Pettigrew’s Rehab Progressing Smoothly

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 27, 2010 – 8:31 pm

“Rehab is going good so far. I’m still trying to get my strength back. Now it’s just pushing through the tenderness, just the tightness of the tendon.

“I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. Until my doctor releases me, all I can do is just train and get ready for training camp. Hopefully I’ll get to play some preseason games, but if not, then just train until the season.

“Having more players on the field is good. At my position, we’ve still got a couple guys down – (Tony) Scheffler’s coming back from a small injury. But, with numbers it’s always better because you don’t have to get burned out going every rep.

“Within our group, everybody kind of has their roles. Scott (Linehan) seems like he has some stuff in for us, doing some different things and moving everybody around. I see what he’s doing right now, but I think he has a lot more that he wants to do, too, that we’ll do through training camp.

“Right now, though, I’m just looking to come back and hopefully I can get a chance to make more plays than I did last year. I made some, but just trying to make more and get myself in the game plan a lot more than I did last year.”


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Freep.com Article: Lions’ wives give attention, affection to girls at Detroit school

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 26, 2010 – 2:49 pm

Since September, Detroit Lions’ wives including Suzanne Lewand (wife of Team President Tom Lewand), Sabrina Mayhew (wife of GM Martin Mayhew) and Kathy Schwartz (wife of Head Coach Jim Schwartz) have been involved in a mentoring project at the Detroit Lions Academy, a Detroit Public Schools alternative middle school on the city’s east side dedicated to students who have difficulty succeeding in traditional school settings.

Among the goals of the wives’ bimonthly sessions was to help the girls gain self-esteem and trust — in themselves and one another.

“The best part was they liked spending time with us, and we had fun,” eighth-grader JoAnn Austin, 15, said. “I won’t remember all of their names. But I’ll always remember their faces.”

Read the full article by Jo-Ann Barnas at Freep.com.


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Delmas Glad to See the Rookie Class On the Field

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 25, 2010 – 10:20 pm

“First and foremost, just having numbers out here adding in the rookies makes it a lot easier for guys who take a lot of reps. Also having guys like Vanden Bosch and Wade and Chris Houston out there – guys who have been in the league before and know the game – makes it a lot easier on young guys like me because I don’t have to think as much. Just having them taking a leadership role as well as myself brings a lot more excitement to the game.

“The guys in my group want to learn. They want to be here. Like I said, they’ve played the game for a long time already. That just makes it that much easier for me. I guess the most important thing is: they’re good guys.

“They’re not just football players who come on the field, do their job and don’t communicate. That’s what makes my job easier. Just having those guys in the room, coming in, stepping in with a clean head and clean slate is great.

“Obviously the players we drafted are going to help us out tremendously this year, especially with Best back there running the ball. He’s a very small, scatty back, but he’s very powerful and fast. We need a guy like that.

“The DB we’ve got, Spievey, he’s going to be a very important factor for us because we were low on numbers last year. We ran through maybe 20 DBs. Just having somebody that’s drafted that we know will be here for awhile and hopefully stays healthy is something I’m very excited about.

“It’s funny because today I told the two rookies to go get some Gatorade and I was singing the song mocking them. I remember when I was a rookie. But, technically, I’m still a rookie. I guess they have this thing where you’re a rookie up until your third game of the season in your second year. So I guess I’ve got three more games left. After that, I won’t be a rookie anymore.

“So, since I still consider myself a rookie, I treat them accordingly. I try to give them the insight on what and what not to do as far as being a rookie. You’re going to have to carry people’s helmets in. That’s something they trusted me with last year – carrying everybody’s helmets in. I’m not going to do that to them.

“So the biggest thing is we will probably go out to eat and I’ll just show them a good time. Try to show them that they’re loved.”


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Lions’ Rookies and Vets Participate in OTA

Posted by Tara Altman on May 18, 2010 – 8:08 pm

Today the Lions held their sixth organized team activity (OTA) day, the first in which Lions’ rookies participated with the veterans.

Among the rookies present were first-round draft selections defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and running back Jahvid Best.

Head Coach Jim Schwartz was pleased with what he saw on the field, but doesn’t want to make any judgments until the pads are on.

Schwartz: “It’s a non-contact organized team activity; let’s not judge them on what they did today. Their heads were swimming a little bit just coming in. They came in late Sunday night, got here yesterday, went through a workout, went through a run and then all of a sudden got (to this). I think they realized that they thought they were far along at rookie camp and then realized how far they have to go still. Both guys obviously showed why we drafted them, just running around athletically and things like that. There’s a reason that we drafted them and you’re not going to see anything other than that in mini-camp and offseason program days like this.”

For full audio of Schwartz, click here.

For Suh, today was a chance to get a feel for what practice is like at the professional level, working with the veterans at a faster pace.

Suh: “It was definitely good. I liked being with the vets, getting a true feeling for what the next level is like and really being able to see what true practice is going to be like.

“(Stephen) Peterman is definitely a vet; he knows what he’s doing and really knows this offense. Going against him, who I primarily went against today, he definitely has quick feet, (he’s a) strong guy and he’s more schooled in being able to pick up on things. You can’t give off little tips like you did in college, you have to really disguise your stuff because they start to pick up on things and those tendencies that you do. They’re a lot more schooled in that area, strength wise; do I feel like I can push him around? Not necessarily, but I think I’m strong enough to beat him to the quarterback, or I wouldn’t be at this level.”

