Jim Caldwell’s Comments From Monday’s Detroit Lions Practice


Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell met with the media at practice today, touching on subjects including the kicker battle won by Nate Freese, Kyle Van Noy’s injury and the cornerback roster. Here is a look at what he had to say, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

On the kicker competition: “Obviously, it was a tough competition. It was a very, very difficult decision and Giorgio (Tavecchio) did a nice job. I think both guys took this thing on in a professional manner and Nate (Freese) ended up edging him out. I think they are both very capable guys, but as we look at all the factors, Nate (Freese) was the best one for us at this time.”

On the determining factor in the competition: “It was so close that it was obviously very, very difficult and there were a number of different things that we considered, just in terms of their overall ability to kick. Both were certainly capable in those areas and Giorgio’s been around a little bit longer, obviously but Nate showed and he made some tough kicks. Particularly the one in Oakland was a very, very difficult one, under tough conditions off the dirt. We made all those factors, took a look at them and ironed them all out. We just felt he was the best choice for us at this time.”

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On if he has any trepidations going in with a rookie kicker: “No. He’s (Freese) a capable young man and he’s going to grow and develop and I think you’re going to see him continue to get better and better.”

On if he will consider signing a released veteran kicker: “I think this league is one where you don’t ever stand flat. But obviously, he’s the guy we chose and I think that he’s the best guy for the job. Other than that we’d tell you that we’re going to open it up and look around and those kinds of things, but Nate’s done a tremendous job and I think you’ll see him continue to get better.”

On his timeline for the kicker decision: “You always try to gauge those things. You don’t ever put a deadline on it and say, ‘at this particular time we want it done.’ We have to look at a lot of different factors. You’re looking at the size of the squad and things of that nature to make some determinations. So it just ended up this way, where I think we got a good look at both under several different circumstances and conditions and so we are where we are.”

On LB Kyle Van Noy’s injury: “Like I’ve said before, I’m certainly not in the business of talking about some of those things openly at this time of the year. I don’t think we have to. The other thing is I’m not certain yet, he’s still under evaluation. He’s still got to see the doctors, and the doctors are going to tell him he’s going to a specialist to take a look at it. We’ll make a determination at that point in time where he is.”

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  • On the decision to cut CB Jonte Green: “You know, often times, what happens in this league is, typically it’s performance-based – everything is. And the other thing is too, I think that oftentimes we look to try to pinpoint exactly what an individual’s issues were. I’m not the kind of person that’s going to stand here and talk about someone’s weaknesses and those kinds of things, in particular, in a situation and on a day when it’s a very difficult day for a lot of young men. It’s tough, but it’s all competition based – it’s a meritocracy in this business and at this point in time there was obviously some other guys that performed better.”

    On keeping CB Mohammed Seisay, CB Chris Greenwood and CB Cassius Vaughn: “Well you know obviously, when you look at the situation with them, they’re guys who have performed and played well enough for us to keep taking a deeper look at this particular time. But, they’ve performed extremely well. Obviously, you stack them up and take a look at both sides, and make a determination of who you think best suits you at this time and you move on from there.”

    On if the new practice squad rules will influence his plans for QB Kellen Moore: “You know, we have to look at it, because every situation is absolutely different. Often times you find that long held theories and beliefs don’t always hold true depending on the squad, so you’re looking at that. Sometimes, you have a player that you consider of more value to you at another spot that you’d like to keep. So, therefore maybe you take one less quarterback or you figure that there’s a quarterback that’s really been doing extremely well and we’d like to have him as our third and he can help us. So, you have to make a decision based on that. We’ll look at those and as our squad starts to take shape here the next few days we’ll make that determination, whether or not keep two or three it just depends.”

    On how tough today is with having to release players and if he meets with them individually: “Yeah, we do meet with each one of them. We get a chance to tell them how much we appreciate them too, because it’s not easy what they’ve been doing. It’s a bit different because it’s so public. In this city, in particular, and around the area people understand and know what it’s like to lose a job. But often times I don’t think they put football players in that category. For some reason other people look at that and kind of just dismiss it, ‘Oh yeah he got cut, plain and simple,’ other than their families. But I’m talking about outside folks that read the paper or read it on the internet. It’s difficult. These are human beings, they’re guys that have dreams and hopes and aspirations. It doesn’t mean the absolute end of the road for them because hopefully what I tell them typically is, ‘Hey, you know what, I hope you get picked up by somebody tomorrow and if not tomorrow then I hope somebody picks you up and puts you on their practice squad.’ But to keep working I tell them usually, ‘You have a day or so to feel bad, but then after that you have to get back to work,’ because the opportunity for a number of these guys is going to come back around again. So, we try to encourage them, but we know that it’s a difficult time.”

    On if an injury like St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford’s ACL tear changes his thinking of how to play his players in the preseason: “(Injuries) are difficult. You can’t predict injuries, nor can you let them necessarily let them just sway your thinking and prejudice towards one way or the other. You have to look at (the injury) and judge it according to what you think and how you think it should go and make a decision accordingly. It’s just like (Indiana Pacers Small Forward Paul) George with the USA basketball team, right? You saw some guys pull out. You see other guys who are still playing hard. (Chicago Bulls Point Guard Derrick) Rose is still playing. I haven’t read much of the paper lately, but I think he’s still playing. I see (New Orleans Pelicans Power Forward) Anthony Davis is still playing and some of those guys. Everybody looks at it a little bit differently in that sense, but some will keep rolling and some will certainly be affected by it. We’re going to keep rolling.”