Lions Dominic Raiola responds to anonymous GM's criticism

Lions center Dominic Raiola minced no words in his response to an anonymous NFL General Manager who criticized him in print Tuesday morning.

Wearing a black tee-shirt with the words, "God Forgives, Detroit Doesn't," Raiola addressed an eager throng of media standing by his locker after the Lions practice Wednesday afternoon.

"All I've got to say is, to two people: Whoever's talking $^it, and then the person who wrote it, on Pro Football Weekly - Cowards, gutless, balls-less - you got no name? Anonymous? All I gotta say is, 'F**k you,' said Raiola.

"That's it.  Now we move on to Minnesota.  That's all I got.  Now, if I spend any more time on it, that's what he wants so f**k him and f**k both of them.  That's all I got."

But it wasn't all he had.  When asked to talk about his accomplishments in the league, Raiola continued.

"It speaks for itself," said Raiola. "Speaks for itself. Go look online, go look. I've been here for as long as I've been here.  Whatever.  You know, it speaks for itself. I don't have to tell you what I did. For people that know football, they know what I've been through here.  They know where I've come from.  They know what kind of player I am, what kind of worker I am, so I don't have to explain anything."

Prodded about what bothered him more, the criticism or its anonymous nature, Raiola responded, "It starts with the anonymous part.  At least I can put a face with a name, you know?  If I know who it is, then I can put a face with a name and kind of find out where he's coming from.  That's fine.  Let's talk about Minnesota.  I'm not going to be, I definitely ain't gonna be a distraction to this team because we feel pretty good right now.  We're moving in the right direction.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz declined to address the situation directly, but offered his take on the scrutiny NFL players face.

"This league gets a lot of scrutiny," said Schwartz.  "Players are used to dealing with scrutiny and stuff like that. It's all part of the game."

When asked about Raiola's accomplishments in the NFL, Schwartz said, "You need to be durable in this league.  Dom has done that. He's been consistent. It's a tough job playing center. You're in the middle of all the action. You're the quarterback of the offensive line. You have to be on the same page, get your guys in the right position.

"Particularly in the last three games, four games, when we got ourselves going a little bit, really starting with the Philadelphia game, our offensive line's been really key to us.  We've run the ball better.  We've protected and we've played a little bit with a finishing attitude up front."

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