For full audio of Suh, click here.

Best felt confident coming in today in terms of knowing the playbook, but still had some first day nerves when he took to the practice field.

Best: “It was exciting. I was a little nervous to start, but once we got into the roll of things, the game started slowing down a little bit. I got a good grasp of the playbook, so I wasn’t really worried mentally and it was just fun out there, just being with the guys. The running back group is great, they’re kind of like my big brothers right now, teaching me the ropes and everything. It’s been fun so far.”

For full audio of Best, click here.


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Rookies Report to Offseason Program

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on May 17, 2010 – 3:03 pm

This week marks the first that the 2010 Detroit Lions draft class will work with their veteran teammates.

Rookies checked in and participated in on-field workouts on Monday and will take part in their first OTA tomorrow.

Detroit’s first selection in this year’s draft, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, had this to say about working his way into the defensive system at the outset of Rookie Orientation:

“When you get back on that field, it’s all about football. It’s whatever you do in between those white lines. Obviously my learning curve is going to be a lot faster than what it was in college being a freshman coming in here being a rookie.

“So my mindset is just to pick it up as quickly as I can and then learn what I have to get done and get it done.”

Detroitlions.com will have full coverage of tomorrow’s OTA day in Allen Park.


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Schwartz on OTA Day 5

Posted by Tara Altman on May 13, 2010 – 7:55 pm

Head Coach Jim Schwartz spoke with the local media today following the team’s fifth organized team activity (OTA) day.

In particular, Schwartz focused on the progression of second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Schwartz: “That’s what we like about him. He does have a live arm. He’s feeling a little bit better and he’s progressing from just dropping and throwing to moving around a little bit and things like that. He’s still not 100 percent, but like i said before, from the time you come into this league, you’re probably never 100 percent again; but he’s been sharp. He’s been doing a lot of work with the receivers, with the running backs, (and) with the tight ends.”

For more from today, click here for video.


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Lions Wrap-Up Rookie Orientation

Posted by Tara Altman on May 2, 2010 – 4:32 pm

Today the Lions wrapped-up their three day rookie orientation with a final morning practice and rookies will begin departing this afternoon.

Regardless of whether they’ll be returning to the team’s training and practice facility on May 16, Head Coach Jim Schwartz sent the same message that every player’s effort was appreciated and for each to continue working towards their goal of playing in the NFL.

Schwartz: “No. 1, (I told them) thanks for their effort. We have a lot of different guys here. We have a couple of guys who still haven’t gotten an accredited year, that have come and worked this camp for us. Other guys are drafted players, other guys are signed free agents, other guys are unsigned free agents that were here on an extended tryout. When we got them all together on Thursday we said, ‘The one goal that you all have to have here is to leave here on Sunday a better football player then you came.’

“There are a lot of different circumstances: guys that make it as free agents, guys that don’t make it as draft picks, guys that persevere and I just told them a couple stories about guys that I’ve known that have stood right where they have been standing and have left the building as these guys are leaving today and have gone to have 12- and 14-year NFL careers. There were guys that were unsigned after a camp like this. These guys have worked very hard and we were able to get a lot of work done this weekend.”

For the Lions first round draft selection, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the past few days have better prepared him for where he’s going to fit in once he returns to practice with the veterans.

Suh: “The weekend was good. I learned a lot and that’s what I wanted to come in here and take this weekend to do, just to really learn the scheme and understand what I had to get done and where I’m pretty much going to be placed in their defense. It’s obviously not set in stone and things can always change, but as of right now I have a good idea of where I’m going to be, what I need to get done and what I need to work on when I get these next two weeks off and come back for OTA’s.”

For the full audio from Schwartz’s media session, please click here.
For the full audio from Suh’s media session, please click here.


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Schwartz on Day 2 of Rookie Orientation

Posted by Tara Altman on May 1, 2010 – 5:24 pm

With the second practice of rookie orientation completed, Head Coach Jim Schwartz was able to make some clear distinctions between Day 1 and Day 2 in terms of how players performed.

Having gone through the first day, rookies have a better feel for what’s expected, making less mental errors and feeling more comfortable on the field.

Schwartz: “The guys are a little bit more relaxed and that happens anytime that you start off. The first day they’re overly enthusiastic, trying to impress and don’t know the routine of practice, don’t know all of those different things and where they’re supposed to be. Quite honestly that’s why we do this, so they’re not doing that with the vets when they come back here and we’re able to flow better and work these guys in a little bit more.

“They adjusted in, they know the terminology a little more (and) we had way fewer mental mistakes. There’s definitely a comfort level. You can’t imagine how nervous you’d be if you had something you’ve worked your whole life to do and you finally get there and have that opportunity. That’s a hard process to go through all day yesterday. After they practice, all of a sudden you see football players again.”

One of those players is defensive end Willie Young, who the Lions picked in the seventh round of the draft.

Young: “You kind of settle down a little bit; you’re not so tense. The first day you’re trying to figure out where everything is. The second day comes around, you know (more) and you’re a little bit more comfortable with yourself and your surroundings. You kind of get a little bit of a feel about what the coaches expect.

“We picked the pace up a little bit today – but nothing extreme. It was a good Day 2.”


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