Jim Caldwell Addresses the Media as Detroit Lions Report

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Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch (55) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (10) during the second quarter during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

On what kind of things he says to the team in the first meeting: 

“That’s an opportunity for us to set the stage in terms of what we expect from them, on and off the field. You have to understand that being brand new, last spring I had an opportunity to do so during that time. A lot of it’s going to be re-iterating some of the things we’re looking for (like) expression of our core value, our team DNA, our four pillars that are very, very important to us just in talking about our team’s image and identity – those kind of things. We talk about discipline, we talk about installation, we give them an overall view from a lot administrative stuff that we have to get done, rules in the training room, rules in the weight room, some of these things they indeed know, but you have to keep going over and over and over those things again. I think that it might have been Ross Perot talking at one point in time was talking about how everything is on the razor’s edge and anything that you believe in, you’ve gotta keep fighting for every day. So it takes us time and time again that we have to repeat some of the things that we believe in to make certain we get these things imprinted in their mind so this gives us another opportunity to do so. The meetings are long today, but we also have NFL security, we have a number of different things that we’re going to be introducing to them at that particular point in time.”

On the veterans getting a couple extra days and his philosophy there: 

“It really was something over the years that we had done something quite a bit with rookies to give them an opportunity. It’s always been our program to try and make certain that we install it at least five times.  You’d like to at least try and get to seven with them so they hear it more often. So when they first came in in May, we had the opportunity to install. We did it again at the start of OTAs, we did it again at the voluntary minicamp, we did it again at the start of our minicamp. We did it again obviously when they just came in, and then we’ll do it again on Sunday, so that they get the opportunity to hear it several times. The idea is to try to saturate them with information, get them out on the field and watch them operate within that realm after we’ve tried to implement all of the installations and see how they react to it. It’s been good for us and the vets get involved, because some of them were injured, weren’t able to go through (what) the league does allow you (to do).  The rules say, depending upon the length of time he was injured, you can bring him in during this time of the year, make certain he’s OK. Rather than waiting until today and finding out, ‘hey, he can’t do it, we’re going to have to give him some practice time modification,’ or whatever it might be to give us a little leeway in that regard. And then quarterbacks, obviously, are allowed to come in early and we just think that’s a plus all the way around, and think that it’s good for everybody. The other thing it does, which is a hidden factor, which I found out through the years as an assistant coach, is that it helps you as a teacher and an instructor as well. You get sort of a dry run, you know, an opportunity to go through it one more time since you’ve been off in the summer a little bit, and everybody had a great break.  It gives you a chance to kind of get rolling again and iron out any wrinkles or obstacles you may have been presented with.”