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A 1-3 record in the NFL preseason saw the Lions finish with a minus-34 point
differential. But if this is cause for concern, new coach Matt Patricia isn't
"I think for me, I'm really just trying to look forward as far as what we've
got to do this week," Patricia said. The Lions open the regular season playing
host to the New York Jets on Monday, and that's where Patricia is placing his
His players are also opting to take the same approach as their coach.
"We're kind of using the preseason as a stepping stone," linebacker Jarrad
Davis said. "Now we're playing and practicing for a new team, somebody that we
want to go beat, and it's actually going to count."
Defensive back Quandre Diggs, who agreed a three-year, $20.4 million contract
extension with the team on Monday, figures the Lions are simply in the midst of
the natural growing pains that come from a transitional phase.
"I've dealt with change in the past in college (at Texas)," Diggs said. "It
really isn't different. It's the nature of the business."
Still, surrendering a league-high 27.75 points in preseason play has to be a
worry for a team that put its future in the hands of Patricia, formerly the
defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
"I think we got some things accomplished as far as player evaluation,"
Patricia said. "That was our biggest point of emphasis. We got some fundamentals
He'll continue to evaluate and reassess. On Monday, Patricia reached back
into his past as the Lions claimed linebacker Marquis Flowers on waivers from
"We'll still be working the roster as best we can," Patricia said. "We'll be
bringing guys in. There's a lot of guys that have been released here over the
last couple of days, and more to come, so we'll continually try to look at those
players to see if they help upgrade us."
After the Lions concluded the preseason with a 35-17 home loss to the
Cleveland Browns, Patricia allowed that the process of implementing what he
wants to do is going to take a long time. Exactly how long was a commitment he
wasn't prepared to make.
"I don't think we ever really put a finite time on that," Patricia said. "We
certainly have a lot of work to do, which is definitely part of this as we go. I
thought by the end of training camp, things were working a lot more
Brown Jersey , a lot better.
"It's just a process that we go through and where that journey takes us,
we'll find out."
NOTES: Rookie receiver Brandon Powell switched from No. 1 to No. 10, but it
was not of his own volition. "I don't know," Powell said. "I just came in here
this morning and it was hanging in my locker. I was just happy to have a
number." ... Flowers was issued No. 59. ... LB Trevor Bates was waived to make
room for Flowers. ... Two players picked up on waivers Sunday, CB Dee Virgin
(Houston) and OL Andrew Donnal (Baltimore), joined practice Monday. Donnal was
issued No. 78 and Virgin is wearing No. 30.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are always great at a football game. How about some
pimento cheese melts, fried ravioli or a brat wrapped in a blanket of fried
cheese curds on a pretzel bun.
For dessert, try a battered and fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich dusted
in powdered sugar.
On a stick too. For easier eating, of course.
With the start of the NFL season, teams hit the field trying to show just how
much they’ve improved. In the stands, the pressure is just as intense when it
comes to feeding fans. Chefs spend weeks and months each offseason scheming up
tasty new dishes to help lure people away from their couches and big-screen
televisions into NFL stadiums and up to concession stands.
“We always try to add a few items every year,” said Camilo Baquero, executive
chef for Delaware North, the food service provider for MetLife Stadium and home
to the New York Jets and Giants. “We try to make sure that we stay competitive
and trendy with the items that are being put out there. So we always challenge
ourselves either to come up with a brand new item or add to concepts that may
already exist here at the stadium.”
Inspiration for that fried PB&J sandwich served at New Era Field, home of
the Buffalo Bills, came from the annual Erie County Fair. Executive chef
Jonathan Wilson with Delaware North wanted to boost a stand at the stadium and
took inspiration from the fair wanting to make an item that could be held with
only one hand. A year ago, they introduced a Polish kielbasa corn dog.
Creating this dessert on a stick required lots of testing. Wilson and his
assistants made their own jams and breads with nothing clinging to a stick. Then
they tapped the ingredients already used in the meal, and the crustless peanut
butter and jelly sandwich worked after a dip in the batter and 10 minutes in a
blast chiller before frying. A stadium steal at $5.
“We figured it would hit everybody,” Wilson said. “Kids, adults, something
fun to play with. That’s how they get legs on the menu. We obviously want to
sell it, but we’ve got to have a good price point.”
That pimento cheese melt — with bacon no less — can be found at Raymond James
Stadium in Tampa Bay.
Some food companies like Aramark, which works with nearly half the NFL
Atkinson Jersey Kids , tapped celebrity chefs to create some of its
new dishes for stadiums . Cleveland native and Food Network star Michael Symon
devised the B-Spot Red Zone Bratwurst with kraut, spicy mustard and Tony Paco’s
pickles for FirstEnergy Stadium and his hometown Browns.
Hometown inspiration came easily to chefs at Lambeau Field, where fans can
buy Brat in a Blanket: a brat wrapped in melted cheese curds inside a pretzel
bun. Or they can grab a ham and bacon sandwich with sauteed onions and a beer
mustard cheese sauce on a pretzel bun. Executive chef Heath Barbato calls it
perfect glove or mitten food when the weather turns frigid in Wisconsin.
“Lambeau is still a king of selling brats and cheese curds and things like
that,” Barbato said. “So we always try to feed the fans that only get out to one
or two games something different other than the normal food here.”
Sometimes new food items are held back until later in the season, or when a
team makes a run to the postseason.
Fried ravioli and jambalaya aren’t usually connected with Jacksonville. But
the Jaguars teamed with a company called Grunt Style this year to create a
military-themed area in one end zone , and executive Sean Kinoshita looked to
MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat, in devising chicken and andouille jambalaya with
dirty rice. Ravioli also is a popular MRE item, so they decided to fry them up
with 10 ravioli per serving.
“It should be pretty decent deal,” Kinoshita said.
Fans decide just how good each dish is, of course, though chefs and their
companies usually give an item at least a whole season to test its popularity.
Demand decides whether a dish stays on the menu or winds up being replaced by
something new, and companies closely monitor sales.
Baquero’s staff introduced The Fat Rooster spicy hot chicken sandwich a year
ago, then looked for something that could appeal to more customers. That led to
The Fat Rooster Drummies, chicken brined in buttermilk and hot sauce before
being battered and fried and served with either a hot honey or honey mustard
Jets fan Justin Sandomir, 40, of Nanuet, New York, and his 12-year-old son,
Ryan, at a preseason game gave the drummies an early review.
“I like the crunch …” Sandomir said. “I like the dipping sauce. The spicy
honey gives it that little extra kick that I like in my fried chicken.”
Sounds like a keeper.