Detroit Lions Training Camp Day 6: Jim Caldwell’s Comments


Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell met with the media after saturday’s practice. Here is a look at what he had to say, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

Opening Statement: “Today was a day for us to get out here and give them an idea of what it’s going to be like to come out of the locker room.   We worked on that process, in terms of coming out under the lights and had our team warm up like we typically will do prior to the game. This was giving them a feel of what the pre-game would be like. We had a battery of substitutions (that) we went through. We wanted to give them an opportunity to work out a lot of the kinks prior to next Saturday. Typically the first Saturday, we always go through what we call a ‘mock game.’ So, we divided the teams up, still gave the units an opportunity to work together and felt we got a lot of work done with a lot of situations.”

On the team’s readiness to play based on today’s observations: “Well, I hope they’re not ready to start it now because we’ve got a lot of practices in between. We’re a week away. We certainly made some mistakes out there in terms of some of the things that we’re trying to be done, but this is the time to do it. I do think at this stage, in terms of the timetable, I think we’re right on schedule.”

On the difference between the first and second weeks of camp: “The only thing (that) changes is the situation we utilize (and) different things that we try to emphasize. We have a long list of things that we want to make certain (that) we get prior to the first game. So, we’ve got a lot of work cut out for us in that area. The other thing is the way we practice, how we practice, you’re not going to see a lot of difference. “

On his impressions of what he liked today: “I thought overall the rhythm was good (and) the pace was good. (There were) no delay of game penalties, the guys were able to get the plays and communication to their teammates in a timely manner. I thought the pace was pretty good overall on both sides of the ball. I thought that was encouraging.”

On DE Larry Webster’s adjustment: “It’s coming along. He’s one of those guys that has a good skill level. Hopefully maturity and time will get him to the point where he’s able to play consistently. Right now he’s learning, but right now he’s a very good prospect.”

On the balance between being a tough but likeable coach: “I think we all mature over time. You definitely learn to handle different situations. This league is different from college football. I was different in college than I am in this league. Because of the fact that the young men you’re dealing with have played a lot of football, one of the things we try and do is be sensible. It’s a tough game and you can’t play it any other way. I don’t like doing things just for the sake of doing things.”

On if he feels that he gets more out of his players when he displays that balance: “These guys are resilient. They can adjust and adapt to anybody, as long as you are who you are. They can deal with it. That’s what I try to be. I don’t try to come in and impress anyone or make friends with anybody in terms of our team. I just function and operate the way in which we know how and the way we’ve always done it and they adjust to it. I think they do appreciate it. I speak bluntly to them and am straightforward, but I do it like I would with any other man.”


On if he feels obligated to use every minute allotted for training camp: “We use everything that we think is necessary and for the most part, we’re fairly close to what the League allows. If there’s a reason to use every second, we’ll use every second. If there’s not a reason to do so, then we don’t.”

On what he was trying to accomplish with the scrimmage today: “It gives them the opportunity to kind of feel what it’s like to come out of the locker room and to send them in flights and all of the pregame operations we went through. We also shortened everything, but then we also went through all of the different substitution patterns, in terms of all of our kicking game and first and second teams. In and out with different situations with our offense and defense and then we tried to isolate some situations towards the end of the scrimmage. Other than that, we kind of let the scrimmage go and the flow of the game, so they get accustomed to it. Who goes in, who comes out, and that’s what the mock game is for. We always do it on the first Saturday, the week ahead of our first game. It gives us a chance to look at some things, make some adjustments where needed. It gives them the chance to feel it and what it feels like. You can’t really get that done in practice. We try to tie it in with when the officials are going to be here, so they give us a real, true, game-like feel.”

On WR Golden Tate: “He’s been good. He was out for a little bit during the spring. Since he’s been back this fall, when we had the rookies and the injured vets, he was slow just a little bit, but since that time, he’s been doing an outstanding job. You can see he has the quickness, the speed and competitiveness. He’s going to help us.”


On if he feels the kickers have gotten into a positive rhythm the last couple of days: “They haven’t missed any (kicks) lately. They’re doing a great job, I think. They’re working at it and they’re competitive guys. They love the challenge that’s presented to them and they’re doing a good job of battling out there with one another.”


On CB Jonte Green and what he still needs to work on: “He made some plays out there today, which you could certainly see. He moves around well. He’s one of those young corners that just needs some experience, but I think he’s working hard to get better.”


On his impressions of TE Eric Ebron and his development: “I think there’s no question with all of the things he has to learn, that he’s certainly making progress. He’s certainly getting better. It’s a difficult position to play because you’re literally learning all four positions. Often times to the untrained eye, the guy lines up in so many different places that it’s not an easy task. He’s getting accustomed to it, he’s getting better all of the time. He’s grasping things a little bit better and I see that he’s making plays. He has to keep that going.”


On the kicking game and if he’d use Sam Martin in a long field goal try: “Never say never. He has the ability. We’ve got two guys that have pretty good legs. A few years back I had a young guy that was kind of the same. (Adam) Vinatieri would do a lot of the long stuff and (Pat) McAfee would kick even longer things, or at least attempt to. Throughout the League there have been different teams that have worked through that process. We are working through some things right now, but like I said, never say never.”