Opening statement: "Just a couple updates - we're still waiting on some final (results) on Tucker right now. They took him to look at him right now and really there's not much to say yet. They're still looking at the (MRI's) and all those things they've got to do, so we're just waiting."One thing about practice today- and I talked to them (about it), it's something they earned. They earned the right today. I mean it was a tremendous football practice yesterday, and it was hot, and I tell you as you watch the tape, the effort and the energy and the speed - I would hope you guys could have seen that (the speed). I don't know if you could see it from the sidelines; but, playing one snap at a time like they are - they earned it, and I made sure they know that. You earn what you get in life, you deserve what you get and that was a key point.
"We put them in shorts today, we had a great walkthrough and you have to prepare for two things: you learn to prepare for adversity - pound the rock; but, you (also) learn to prepare for success and it's the same thing. You come out here today, how do you handle that? Can you stay wired in? Can you still focus and still pound the rock? That's something we're working on. We still have to get better at that part of it (understanding success). I'm pleased on how they've responded with the work, the hitting, the pads, day in and day out - they deserve it. I feel good about it."
On the timing of this being the last really hot day before break and the injuries that have risen: "Things worked out like that. But if it were for that reason, I would have told them it was for that reason: 'that with the injuries, you guys are beat up, it's hot, you stink - I'm giving you time off.' I would have told them honestly that; but, the way they've practiced they got what they deserve. As long as we're honest and direct and we tell them the truth then there's no problems."
On when then decision was made for a walkthrough practice: "Last night we all sat down together and we talked to the staff and we looked at the film and it was like 'wow!' I mean they were sprinting with the football last night, and it was really hot. It was just like they were starting - the word starting is in the front - to get it. They're starting to understand that you can do anything you want, just play it one snap at a time, pound the rock and just keep going. But this was important this morning for them. Like I just said, it's about how to handle success. When you do something well, do you handle it right? There's a reason in football there's not back-to-back big plays a lot; because the guy is celebrating for awhile and they don't focus on the next snap. So, that's just as important to teach. We'll just go on from there and take a little time off their legs and then tomorrow we'll be in pads and crank it back up."
On how WR Mike Williams responded yesterday afternoon: "He got some good work; He's responding and pushing and doing all those things you got to do and that's part of football. Hopefully we're doing it with all of the men, but we're pushing them all."
On making a point to Mike Williams: "No, I mean just pushing - let's go; see what we got."
On making a point with WR Charles Rogers today: "It's not direct points; we're just trying to push this entire football team. Every position we're tying to push and challenge everyday and see what we got. This is the time of year you have to do it, right now."
On Mike Williams taking off pads and being in almost every snap and then today Charles Rogers not being in at all: "Don't read more into it then there is. We're just getting the guys worked, trying to work each guy - each person, and get as much work as we can."
On Charles Rogers being in jeopardy of not making the team: "I can't say that right now. We're still in our fifth day today or something like that. We're still just working and seeing and we've got a ways to go yet, so try not to make quick assumptions on anything because you can all of a sudden change your mind quickly."
On trying to motivate them by sitting them down to rest: "It's all part of it, yes. It's competing each and every day. Just talking about how to compete, earn your spots, earn your reps; every day earn it. That's the thing we're all trying to do as a staff - earn it. If you like those reps, you may get them some more and that's the message we're sending."
On if he was impressed by their mental toughness: "Yes, and (I'm impressed with) the intensity these players have been playing with after the snap and how hard they were trying to play. That's the part to me that's really important. Once you can establish that, then you go hard and smart. You have to do both, but you never know how physically and mentally tough you are until you're challenged to that point. That's the only way you can get it. You have to challenge a man to that point so they can see that. These are tough men. We just have to keep the standard high for them. I'm impressed - we're laying a strong foundation in terms of that and we'll just keep making progress."
