Lions' Lewand says hope, expectation is to play football in 2011
Lions president Tom Lewand said the Lions’ focus continues to be on preparing for the 2011 season, despite the fact the NFL owners have locked out the players following a breakdown in negotiations on Friday followed by the NFLPA filing for decertification.
Lewand spoke to beat writers on a conference call on Saturday morning.
“From our perspective what’s most important right now is No. 1 getting ready to play football in 2011. Everything we’ve done since the season ended in 2010 has been geared toward that.
“Obviously with things like preparing for free agency, which is not taking place right now, preparing for the draft which will take place and getting ready for that. Our coaching staff has spent considerable amount of time recapping the 2010 season going through the cu-tup process, re-doing the playbook much as they have following every season.
“Our preparations continue. Nothing that’s happened in the last couple weeks, nothing that’s happened in the last couple of days is going to change that focus for us. Our focus continues to be on the 2011 season. Our hope and our expectation is that we’re playing football this year,’’ Lewand said.
Like everyone else he is uncertain when free agency will start. Reports are that it could happen in the next few days, weeks or months.
Lewand said they are prepared for every contingency.
Also they have mechanisms in place where they can monitor the progress of the rehabilitation of any player who was injured playing football last year. They can’t talk directly to the players, but can keep track of their progress.
He noted that a letter was sent to season ticket holders on Saturday morning explaining the situation. Lewand said season ticket deposits have started coming in and the numbers are up over where they were last year.
Lewand said he doesn’t expect any staff layoffs at least while preparing for the draft which will take place April 28-30.
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