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Detroit coach and GM discuss Pettigrew

by John Helsley Published: April 26, 2009

Detriot Lions general manager Martin Mayhew and first-year head coach Jim Schwartz met with media late Saturday evening to talk about their first three picks in the NFL Draft, which included Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew at No. 20 in the first round. Here’s what they had to say about the former OSU standout:

Mayhew on the team’s second and third selections, Pettigrew and safety Louis Delmas from Western Michigan:

“We talked about looking for value and we found value in those picks. Brandon Pettigrew is a guy we think the world of, a really good blocker, big, physical presence in the run game and a big target for our quarterbacks and then Delmas is a very physical safety who is going to be great for us in our defense.”

Mayhew on how tempting it was to go with the best defensive player at No 20 instead of Pettigrew:

“We stuck to our core values about looking for value in the draft. We weren’t tempted to go offense or defense; we talked about that earlier in the week. We felt like we picked the best player. We got really good football players. We have a hole at tight end too. So we want to take the best values.”

Mayhew on whether he was surprised that Pettigrew was still available at No. 20:

“Yeah, I was, we were watching him and a couple of times we were very concerned. In fact, when Philly traded up, we thought it was over. But we were just glad that he was still there.”

Schwartz on Pettigrew fitting his idea for the team:

“Before I got this job – when I was interviewing for this job – we talked about a vision for this team of being a big, physical football team that’s built to play on the road at Lambeau Field and on the road at Soldier Field. We went a long way to accomplishing that goal today. Brandon Pettigrew is a really, really big tight end that is an NFL-ready blocker right now. Impressive, impressive as a blocker. Really feel good about him and when you talk about drafting a young quarterback and putting pieces around him; we have a good young running back here in Kevin Smith; we have a good young receiver here in Calvin Johnson. We have a good young tackle here in Gosder Cherilus. Now we’ve put a good young tight end in that mix and I think we provide him with some weapons and some tools for us to be successful on offense.

Schwartz on how Pettigrew affects the overall offense:

“Well, he’s a guy that can block the edge. There’s not many tight ends, if you look back over the last few years, there’s not many tight ends that have looked like him, that have blocked like him that have come out. If you’re going to run the football, which we’re going to do, you need a guy that can block the edge and he’s a guy that can do that. He’s a really, really big target in the passing game. He’s got really soft hands; reliable hands. Not necessarily a vertical threat down the field, but he’s going to be a good target in the red zone and gives a big target.”

Schwartz on how Pettigrew can help receiver Calvin Johnson:

“Well, No. 1, if you want to get Calvin the ball, you better be able to run the football because that will take teams out of Cover 2 schemes. So that’s No. 1. And if teams are going to play Cover 2, you need a tight end that can split them down the middle.”

by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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