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Shopping, sightseeing on Lions’ off-day agenda

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

Chandler’s Cross, England — Lions players are quick to note their week in London is a business trip.

But with their typical day off Tuesday, several players spent time touring the city.

The Lions were in London last year, so the experience isn’t quite as unique. The vibe, however, is a bit different.

Last year they were 5-2 and “riding high” as safety Glover Quin said. This year, they’re 1-6 and three assistants were fired Monday.

Still, the morale remains high as the players look ahead to Sunday’s game against the Chiefs — mainly because they got a chance to take in the sights.

Harrods, the famous department store, was a popular destination for the players Tuesday, but they had varied experiences.

“We went to the (store) to realize none of the clothes fit me because everybody in the U.K. is 4-(foot)-7 and less,” 6-4 tight end Eric Ebron said.

Even though he didn’t spend money at the store, Ebron is paying to fly his mother to England. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson said his immediate family is coming to the game, too.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis said the only thing he bought at Harrods was a couple of pairs of socks.

“It’s a little too much for me,” he said. “It’s a great store. I think it’s too much for any guy when you walk into Harrods with how big the store is and how much is in there.”

Joique Bell said one of his fellow running backs was excited to see Harrods and Zara, another retailer.

“I was ready to go within two hours,” Bell said. “We had to wait three hours for Theo Riddick to finish shopping.”

Quarterback Matthew Stafford and some offensive lineman visited various sights around the city, including Big Ben and Trafalgar Square.

“I enjoy it here,” Stafford said. “It’s a fun trip. It’s kind of a unique experience, not only with our surroundings, but our ability to kind of hang out as a team. Nobody drives home at the end of the day.

“Everybody kind of hangs out, so it’s been good.”

The Lions traveled to England with several amenities, from a ping-pong table to American snacks and beverages. Unlike last year, the team is staying at the resort —The Grove, training ground for the English men’s soccer team — for the duration of the trip instead of moving to the Intercontinental in London for the weekend.

Coach Jim Caldwell said he treated his day off as he typically does — he spent the day at The Grove working on game preparations.

Quin’s list of things to do while he’s in London has two items.

“Win,” he said. “Go home.

“I come out here to work. If I want to come out here and really enjoy the city, I’ll come in my offseason.”