On if injuries have had anything to do with this: "No. They caught my attention and they deserve this. I tried to explain it to them this morning that in life you get what you deserve. If we're unprepared and we get beat - we deserve that; I deserve that. If they're working hard, then they deserve this. The energy and tempo is what I'm looking for."
On the status of T Rex Tucker: "They looked at him last night, and they still want to do some evaluations today. We'll have a little more information later."
On why he's playing G Barry Stokes in Tucker's spot over T Kelly Butler: "He's played [tackle]. We have lots of different looks out there of different guys that gives us position flexibility. We'll get a chance to look at different guys in different spots."
On the players reaction when told that they were only practicing without pads this morning and if it caught them by surprise: "Yes [it caught them by surprise]. And a part of that surprise was how do they handle it? How do they handle that type of success? Get used to handling success correctly. I hope they came out and had the same focus that we would if we were in pads right now. So now we have some success and there's some reward, we deserve something, now can we go out and do it and do it right? It's a teaching tool."
On what he's seen in Charles Rogers: "He's out here working hard and is prepared. You need more looks, but he's out running like all of them. All we can do is just keep asking a man to put out good tape and all we can do from there is evaluate it."
On how he can help Rogers grow as a player: "I try to give him a tool on how to handle it. From pounding the rock to one snap, whatever that means that helps them under adversity and giving them a way to handle adversity with a tool, and maybe that tool will also help us during a game."
On if he felt the players were 'dragging' yesterday: "No, I thought they were flying yesterday. When we watched the tape last night, in terms of speed and movement and those types of things, they were staying with it. I felt it in practice, but it really jumped out to me on tape how quick they played."
On if after practice their body language showed that they gave everything they had: "That was impressive. They went from a very physical morning practice, another 9-on-7. We've had about a 100 snaps already, just 9-on-7, and that's a physical drill; big man drill. Big men play that game. Then, after a physical morning we come out in that afternoon and we flew. Then they went to a demanding special teams period and then finished strong. You have to recognize that, and they earned it. I didn't give them anything - they earned it."
On Mike Williams' attitude: "He's trying to develop that attitude and that mental toughness that we're looking for. You have guys like Tyoka Jackson - getting them to do it again, do it again. You're working on guys all the way through practice at times. Young Ernie (Sims) - he's out there not getting much of a blow. Same thing, we're pushing him; driving him. It's that point where not just the system, but the mental part of the game we're trying to work for them and help them. All we're trying to give them is tools, and what they've got to understand is that this isn't punishment. Its tools in your tool box to do your job. That's what you're trying to do for them and it's our job to give them the tools. For those guys not to have that armor for a game, we're at fault for that."
On if there is any other injury situation with anyone else: "No, they're all kind of coming. It just helps us that we get a few of those guys tomorrow. I think [Jon McGraw] will be back tomorrow. There's nothing wrong; a little sore and he should be okay. [Shaun Cody] He's real close right now; just got to be smart. I think James Hall will be back tomorrow. So we're picking up a few guys as we get going right now."
On RB Kevin Jones in this offense: "He looks really good right now. He's shown some explosiveness; our running backs coach [Wilbert Montgomery] is doing a nice job with him. He's speed and explosiveness and that's it. We just have to go block for him and do our job."
On any position he's worried about right now: "Maybe depth at defensive tackle right now. There's guys banged up a little bit, but that seems to happen with every team. That's why we try to bring 12 to 13 of those guys in. Our linebackers' health has gotten a little better the last couple of days."
On the rotation of players due to injury during the Black and Blue Scrimmage on August 5: "I'm not going to change the rotation so much, but you don't want to overload a veteran early and some of these young guys get a great opportunity to play a few more snaps which is good for them."
On DT Marcus Bell: "He's having a very good camp and is doing a good job. I'm very impressed with him - playing tough and hard, not mixing his snap and he's showing up out there - so I'm excited."
On if he would turn down breakfast with the President similar to what Nick Saban did in Miami: "When he asks me, I'll let you know."
courtesy of the Detroit Lions