It’s just, next time, wrap up. But, he wasn’t looking and I thought I had a clear shot on him. And, the result of not wrapping up, that’s what you get.”

Outside of the outcome, the Lions had an opportunity to face off against one of the best team’s in the NFC, which could bode well if the two teams play each other again. 

“It was fun, man. I really enjoyed it,” Barnes said about playing in a playoff-like atmosphere against Dallas. “Ups and downs, ebbs and flows of the game,” said Barnes. “I thought we had critical plays, just like the sack that we could’ve made, that would’ve been critical in the game and helped us win,” Barnes noted. “But, we can’t make excuses. Something bad happens, you just get up and keep going. 

“But, it was fun, got to play against a great, competitive team. Great atmosphere. Lions fans came out and showed a lot of respect. Other than that, that’s absolutely the atmosphere you want to be in, that’s a playoff atmosphere. And, I think that prepared us to go into the postseason.”

Similarly following tough losses this season, the roster, including Barnes, is confident in their ability to quickly turn the page to focus on their next objective, playing well and defeating the Minnesota Vikings. 

“Oh, man, 100 percent. I think that we’ve showed multiple times this year that a loss doesn’t define who we are,” Barnes expressed. “We know who we are. We know what we need to correct, and we just take it week by week. Something like last week happens, we get back on the drawing board, and we get back to work the following week after that. We’re excited, another good opponent coming in this week to our house. So, we have to stand our ground and continue to do what we’ve been doing all year.”

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