Mayhew: Pressure is always on

BY foxsports • July 30, 2013

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew knows the pressure is on to win now.

But he insists it’s nothing new, not in his profession.

“I think what happens is, the heat on the seat kind of varies from week to week,” Mayhew poetically said Tuesday, in a rare interview session with the media. “The guys whose seats are real cool right now, they’re going to be hot come January. We’ll see what happens.

“Thirty-two GMs, 32 head coaches. There’s an expectation that we have success here. That’s across the board everywhere in the National Football League.

“I’m certainly going to work as hard as I can to keep my seat cool.”

It’s no secret that Jim Schwartz, coming off a 4-12 record in 2012, is one of the coaches believed to be on the hot seat entering the new season.

Mayhew probably has a little more security than Schwartz, but the heat is on him, too, to make certain that he’s putting together a playoff-contending roster.

“I have no predictions on playoffs, no predictions on number of wins,” Mayhew said. “I’m going to be focused, really, on us getting better every single day. Every day of training camp, just getting a little bit better.

“Trying to get better talent. We’re still looking at players that are out there. We’re still trying to acquire some players. We want to just keep constantly improving. I think all of that will take care of itself.”

Mayhew had to rework a significant portion of the roster because the club had so many free agents and some major holes to fill.

The Lions added veterans such as running back Reggie Bush, safety Glover Quin and defensive ends Jason Jones and Israel Idonije, and drafted four potential starters in defensive end Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah (No. 5 overall), cornerback Darius Slay (second round), offensive guard Larry Warford (third round) and punter Sam Martin (fifth round).

“I like our group,” Mayhew said. “I think it’s probably safe to say it’s the most athletic, fastest team that we’ve had (since he joined the club in 2001).

“Obviously, there were some places where we were more experienced last year than we are right now. We had more continuity and experience on the offensive line last year.

“Secondary-wise, we have a lot of new faces. There’s a lot of learning how to play together that the guys in the secondary have to do. But I like our talent level.”

On the possibility of still adding a veteran offensive tackle: “We’ve got some guys that we’ve been training (Riley Reiff, Corey Hilliard, Jason Fox, etc.), we’ve been working in our system for a long time. We feel very comfortable with the tackle. We’re going to play with those guys.”

... On Youtube kicking sensation Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland: “He’s done an impressive job. I don’t want to get our ahead of ourselves. He’s never played in the National Football League. He hasn’t even played a preseason game. I'd like to see him do that before we start making judgment on him.”

... On safety Louis Delmas’ health: “I think he’s on track to be ready for the season. I talked to Louis about making sure that everything he does during training camp is geared toward being ready for that Minnesota game (regular-season opener). Once we get to that game, we’ll take it week by week. That’s the track he’s on and he’s making progress.”

... On releasing running back Jahvid Best: “I don’t know what his future holds (because of concussion issues). It just got to a point where it was a virtual certainty that he was not going to play for us this season. At that point, in terms of where we are with salary cap and our roster, we didn’t have much of a choice.”