Detroit Lions president not worried by 1-3 start


Saddled with expectations for the first time since the era of Zubaz, the Detroit Lions certainly qualify as one of the NFL's biggest disappointments of the season's first month.

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After Sunday's troubling 20-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the Lions limp into their bye at 1-3 and in the basement of the NFC North.

With that in mind, the timing wasn't ideal for Lions president Tom Lewand to take part in a local university's speaker series under the topic, "How to build winning organizations."

"As I stand here before you today at 1-3, it doesn't faze us," Lewand said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. "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."

Lewand singled out both quarterback Matthew Stafford and tight end Brandon Pettigrew as two players who must pick up their game. Stafford is on pace for 12 touchdown passes a season after throwing 41. Pettigrew had struggled with 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."

We'll know a lot more about the Lions three weeks from now. Following their bye, they have back-to-back road matchups against the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears, two teams currently sitting on top of their respective divisions.

If the Lions plan on turning around their season, they'll need to find a way to win at least one of those games.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.