Detroit Lions team president Rod Wood spoke to reporters on a wide range of topics at Wednesday night’s Taste of the Lions event at Ford Field.
Here are five takeaways from that session:
1. The schedule to complete the $100 million in renovations currently taking place at Ford Field is on time or slightly ahead of schedule, according to Wood.
“All the speakers are hung,” Wood said. “The ribbon board is completely installed. The framing for the big video boards is going up, it’s not completely in. The club seats are being installed.
“You can’t see behind the drapes, but the clubs and the new suites are well under way. The lounge is well under way. WIFI is essentially done in the bowl, they are going to finish it in the clubs and the suites as they’re doing the renovations, so we’re right on schedule.”
2. Wood reaffirmed his commitment to bring the NFL Draft to Detroit. The team and the city sent representatives to Philadelphia for last month's draft, and Wood said the team is prepared to bid on the event this fall.
"We were invited along with a number of other cities to have people in Philadelphia for the draft so we had somebody from our staff and somebody from the city attend to kind of see firsthand what it’s like to host it," Wood said.
"So that’ll help us when we put our bid together so we can do it in a way that hopefully picks up on what they did and do it in a Detroit way."
If Detroit is awarded the draft, Wood said events could be held at Ford Field, Fox Theatre, Campus Martius and along the riverfront.
"We have some thoughts on what we can do," Wood said. "I’m not going to get into specifics, but we’ll work on making it as exciting as it was in Philadelphia but with maybe some of the restraints around weather that I can’t really count on 80 degrees like they had."
Wood said the Super Bowl bidding won’t be until next spring.
3. The Lions are hoping to wear all four of their new uniforms in the 2017 season. Wood said the Lions could announce in the next week or so which games they'll wear their Color Rush and throwback uniforms for this fall.
“I have a recommendation," Wood said. "I’m going to wait until next week. We have the league meetings. We’re going to get some direction on in particular the Color Rush and what we can do there, and if we get the decision I want it’ll probably be announced in the next week what the plans are. But my hope is to wear all four."
Color Rush uniforms have typically been reserved for Thursday night games. The Lions don't play a Thursday night game this year, but they do have a Week 15 Saturday home game against the Chicago Bears on NFL Network.
4. Wood is very pleased with how the schedule fell for the Lions.
He requested that the Lions not play three of their first four on the road as they did in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, and was granted that request with a 2-2 split in the first month.
The Lions also have three primetime games this season -- they had one last year -- as well as their annual nationally televised game on Thanksgiving.
“I think it’s a reflection of how we played last year and how many exciting games we had and getting into the playoffs,” Wood said. “I think that’s something we should be proud about.
"If you’re playing a lot of primetime games it means you’re playing for something that’s meaningful and the league recognizes that. The league has given us a vote of confidence and hopefully we can deliver on it.”
5. When asked if he expected a contract extension to be in place for quarterback