Last night, Brandon Pettigrew came to Legends Sports & Games, and a few faithful followers joined me going to see him. Courtesy of Legends, I was able to give @ttopherstevenn a Lions mini-helmet, and Pettigrew’s John Hancock upon it:
Brandon was cool throughout the event, having a good time with just about everyone who came through the long autograph line. He seemed engaged and relaxed, very comfortable with his fans. I asked him why, unlike a lot of his teammates, he wasn’t active on social mediums like Facebook and Twitter.
“I used to be on Facebook a little bit. Never been on Twitter," he said. "My deal with that is just . . . it’s having to deal with what everybody has to say all the time, having to respond to it and put up with it.”
Case in point: @ndamukong_suh going almost completely silent from the Thanksgiving Day game to Suh’s reinstatement yesterday. Those of you who remember the abuse Suh took on Twitter during his few-days-long holdout can up that by a couple orders of magnitude; it’s no wonder Pettigrew doesn’t want to deal with a distraction like that.
I’ll spare you folks the lecture this time, but it’s unfortunate that a cool player like Pettigrew doesn’t feel like the benefit of interacting with the cool fans is worth giving the boo birds a direct pipeline to his smartphone. Honestly, I can’t blame him.
Pettigrew and Matthew Stafford were drafted together; the “third season” is supposed to be the make-or-break for both quarterbacks and receivers. Pettigrew’s taken a big step forward in the role of the offense, especially on third downs and in pressure situations. He’s second on the team with 62 catches, and third with four touchdowns. I asked him if this was because he and Stafford were developing unique chemistry as they developed together.
“I think we've all got good chemistry, as we develop as a team and an offense,” he said. Sure, but is the offense designed to get him the ball when it counts? Or is Stafford favoring him, specifically? Pettigrew said it’s neither; just that Stafford is “going through his progressions, matchup-wise. Calvin's getting doubled, and [Stafford]'s got to find the guy who's getting open.”
With three games left to play, the Lions face two road games in notoriously tough environments. I asked Pettigrew how the Lions planned to handle the adversity. “We've been hurting ourselves with penalties. If we do away with that, I think we'll be fine. We just need to play mistake-free football, and play the way we're capable of playing.”
Once more, thanks go to Legends Sports & Games for putting this event together, and providing a TLiW reader with an awesome little piece of awesome.