Lions talk family, not football, with coaches
Matthew Stafford and Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott
Linehan talked about the quarterback’s golf game Tuesday.
They couldn’t shoot the breeze about much else at the Detroit
Lions Invitational, which benefits the team’s charities, because
NFL employees aren’t allowed to communicate with players about
football-related matters during the lockout.
”Yeah,” Stafford acknowledged. ”But we’re friends anyway, so
it’s not like we talk football all the time.”
The locked-out Lions gathered in mass with their coaches and
team executives for the first time since the day after their season
ended five months ago.
Team president Tom Lewand, general manager Martin Mayhew, coach
Jim Schwartz and some of his assistants exchanged pleasantries and
embraces with players on an awkward day at the TPC of Michigan –
just down the street from Lions headquarters.
”Obviously, our interactions will be limited and will be
appropriate,” Lewand said. ”We appreciate them for what they’re
doing by coming out here and helping the cause and also appreciate
what they’re doing to get ready for the season.
”That’s a great thing. Obviously, we won’t be talking to them
about that part of it.”
The Lions are getting together this week, for the second time
this offseason for player-organized workouts, at Detroit Country
Schwartz said he has looked at online photos and watched video
of his players working out, adding he hasn’t paid much attention
”I think there’s only so much that you can do without coaches
on the field, I think we all know that,” Schwartz said. ”But any
time players get together, that’s a good thing. Anytime
quarterbacks are throwing to receivers, anytime that you’re working
out next to one of your teammates, I think that can’t help but help
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson has scheduled a hearing
on the owners’ motion to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit from a group
of players for Sept. 12 – four days after the regular season is
scheduled to start. The NFL and its players held settlement
discussions in Chicago last week, but there’s no sign a
lockout-ending collective bargaining agreement is imminent.
”Anytime people are talking, that’s productive,” Lewand said.
”When they’re talking to each other and not publicly, that’s even
”The idea of people being around a negotiating table is far
preferable to them being around a courthouse. The more that can
happen, the better chance we can have success.”
Larry Lage can be reached at http://twitter.com/larrylage