ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- There were times in the spring where Brandon Pettigrew would be in the huddling, listening, waiting and waiting some more for the quarterback to finish calling the play.
This year with the Detroit Lions, one of the biggest transitions for the offense has not been picking up the actual offense, but understanding all of the words associated with almost every call Matthew Stafford, Dan Orlovsky or Kellen Moore has had to make.
What might have been four or five words before has now become eight or nine in the huddles. And while every word is important, there are times it can drag on a little bit. For receivers and running backs and tight ends, it hasn’t been that much of a change. However, for the quarterbacks, it can be a bit much to understand and then spit out.
“They are the ones that actually have to say the terminology,” Pettigrew said. “Especially if it’s a long play call, they have to actually spit it out and a lot of times we’re just listening so we can hear it coming and we know what’s about to be said, they actually have to get it all the way out. They can’t just halfway say it because we know what’s coming.”
This is part of the spring and early training camp for the Lions, which begins Monday with the first practice. Short hand is not allowed. This is all necessary, though, as the Lions are trying to make sure their offense is a bit more explosive this season.
From what Pettigrew has seen in the fall and hopes for during the season, the moves Detroit made -- including re-signing the tight end -- should make for a more dynamic offense once the play calls and verbiage become instinctual instead of a learning process.
It should also shift Pettigrew’s role. Last season, he played everywhere -- from the slot to on the line -- and occasionally lined up outside depending on the formation. New offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi should at least have something similar as far as movement, if not more.
Pettigrew indicated there are a lot more plays in this offensive scheme than the one run the past five seasons by Scott Linehan, now with Dallas. A lot of it has to do with the same plays being run with either different positioning for players or differing personnel on the field.
And Pettigrew anticipates more coming once training camp really gets going -- although he isn’t sure exactly what that means for him.
“We’ve got three or four guys at tight end, got receivers,” Pettigrew said. “I’m not sure fully what the plan is but whatever it is, it’s going to be awesome regardless.”