Lewand: Lions start workouts Friday, first OTA set for Wednesday
ALLEN PARK — Several Lions are expected at the Lions practice facility on Friday morning for the first offseason workout for the 2011 season and first since the NFL lockout has been lifted.
“We’ve talked to everybody on the roster today,’’ Lions president Tom Lewand said an hour before the draft started on Thursday night. “We’ve reached out to everybody — the position coaches have talked to them, I’ve talked to a few guys, Jim (Schwartz) has talked to a few and our strength coach talked to everybody.
“I know a lot of guys are interested in coming back. Obviously a lot of them have other plans, I expect a good number (Friday) and obviously that number will increase starting Monday when guys have the ability to make their travel plans,’’ Lewand added.
The workouts will continue Monday and Tuesday with the first OTA (organized team activity) is set for Wednesday. All workouts are voluntary.
Lewand does not expect animosity between players and management.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for our players and the guys I’ve spoken with have been nothing but positive, they’re focused like we’re focused on the success of this organization and what we’re trying to accomplish on the football field,’’ Lewand said.
“Guys I’ve spoken to, in particular Kyle Vanden Bosch (the team’s union rep) understand that the organization is players, coaches, and front office working together to accomplish the goals we have as a football team ... We look forward to seeing those guys tomorrow,’’ he added.
Lewand said they had a plan and when notified by the NFL on Thursday afternoon that they could go ahead, they executed it. That’s why things are moving along quickly despite the three-day NFL draft.
(Paula Pasche covers the Lions. Follow her on Twitter @PaulaPasche.)