Rebuilding Traditions

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Killer writes a story about the Thanksgiving game.

Schwartz has stressed the history and legacy of the Thanksgiving Day tradition to his young players and the rookies have taken note.

"He explained the importance of it and that our backs are against the wall to keep the legacy going. It's a national spotlight,'' said running back Aaron Brown, a sixth-round draft pick. "Coach Schwartz broke down the tradition to us the other day and we know it's a big deal to the Lions family. We're trying to take the momentum we built in the last game and push it on to this game.''

It's still uncertain whether rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford (left shoulder) will play in the game, but he wants to become part of the game's history.

"This game has been going on for such a long time and it's a great chance to be on national TV and it shows the nation what we're all about,'' he said. "It's just something you want to keep around -- you want to play on Thanksgiving Day. It's a great opportunity, it's great fun and it's awesome to be able to say that you're a part of two teams that get to do it every year."

"I've watched the Lions on every Thanksgiving since I can remember and watching Barry Sanders hold that turkey leg (as the game's MVP),'' said rookie linebacker Zack Follett, a seventh-round pick. "Not to lie, I've kind of had my fantasies during meetings of what I've got to do to get that turkey leg. I'm excited.

"There's such history. It's been around since 1934 and a lot of history comes with it. The coaches haven't had to coach effort this week.''

Schwartz isn't doing anything that other coaches haven't done - even as it is great that this is a point of emphasis this week. This speaks more to how complete the rebuild of this team is, they are so far down that even the traditions have to be rebuilt.