Lions, Fans juiced by Ford Field session

There's some genuine excitement building for a Lions team that could quite possibly win as many games as they lose this season. That was evident as 41,020 fans packed Ford Field in downtown Detroit to watch the 2004 edition of the Detroit Lions in their only public workout.

(DETROIT) There's some genuine excitement building for a Lions team that could quite possibly win as many games as they lose this season. That was evident as 41,020 fans packed Ford Field in downtown Detroit to watch the 2004 edition of the Detroit Lions in their only public workout.

"Today was about involving the fans," said Lions quarterback Joey Harrington. "Today was about letting them know how much we appreciate them. They do such a tremendous job of not only showing up on Sundays and supporting us, 65,000 strong, they support us during the rest of the year when we're not playing. They're out there in the stores buying jerseys. They're talking on the websites and they're listening to radio broadcasts. Today was a great chance to take a minute in the middle of training camp and show them we appreciate them?"

Lions head coach Steve Mariucci had prepared his team in advance, letting them know that this was not going to be your average practice.

"When we had our team meeting last night I explained what we are doing," said Mariucci. "I explained that there will be microphones on the field; I explained that there will be fans coming on the field kicking field goals and catching punts and what not; I explained that there will be some fun, but we want to try to get something done and stay focused."

The presence of over 41,000 excited fans for a workout was more than rookie Lions running back Kevin Jones expected and it had him licking his chops to put on a show for them.

"Everyone was pouring in for autographs today. It made all the players feel good about ourselves. It was a good time. They had us fired up today."

Jones said the big time atmosphere of the practice surprised him a bit.

"I was a little bit nervous. It was the first time in front of Detroit fans. It's a dream come true. I wanted to be in the NFL, and now I finally belong to a NFL team. I'm really happy about that."

Mariucci said the Lions will begin preparing for their preseason opener next Saturday beginning with today's morning session.

"Monday and Tuesday night will be installation nights where we are adding new plays, new defenses, new blitzes. Then we'll stop, then we'll review and then we'll put together an abridged version of a game plan for Pittsburgh. That's how (this week) will differ (from last week)."

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