Detroit Lions Training Camp Day 7: Jim Caldwell’s Comments


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

Opening Statement: “Well, had practice in pads today at a little different time than we’ve been practicing in terms of our regular sessions. Usually we practice in the afternoon. We like to get a sense of the heat of the day, but then also we want to change it up a little bit because we have to play at different times, different locations, different conditions. So it’s a good change of pace getting them out here in full pads this morning. It was a good, tough hitting practice. We had some live periods, particularly our short yardage period where it was a good battle between the defense and the offense. We also had a couple other sessions there not quite as sharp as we’d like to be totally, but we don’t play tomorrow. The guys are getting better.”

On what he’s seen from CB Chris Greenwood during camp: “He is healthy, he is running well. He has the size, speed and those kinds of the things, those physical intangibles. I think he is learning more and more, and getting more experience as he’s out here. He’s coming along well, he’s making good progress. Obviously, this week is going to be a big week in terms of practice, mostly padded practices, but then also at the end of the week we’ll get a chance to see where we are in relationship to other teams in the league.”

 On how important it is to have a connection with the Lions alumni and the current players: “I think it’s very important. I think the Lions have such a rich history. There are some of the guys that played together laughing with one another. They have a rich history of great players and great people. I think it is so important for those guys to come around and to be welcomed, to give them an opportunity to talk to our guys. They have some valuable experiences. There are a lot of champions in that group who have done tremendous things. I see Dre Bly out there covering Herman Moore right now, assimilating. As a matter of fact Dre and I go way back. He played at the University of North Carolina when I was the head coach at Wake Forest. I saw him once a year and he used to give me a few problems during that time. A lot of good people, and I think it’s important to be around our guys.”

 On what he has seen from RB George Winn in camp: “What we’ve seen from George thus far is that he’s a quick study. That’s what happens often times when you get guys who have been around the League a little bit. They understand and can adapt to systems pretty well. They quickly can relate it to other things that they’ve experienced in terms of verbiage, able to function right away. He hasn’t taken very long, and also you can see he’s a physical guy as well. We’re looking forward to seeing what he does.”

 On the progress of DE Ezekiel Ansah: “He’s making good progress. They’re ramping up his activity in terms of just rehab. I think as you watch him out here he’s doing more and more each day. He’s getting close, so we will see what happens.”

 On what he likes most about the offensive line: “You know, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 guys in there that are really pretty special guys, even more than that I would say.  They always say, ‘The mark of a true leader is a man who can lead himself.’ Every single one of those guys are quality people in every single dimension. They do things the right way. They are tough, physical, smart and they have great leadership in that line. (Rob) Sims has been around, good experience. Dom (Raiola) in the middle is an anchor and just tremendous for that group. He’s like the gel that holds that group together, he binds them. We have some young guys that have had some opportunity to play a quite a bit of football. Larry (Warford) and (Riley) Reiff and the rest of them, those guys have done well through the years and we expect them to continue to get better. In that particular position it takes them awhile to really perfect their craft. Some of those guys are pretty good already and I think as you see as time goes on they’re going to get better and better and better because they will see different styles, get accustomed to it and after a while they will know their opponents pretty well, what to expect and how to best use their skills and gifts and abilities. I think those guys work well to try and achieve that. They’re a great unit, they work well together and they get along together. Jeremiah (Washburn) and the rest of the group always do a great job coaching them as well.”

 On the concept of finishing and why it’s been emphasized to players:  “Probably the number one commendation that most people think is that it’s an end of the year kind of finish, but it’s (really) a finish on every single play, everything you do.  We want to try and make certain (that) we finish.  If we do that, that’s the small part of it. The big things will be taken care of.  The guys, I think, are doing a good job for the most part.   There was maybe one period that I didn’t get the kind of finish I was looking for, but I think that will come.“

 On G Larry Warford:  “I think that he’s got the proper makeup. He never gets too high or too low and is never full of himself.  Jim Collins says in his book, How the Mighty Fall is arrogance. He has none of that.  Also, he doesn’t think he’s arrived.  He’s working extremely hard, so I doubt very seriously that you’ll see him slip. I think you’ll continue to see him progress.”

 On RB Montell Owens and his fit in the fullback competition: “He’s working at it. He’s right there in the thick of it. (He is) a smart guy (and has) been around.  He’s a multi-faceted guy, just in terms of his talent.  He can not only play the single back by himself without protection, but he can also carry the ball, he can block and he’s a heck of a special teamer for us.  So, he’s right in there.”

 On K Giorgio Tavecchio and his progress today: “He’s been kicking well, besides maybe one day or so that he might not have kicked as well as he’s capable.  But I think since that time, he’s been kicking the ball pretty well.  I know you probably saw Nate (Freese) miss a couple here and there, but both guys have strong legs and both guys have real fine potential and I think it’s a real good competition.”

On how the kicker competition will be judged: “A lot goes into it, but obviously one of the main things, and this is with every position and I think it’s important, I talked to the guys about it last night a little bit, is that we all get feelings, but feelings don’t count in this game, for the most part.  You like data. You like hard, firm data. You like to try and challenge them in a number of different situations, so you really get a good feel of what he’s capable of doing. But we’re looking at results, more so, than anything else.    I think that’s important and there’s a lot more that goes into it. You know, how does he handle pressure?  Often times you guys see them out here.  I’m not just talking about on the field, in meeting rooms and things of that nature.  How he reacts, we make an assessment of all of those things, in terms of making that decision.”