A picture of me tonight with new Lions coach Jim Caldwell taken at the Lions open house.
This was both a lot of fun and very informative. There were 6 Lions execs that spoke tonight. I will briefly summarize what each one had to say.
Team President Tom Lewand seemed to speak the most, and clearly seemed in charge of things when everyone was up there. Obviously a natural team leader, I was somewhat surprised by how well spoken and impressive he was. Imreally got the feeling that the team is in good hands with him running things. Obviously well organized, spoke on many minor topics, good sense of humor. Most important things he had to say tonight were his praises of the late Mr Ford, obviously he had a very high regard for him.
ST coach Bonamego (sp?) was the most nervous speaking in front of the crowd. Biggest topic for him was how hard they are looking for a place kicker, really sounds like a late choice could be a kicker. He had high praise for punter Sam Martin.
Def Co Austin was also slightly uneasy with the crowd, but stressed the need for practicing special situations until they are second nature. Obviously has high regard for both Caldwell and his asst def coaches, especially the secondary coaches. Did have special praise for both Slay and Greenwood. Also really likes Devin Taylor.
Off co Lombardi is an obviously extremely confident man. Good head on his shoulders, very much at ease with himself and his career. Seeks to me like a future head coach. I was very impressed with him. We are going to like our offense, it is in very good hands.
Head Coach Jim Caldwell is the real deal. Obviously a man of conviction, you can tell when he speaks, people listen. The kind of man you want running your large business. There is no contest, this was a ar superior hire to the Whisenhunt rumors. Players will play for Caldwell, he really stressed fundamentals at all positions, competition at all positions, I could not be happier with this choice. And I did tell him so when I talked to him. This is a very good person.
Last but definitely not least, I was very impressed with personel exec Sheldon White. His main duty is finding the right FA veterans for the team. Definitely can credit him for signing Ross last year, he also signed Reggie Bush among others. Clearly a dedicated and very bright man. He did say one thing near the end of the meeting, almost off handedly, about the draft when he was asked about Clowney and Watkins. Quote" if the are 5 special players in the draft, you want to be in the top 5. If there are 15, you can trade down but not lower than that number. Almost made it sound like we are trading up guys. There aren't 10 elite guys in the draft. After hearing this remark, I expects to trade up for Watkins or Evans.
A really fun night. Free food, locker room tours, former Lions stars like Schlessinger and Hipple and Lomas, great time. I put some pics on my Facebook page if anyone wants to see them