Scheffler Participates in His First OTA as a Detroit Lion

Posted May 4, 2010

The addition of tight end Tony Scheffler was an unexpected one, but players and coaches are pleased to have him on the roster.

Not only does he take some of the pressure off Brandon Pettigrew to come back before he’s ready, he adds another dimension to the Lions’ offense.

“I was not expecting the Scheffler trade,” said quarterback Matthew Stafford. “(But) when that happened, it was obviously a lot of fun for me to get another guy like that that can run and catch the ball like he can.”

Tuesday was Scheffler’s first organized team activity, working on scheme for the first time since becoming a Detroit Lion.

Though it’s still early to know exactly what the Lions will be asking him to do, Scheffler already has an idea of how he wants to be used.

“I would hope I get to do some of the same stuff I was able to do with Coach (Mike) Shanahan,” said Scheffler. “I kind of got away from it last year in Coach (Josh) McDaniels’ new scheme out there in Denver. But I love to catch the ball and stretch the field.”

Until last season, Scheffler hadn’t been asked to be much of a blocking tight end. He has been known for his receiving ability considering his size and what he can do after the catch.

“I held my own,” said Scheffler of last season in a new scheme. “It was good for me to learn that kind of system and be put in those situations.

“The more you can do and the more situations you can be put in is only going help you as an overall player. It was good for me I think.”

But now, Scheffler is looking to get back to being more of a receiver in the Lions’ system and the offense definitely welcomes the added weapon.

With wide receiver Calvin Johnson and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Will Heller, the Lions’ line-up will have definite size in 2010. Throwing in wide receiver Nate Burleson and running back Jahvid Best will add speed.

“This is a great group of guys that just want to win,” said Scheffler. “I think everybody’s out here working hard and it feels good to come back home and be a part of a great organization that really does want to win.”

Scheffler is also enthusiastic when describing his new quarterback.

He sees a lot of similarities between Stafford and now-Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who he played with for three seasons in Denver.

“There are a lot of similarities,” said Scheffler. “They are two great players. Matthew is a great guy and a heck of a quarterback. It’s really something to be a part of a team with a young quarterback with a live arm and a great feel for the game.

“You can tell when a quarterback has command of the huddle, the respect of the guys and Matthew definitely has that here.”