After William Clay Ford died in March 2014, Martha Ford took over as owner of the Detroit Lions. She never actually met with the media as owner of the Lions throughout the rest of 2014, though, and that trend continued throughout the first part of 2015. On Tuesday, however, following the Lions' first minicamp practice, Ford finally broke her silence in a brief meeting with the media.
#Lions owner Martha Ford just talked to media formally for first time since her husband died 16 months ago. pic.twitter.com/wOrWlX9o0K— Paula Pasche (@paulapasche) June 16, 2015
#Lions owner Martha Ford talked after minicamp for about 4 minutes today, first time she has since taking over for her late husband— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) June 16, 2015
Here are the highlights from Ford's media session:
On Ndamukong Suh leaving for the Miami Dolphins:
Lions owner Martha Ford on N. Suh: "I told him that I was his fan and I would like to have him back, and about two weeks later, he left."— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) June 16, 2015
Lions owner Martha Ford spoke with the media for the first time. Said she was disappointed Suh left, told him she wanted him to stay.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) June 16, 2015
On Jim Caldwell:
Martha Ford on Jim Caldwell: "I think so highly of him. I think he’s absolutely the most wonderful coach and done such a great job." #Lions— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) June 16, 2015
Mrs. Ford spoke after practice today. She said she likes the direction the team is headed and especially the job coach Caldwell's doing.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) June 16, 2015
On attending every Lions game:
Mrs. Ford said it's important for her to show her support for the team and travel to away games.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) June 16, 2015
On the Lions' desire for high-character players:
Martha Ford also said she anticipates the #Lions taking players who won't be problems.— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) June 16, 2015
As you can see, nothing really notable was said during Ford's media session. I don't expect her to start having regular media sessions or anything, and any notable news involving the franchise will likely come from Lions president Tom Lewand or general manager Martin Mayhew. However, the owner of an NFL team should probably be at least somewhat accessible to the media, so this is a step in the right direction, I suppose.