Lewand talks overseas football, the 2011 season and free agency in fan forum

Posted by ttwentyman on February 14, 2012 – 10:50 pm

Lions president Tom Lewand spent an hour answering questions during a fan forum for season ticket holders on Tuesday.

Lewand touched on a wide variety of subjects including the current situation with the salary cap, the importance of keeping the team’s core players together and the health of running backs Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure.

Here are a few other points Lewand touched on:

On playing home games overseas:

“I think the expansion of the NFL into international markets is a great thing, but we don’t look to participate as a home team. We have a commitment here to Detroit, the Ford family has a commitment to Detroit, you guys have started to make Ford Field into one of the best home field advantages and we don’t want to give that up, we want to make it even better.

“It’s not easy to do if one of our home games is in London or Mexico City or Toronto or somewhere else. We would like to be right here at 2000 Brush St., right at Ford Field and have you guys there week-in and week-out supporting us and giving us that huge advantage that you gave us this year.

“If we end up playing a road game in one of the international venues, so be it, we’ll embrace that opportunity like we would some other ones that come our way. But we won’t be putting ourselves up as lone of those teams that would take a home game on the road.”

On how important a season 2011 was for the franchise:

“I think that 2011 was very valuable to us because it taught us a lot. We broke some losing streaks, we set some other records and we did some things that were great on an individual basis, but as a team, we learned how to handle winning. We learned how to handle teams coming into Ford Field aiming for us where they may not have been in the past.

“We learned to handle some adversity when that adversity comes with having a target on your back as opposed to having losses on your record. I think that was important because I think guys need to know how to handle pressure when it comes through success as much as they need to learn how to handle adversity when it comes through losing. Those experiences that we had in handling pressure when it came with success will serve us well going forward.”

On preparing for free agency:

“We’re going to look at good players out there. As a matter of fact, our free agent meetings internally will be this week. We’ll have meetings with all of our coaching staff, all of our scouts, obviously with Martin Mayhew and Jim Schwartz and we’ll go through the offensive and defensive players who are going to be free agents out there.

“(With) the work that Sheldon White and our Pro Personnel Department does throughout the year to keep our boards current, we know how we value all of those guys and how they fit our profiles and whether they fit our profile. Having said that, I don’t foresee us being in a position to go out and make a lot of aggressive, quote-unquote marquee free agent moves. That’s not what we’ve ever been about.”

On any updates he has with negotiations with the Lions’ unrestricted free agents

“Free agency starts two weeks later this year than it has in the past. It’s normally been about March 1 every year, this year it’s a full two weeks later. I think you’ll see some things move a little bit more slowly in February when it comes to signing your own guys.

“I do think that the combine this year in Indianapolis where we normally go down there to scout college players will be one that’s a little bit more focused on free agent signings; and when I say that, I mean guys who are on our own team. I think that’s when you’ll start to see some of those deals get done. I’m optimistic that we can keep a good part of that core together, if not all of it. We’re going to work hard between now and the start of free agency to get that done.”


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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “Lewand talks overseas football, the 2011 season and free agency in fan forum”

  1. By Ivanho 79 on Feb 14, 2012 | Reply

    I think trying to get the core players signed is an excellent ideal, we’ve come along way. I like wht I see. We are moving in the right direction, we the fans are really excited. I’m looking forwards in getting some good game packages for this next coming season. GO LIONS!

  2. By Smitty01 on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    The Lions need to do what ever is possible to get Rice, or Lynch as a runninig back. I would even consider trading who we currently have in that position.

  3. By Smitty01 on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    No offence Javid your a good running back, but injury prone.

  4. By champ42203 on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    i know our rb position needs help

  5. By champ42203 on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    but defense wins championships and we gave up alot of points lets concern ourselves with defense and get another rb to fill the void if injurys happen to best or leshore again our offense can put up points with out the run game but it would be great to have a run game. all im saying is lets fill the biggest issues first and not waste a ton of money on rice or lynch and trust me id love to see either of them two on our team i just think thats not the biggest issue

  6. By carol wadsworth on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    All i ask is to do something to get the team going again we need to beat those CHEESE HEADS. i hate that team, and the people who play for them.we need some one who will protect stafford when he is passing keep them off his blind side, i see he can run with the ball, when he want,s to stanton does run when he see,s no one is open.he scramble,s well. we need to get better on third down,s man that upsets me when i see 3rd and 9 or 3rd and very long.. so ya have to punt, and the other team takes it all the way down for a score, that really upsets me.we need to play well enough to beat the saints, that was sad only losing by how many. close but no cigar. calvin needs protection when he has the ball , he can jump but he needs some one to protect him the boys need to tackle, those guys up front, we need power up there. guys that can be hard and fast at the same time.we need to hit harder, and tire them out, i dont mean to kill em but stop em. so stafford can do his job.all i can say we need a good tuff defense. and offense. its like i always say defense WIN,S CHAMPIONSHIPS.ive watched the Mendon Hornets play alot of years, they are a High School foot ball team. just ask ROB RUBICK, HE HAS SEEN MENDON PLAY , AND WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. Under the head coach John Schwarts. he is a great head coach.well i think i have said enough so thanks , Tim The Twenty Man.

  7. By CR on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    no one likes mendon

  8. By Arnold on Feb 17, 2012 | Reply

    We don’t need an RB we got 3 skilled RB’s.. we need Safeties, Corners and Linebackers more.

  9. By fred on Feb 21, 2012 | Reply

    We need a punter. Field position cost us two games this year.

  10. By rockbo55 on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    The problem being that ecept for konz and maybe one other player theres is not many good ol plarers in this year draft and the same could be said with db and safetys this year draft has a lot of good recievers and i think we still need a third receiver that will help titus and megatron get a little more freed up and as far as running backs when come to concuusion its not a good thing one hard hit put out of the nfl and i like best and leshore but there both one hit from a disaster so I beleive we need another rb thats healthy and durable in the draft

  11. By Detroit Lions #1 on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I hope the Lions NEVER play overseas, keep it at home boys!!!

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