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Stabbing Changes Lions’ Anderson’s Life

August 14, 2003

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) _ Scotty Anderson’s mind used to wander on the football field.

It doesn’t anymore.

The Detroit Lions receiver said his life has changed since he and his brother were stabbed three months ago outside a Houston nightclub.

``You look at stuff different,″ Anderson said. ``My mind used to be scattered around on stuff that didn’t really matter and that led me down the wrong road at times.

``Now, my mind is just on football. Nothing else. I just think about football, then play football, then get my rest.″

Anderson escaped the assault with relatively minor shoulder wounds, but his brother, Stevie, a former NFL wide receiver, lost a lot of blood with a severe thigh wound. Both have recovered well physically and mentally.

``My brother said, `God didn’t put us back here for nothing. We’re here for a reason.′ I now realize to live through that was big,″ Anderson said. ``I look at life so differently it’s hard to explain to somebody that hasn’t gone through something like that.

``I just know I’m here for a reason, and I’ve got to show what that reason is.″

There’s no guarantee he will be on Detroit’s roster during his third NFL season, because he is competing for one of the limited spots on the roster for receivers.

``I always feel like I’m on the edge of keeping my job, or not,″ he said. ``You can’t get comfortable because this is not a comfortable business. That’s one of the things I learned over my first two years.

``Last game, I had a great game. But I have to come out and be even better because you’re only as good as your last game.″

Anderson caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in Detroit’s 26-13 exhibition win last Saturday against Pittsburgh. He scored to put the Lions ahead with just seconds left in the first half when Joey Harrington lofted a 13-yard pass to the corner of the end zone to Anderson, who grabbed the ball away from former Lions player Chidi Iwuoma.

``Scotty is a very athletic receiver. He runs and jumps extremely well,″ Harrington said. ``You saw it in the back of the end zone on that touchdown catch. I left it about a foot short. He went up and made a great catch. He can get you out of some tough situations.″

Anderson led the Lions in receiving during exhibition games last year, and was third the year before as a rookie. But he has had two lackluster regular seasons with a combined total of 37 receptions for 533 yards and two TDs.

``I can’t say I didn’t get chances to make plays in the regular season, but I didn’t keep the same focus that I had in the preseason,″ Anderson said. ``It was just a mental thing.

``I feel like this is going to be a different year. They’re about to see the Scotty Anderson they evaluated and drafted two years ago out of Grambling. I don’t want to just be on the team. I want to be doing something to help us win.″

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