MIKE O'HARA

Ford Jr. optimistic about 2014 Lions season

Posted Jul 31, 2014

William Clay Ford Jr. expressed his optimism for the 2014 season in an interview Thursday morning on the Paul W. Smith show on WJR-760.

William Clay Ford Jr. expects a fun season and an exciting season from the Lions.


Ford expressed his optimism for the 2014 season in an interview Thursday morning on the Paul W. Smith show on WJR-760.


Ford likes what he has heard and seen from new head coach Jim Caldwell and his staff, and he also supported the decision made by the front office to table contract talks with All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for the season.

“On the field, I think we’re going to be, both offensive and defensively, very exciting,” Ford said. “We’re an attacking defense, and I think we’ve added a lot of interesting pieces to the offense. But of course, it’s got to come together, and it’s got to gel.”

Ford is vice-chairman of the franchise now owned by his mother, Martha, since the death of his father and Mrs. Ford’s husband William Clay Ford Sr. in March.  Ford also is executive chairman of the Ford Motor Co.

The Lions opened training camp on Monday. Today’s practice at their Allen Park headquarters will be the fourth.

William Clay Ford Jr.Lions Vice Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. (Photo: Associated Press)

Ford was asked by Smith about statements Caldwell has made since being hired in January about expecting to win, and that he is not interested in another rebuilding project.

“That’s one of the things that’s so appealing about Caldwell,” Ford said. “Jim is very matter of fact. He doesn’t hide behind words, and it (winning) is exactly what he’s said.

“He said it in the interview (before being hired). He said, ‘If I come here, I expect to win,’ and he’s put a staff together that I think clearly expects to win.

“It’s going to be a very fun year.”

Suh is on the last year of his contract and can become a free agent next year if he does not reach agreement on a new deal, but Ford wants to limit distractions created by talk about Suh’s contract.

“If you go into any season, you want to see as few distractions as possible,” Ford said. “To have it drag on really would become a distraction.”

Ford also praised Caldwell for his involvement in Metro Detroit’s community.

“The people who’ve gotten to know Coach Caldwell have really gotten to understand that we have a really special person as our head coach,” Ford said. “He dove right into the community from the day he got here. He does a lot in his spare time, which isn’t much, in the community.”