Lions tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler are taking different approaches to the final year of their contracts. Pettigrew is trying not to think about his future with the Lions and instead focus on bouncing back from his least productive season since his rookie year in 2009. “I treat every year the same,” Pettigrew said. “I’m attacking this year. I took a step back last year, so (this season) is a little bit more (motivation) to me because I didn’t play as well as I know I could’ve.” Scheffler, meanwhile, is using his contract year as motivation. “I want to end my career at home,” said Scheffler, a Chelsea native. “I’ve just thought about working hard and doing everything I could to stay here.” Barring some training camp twist, their roles in 2013 should be the same as they were in 2012. Pettigrew will be the No. 1 tight end because he’s the superior blocker, and Scheffler will be used in two tight end sets because of his pass-catching talent. But with both of their contracts up after the season, the Lions have started to look to the future at tight end. They drafted Alabama’s Michael Williams in the seventh round of this year’s draft and signed UCLA’s Joseph Fauria, widely considered the best undrafted receiving tight end. But Williams spent most of his time in college as a blocker, and Fauria’s deficiencies as a blocker were a key reason he wasn’t drafted. Looking ahead, Pettigrew’s future with the Lions should be safe. They drafted him in the first round in 2009 and, in his four seasons, he has 243 receptions for 2,412 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. However, Pettigrew, 28, struggled in 2012 with decreases in those three categories from the two previous seasons, and he dropped eight passes and fumbled four times, losing two. In order to correct mistakes, Pettigrew said he’s being a “stickler” about the little things in his game and trying to avoid doing things too fast on the field.
Lions TEs Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler looking to improve after lackluster seasons
Detroit News | Jun 14