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Tom Lewand Says 1-3 Start for the Lions Isn’t a Concern

The Lions are 1-3 and in last place in the NFC North, something they did not expect after coming off a playoff season.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press reports Detroit Lions’ president Tom Lewand made a public appearance at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business Breakfast of Champions speaker series this morning. The topic: how to build winning organizations.

Lewand joked that it was the perfect opportunity to talk about “leadership in crisis.”

“As I stand here before you today at 1-3, it doesn’t faze us,” Lewand said. “We understand that we’re not where we want to be. This is not where we expected to be one quarter of the way into the 2012 NFL season. But we also know it’s a different 1-3 than we’ve experienced in the past.

“I’ve been 1-3 before — probably too many times than I’d like to remember we’ve been 1-3. And there’ve been times where we sit there on a Monday morning after a loss to take us to 0-4 or 1-3 or even to 2-2 and 3-1 and said, ‘We’re in trouble, because we don’t have players, we don’t have talent, we don’t have this, we don’t have that. We don’t have some of these fundamental characteristics on our core product that we need to be successful in the NFL.’

“Conversely, we can sit there yesterday and be disappointed – and believe me, every day looks like the (gloomy) weather out here today when you’re losing. The clouds are sitting right over our headquarters at Allen Park or over Ford Field every day when you lose. But if you kind of peek through the clouds and again focus on that fundamental characteristic, you can see that you’ve got the talent in place to be successful in the NFL.”

Lewand acknowledged that the Lions need bigger contributions from some of their key players, including quarterback Matthew Stafford and tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Stafford, coming off a record-setting 5,000-yard season, has thrown four interceptions and just three touchdowns this year, while Pettigrew has been flummoxed by drops.

“I would say that Matthew, in particular, is capable of playing better,” Lewand told the audience. “I think he’ll be the first to tell you that. We’ve got a guy like a Brandon Pettigrew, our young tight end, who is capable of playing at a higher level than he’s played. He’s dropped some passes, including one on Sunday that cost us a touchdown. Those are the kinds of things we have to look at.”

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