Jim Caldwell Addresses the Media as Detroit Lions Report

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Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) runs out of the pocket during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

On his expectations for the team this season: 

“As always, our expectations are that we’re going to field a team that has the right kind of Lions DNA, and that’s a smart, a fast and a physical team. We expect you to see that out on the field; a team that doesn’t hurt itself from a mental standpoint, we don’t beat ourselves. But you’re going to see a team that is highly physical that can run and cover and certainly do a good job of putting points on the board because we are and should be an explosive team. But we also should be a really good defensive team as well. Those are the things that we expect. Our kicking game should be really good, even though we have a young guy that is battling for the place-kicking duties.  But overall we have the chance to put together a really good unit here. I’m excited about it. I’m excited about this group. We have to fight and work and keep (the players) healthy, but yet, we have to find ways to get better and we have to be tough on them and I think they’ll respond. I think they’re a great group to be around. I love to coach them. ”

On QB Matthew Stafford’s progression thus far: 

“He is getting better. His command of the offense has been good. As a matter of fact, I sat down with him last week and I said, ‘you look like you’ve gotten a pretty good understanding.’ To be honest with you, there is a little difference in terms of verbiage that you have to learn. It happens rapidly. Trying to transpose those things in your mind and then being able to verbalize them is not easy. Getting through the progressions, understanding where the checks are involved and then being able to change in terms of a snap count, something that he probably didn’t have to think about up until this past spring, all of those things are new. I was impressed after he came back (OK) first of all, he did not miss a beat. He’s a very smart guy. You can tell he’s worked at it even during the summer. I understand (the team) got together and throwing, working his arm and working on his timing and technique, and in every facet, I could see improvement. Footwork, accuracy, timing, command of the offense, all of those things. So now we get a chance to see if he can put it all together, add a few more things and keep progressing and then get some real challenges from our opposition as we start preseason.”