From The 2017 Detroit Lions Member Summit.
On Thursday, Ford Field certainly looked different. With the 100 million dollar renovations still underway, gone were the large scoreboards and the suites, with the field covered as well to shield it from the construction underway. At midfield, the small stage was erected waiting for the Detroit Lions brass to arrive and hopefully give us fans something to remind us that football will be coming back. Preseason football in August still feels like a lifetime away, but GM Bob Quinn, President Rod Wood, and coach Jim Caldwell gave us some insight into what they expect for next season.
Funny occurrence before the Q&A session. Just before they came on stage, I looked down into the tunnel I was seated next to and locked eyes with coach Caldwell at the bottom of the steps. He acknowledged me briefly before a fellow Detroit Lions fan two rows back decided to beat on the vinyl covering of the tunnel like it was his drumset, causing the coach to flee and security to come out with a quickness. I quickly declared my innocence which deflected the guard’s attention to behind me. Pretty sure that makes me a snitch, but I’ll call it revenge for costing me a possible shake of hands with the man who wears two watches.
All in all, the Q&A session was pretty run of the mill stuff. We got news of early Stafford contract talks. Rod Wood talked about Ford Field. Like honestly too much about Ford Field. I think he actually lives at Ford Field. Anyways and yeah, no one was willing to give any hint on draft strategy at least position wise. Oh and I almost forgot, then Rod Wood talked about Ford Field some more. Dude needs to get a room with Ford Field.
I will say that compared to last year, GM Bob Quinn certainly carries himself much better in front of a crowd. At last year’s event, it seemed like the man had never spoken to a group of more than 10 people, but this was not the case on Thursday. With that being said, either he has become a great actor or I would dare say in my opinion he really likes Jim Caldwell. Just a hunch but unless he really is a great actor, I personally wouldn’t be surprised to hear of a Jim Caldwell contract extension before the start of the season.
As far as the questions go, I feel as if the host Dan Miller should just do his thing and the fan question format should be trimmed down significantly. But with that being said, the fans did eventually drag out some interesting things out of the Lions’ power players. Coach Caldwell gets the reputation of being an emotionless robot, so it was refreshing to hear him talk in detail about the Lions’ near miracle overtime victory in Minnesota last season in regards to a question asking about his favorite 2016 moment. You remember, the Golden Tate flip? Although in regards to that, Caldwell did add (not for the first time either) that he was “Not too fired up about the way he got into the end zone…” which got a good laugh out of the crowd.
However, those laughs did not garner nearly as big of an ovation as when host Dan Miller suggested that the officials leave the flags on the ground after they throw them. Wonder what would’ve made him say that? *Cough* Dallas *cough* Detroit *cough* playoffs! While I’m on that, boy who else is excited to see Dallas Maverick (boy that was dumb) Tony Romo’s stupid face every Sunday behind the microphone? It’ll be just like watching Gomer Pyle talk football.
I also found it refreshing to hear Bob Quinn specifically say that among speed and other things of that nature, a player’s love for football will definitely factor into how the team goes about obtaining talent. Hopefully, that will help the Lions avoid another DeAndre Levy situation, and we as fans will have a full 53 man roster filled with passionate Detroit Lions players.
It was also specifically laid out that we hope to build our team to be able to beat the Bears, Vikings, and Packers to FINALLY win the NFC North and make the playoffs. I personally am glad that this is the case, especially after LOL Clinton-Dix went on Twitter Thursday night to make fun of the new Detroit Lions uniforms. Oh yeah, speaking of jokes, Bob Quinn egged on the crowd to boo when Aaron Rodgers was brought up. Anyone who doesn’t like Aaron Rodgers is ok in my book, so I’ll take that and add another piece to the trust level I’m starting to have in Quinn.
As far as the uniforms go, man was it hard to actually get in to see them. The ceremony took place near the main entry right next to the store selling the new jerseys (imagine that) and the concourse was a war zone of people trying to get inside. Very poorly planned in my opinion, but once inside a nice little video was played, the cheerleaders did their thing and Ebron, Abdullah, and Ziggy showed up to say a few words. The jerseys all look pretty nice, although the throwback seems a little lifeless. What’s more important is winning the games on the field. Let them wear trash bags for all I care and if we win the NFC North I’ll be the happiest man alive.
Oh, I almost forgot. Rod Wood also talked about how great Ford Field will be next year. Hopefully, he is right. Can’t wait to see the Detroit Lions win some games next year right there at home at Ford Field.