ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Gil Brandt, NFL.com contributor and Sirius NFL Radio co-host, was invited by coach Jim Schwartz to address the Detroit Lions at midfield after their first practice on Wednesday.
Schwartz has had a long friendship with Brandt, who was here at camp for an on-site Sirius broadcast. The Lions’ rookie coach wanted his players to hear from the former vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys. In particular, Schwartz thought it would be valuable for them to listen to the architect of a team that appeared in five Super Bowls and produced 13 Hall of Fame players — including Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett — during his 28-year tenure. Brandt received a nice ovation after his short speech.
“Any time that Bill Belichick calls somebody for advice, they’re going to be in my Rolodex, also,” Schwartz said. “Gil’s helped me along the way, but more than that, he gives perspective to the players. So many times our players don’t understand the history of the National Football League. They’re very, very young. They only know what’s going on around them. But they need to know the history of the National Football League. The players need to recognize (Brandt’s accomplishments) and respect that, and I think that was important.”