Van Ochten: "Whole approach of the organization is different"

Friday, July 3, 2009

Highlights from Grand Rapids Press Lions columnist Brian Van Ochten's Two-Minute Drill podcast (which is kind of a dumb name since it's way longer than two minutes).

Van Ochten seems to be chugging the Kool-Aid:

"Obviously the talent is upgraded in a lot of places, just through the draft; just through some of the free-agent acquisitions that they have made," he said. "And one of the really noticeable things that to me just sticks right out is, the whole approach of the organization is different than it's been the last few years."

Van Ochten credits not just new Coach Jim Schwartz but vice president Tom Lewand. Somewhat noticeably absent from the praise is G.M. Martin Mayhew, but it doesn't appear to be intentional.

Lewand, at the recent OTAs, went out of his way to make himself available not only to writers but to the fans, Van Ochten said. Lewand stood and took the good and the bad, and answered fans' questions -- something that never happened under Millen, he said.

Lions writers are also getting a lot of access to Schwartz and to players -- quite different from Marinelli, Van Ochten said.

He notes that the Lions are still woefully short of depth -- which will become very apparent if they have any rash of injuries this season. But it's clear, Van Ochten said, that the Lions are putting building blocks in place. And the attitude change from everyone in the organization is noticeable.

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