Friday, October 11, 2013
Morning Roar: Stafford trusts Pettigrew
By Michael Rothstein
Good morning and ROOOOAARRR!!!!
He is not Calvin Johnson, there is little question about that. But Brandon Pettigrew is something else to Detroit's offense.
While the tight end has struggled with drops in the past -- Pettigrew is dropping 8.7 percent of his targets this season -- there is a confidence Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has in his fellow 2009 first-round draft pick.
"Pettigrew is a guy that I have the ultimate trust in," Stafford said. "He's a guy that came in with me. We got drafted together. He was a guy that was a focal point for me early on in my career, especially just, any time you have a great tight end, as a young quarterback he can be your best friend.
"He's a guy that works extremely hard. The time he puts in, week in and week out, no matter what his role is in the offense, he's ready for it. The past two weeks proved that because he's been a guy who has been asked to do more and he's making plays."
Pettigrew has caught 69.6 percent of his targets this season, but has been targeted on a career-low 15.8 percent of his routes. He has been much more effective the past two weeks, though, as he has caught 11 of 12 targets for 113 yards combined against Chicago and Green Bay.
The recent success, though, hasn't changed Pettigrew's confidence level.
"It builds on it," Pettigrew said last week. "But I don't go into a game without it. That's, number one, you have to have that going into a game."
What has always been a big thing for Pettigrew -- what has helped keep him on the field even when he hasn't been catching the ball as well, has been his blocking.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz continually praises how Pettigrew blocks and is the most all-around tight end on the Lions' roster. And Pettigrew works at it constantly, working reps on his hands and footwork weekly before practices.
"It's something I've prided myself on since I started playing, since high school," Pettigrew said. "My high school coaches instilled it in me. This position, you've got to be able, for the most part, to do both.
"Me, I'm a stickler about it. I make sure my blocking's tight as well as my route-running."
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