LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On the grievance filed against the Lions: "The league has come down and made its' decision. We're just prepared to move on. That's really all I have to say."
On what the grievance was about: "The league just handed it down to us. You saw the statement. Now we're just prepared to move on."
On how they correct it if they don't know what they did wrong: "I'll let you guys go ahead and talk to the league yourselves if you like. I just answered the question for you. Now we're just kind of prepared to move on."
On whether he knows what it is and just doesn't want to say: "Kind of. I'm just going to end it right there. We've got it and now my preparation is now to move on and that's what we'll do."
On whether he has to change anything he's doing or the way he's approaching this: "I've just got to be smart with what we're doing."
On whether the players came to him first: "I just said, I'm moving on. It's not an issue. We got a violation; they've taken a couple days away and now we'll move on past those two days and then we'll keep going from there. That's about all I have to say and that's all there is."
On the perception that the players aren't willing to work hard: "I'm just telling you how I just approached it. I'm just moving on from there. Taking it and we'll just go from there. That's all I'm going to say."
On whether he has any concerns about the willingness of the players to work: "No, they've been very good. I've been actually very pleased. The majority of them have really gone fast and understand the tempo that we want. It's not good enough yet, that's the thing, that's the issue: it's not good enough. That's the thing I've got to keep working (on). Boy, it's just fun to see these young rookies come out and the tempo they're setting and that's getting closer and closer to what I'm looking for."
On whether the first mini-camp was any different than the way they run it in Tampa Bay: "(No) - about the same."
On whether the grievance surprises him since the camp was the same as it was in Tampa Bay: "Not really - I'm just moving onto our next issue. That's all I can tell you. There's nothing else to say. I don't know what else to tell you. We've got; I'm here, that's there and then I go on."
On whether the issue was with the mini-camp or with the workouts: "As you said, and you've seen what they've come down with - and you can do your research and get your information from the league. It's what the league handed to us. It's the same thing you saw. We'll move on."
On what's standing out to him about this rookie camp: "The thing that's really awesome, I don't know if you've noticed, but we have a really good veteran staff and there are some guys trying out - how hard they're getting coached is impressive. This staff, they love coaching football. That would be the biggest story I see out here, how well they're getting coached. This team has improved. We got some guys coming in and just trying out and they're getting coached every snap. They've responded really well. You can just see them getting better and better. It's exciting. What it does, it creates the energy that I'm looking for, for all these young rookies coming in right now - the drafted players and some of the free agents we've signed. They're understanding the pace and the tempo that I'm looking for. That part has been really exciting."
On whether WR Az-Hakim will get a chance to tryout here: "We'll see. He's here today ."
On whether he has met with Hakim: "I talked to him briefly yesterday. We'll just see how it goes."
On whether he's going to make other visits: "I don't know that. I just had a chance to visit with him. We'll see how all of this progresses right now."
On whether he's heard anything from DT Dan Wilkinson: "Matt (Millen) has been the lead guy on that whole thing so that would be something to ask Matt."
On what has pleased him the most out of this mini-camp: "You know what has been really neat at times? As a coach, you just see guys getting better. I don't care where they start but you love to see as a coach, players getting better and responding; the speed out here is exceptional tempo. Watching the willingness and learning and how eager they are to please and eager to get better. It can't be a better deal."
On whether he sees the football passion he talks about with his players in his coaching staff: "That's the one thing that I talked about with all of our staff before we started this thing: we coach every man with respect; respect every man's effort. I don't care what his level is, it's not that important to me. It's the effort that we're putting in coaching these guys because that's what we do. That is our profession and that's how I want to do it. They've gone above and beyond. They coach these guys - every guy is getting coached. Talk to them, it's amazing. The meetings are intense and we're just working very hard and they've responded very well. That's very pleasing. It's a process, step-by-step, what you're looking for and the standards you're trying to set. It's really never good enough."
On how they evaluated QB Matt Nordgren (Texas) if there was no tape on him: "We're just looking at guys and the willingness of guys coming in. I'm telling you, Mike Martz just coaches this guy until he drops. It's just amazing. From handoffs to everything. If a guy comes in and gets an opportunity - it's neat."
On how you could even know about a guy that played behind QB Vince Young: "Our scouts do a great job. I'm relentless in the search for talent - I'm just relentless. I'm just going to keep digging to find it and look to keep improving. Find the guys that fit us and how they want to do it and that are excited about it. I'm just going to keep digging and digging and digging. This is just a reflection of our scouting, the type of camp we've been able to put together. That's really exiting."
On whether they looked at RB Brian Calhoun's whole athletic background when they drafted him: "Our scouts do a lot of that; they do all the background and all of those things. All I know is the biggest thing: if you watch him on tape, he's exceptional in the open field; vision, feet and endurance. He's showing it out here right now. It's been good. He's exciting."
On if there's anything defining about him: "I just think he's got a chance to be an all-around back; a blocker, a catcher, he's smart so we can use him in different ways, durable. He's a great kid."
On taking Calhoun even though they didn't need a running back: "That guy right there was the best available guy at that point we felt."
On whether Calhoun stood out on their draft board: "Where he was ranked, at that moment, he was clearly the best player on the board."
On whether it's difficult coaching a rookie camp like this to break habits of young players: "That's one of the reasons that I really like this environment for them. You're able to get all of the drill work that you can. You can see we spent 30 minutes of pre-practice with just fundamental work - how to knee-bend, where your eyes go and key work and all of those different things. It is, it's creating new habits for them. Some of these guys have never been asked to sprint to the ball every down like we want them to and adjust to angles or finish plays on offense like we want them to. What I'm trying to do is make sure when we start (a few) weeks from now our OTA days, that we're catching these guys up as fast as we can so they can come in and compete fast. They feel good about themselves right now. Breaking off habits is extremely hard to do. It's like a chain - you put a steel cord in there and another one and another one and another one and then you've got a chain and you can't break it. You just have to peel it back one at a time and it takes time. Habits are very, very difficult. So you just have to keep staying at it, pound the rock and believe in what you're doing and then it eventually happens."
On whether it's possible they'll bring in more players after this mini-camp: "We're just going to keep looking. Yeah, we could. In June and all of those things, you just keep looking, keep researching and keep finding. I just really want to send that message that we're always looking how to improve and how to get better. It's a constant state that we're going to be in."
On whether that's also a message to players on the roster right now that nobody is safe: "I think that's how this league has been built and that's the beauty of this league - the competition. I don't know if it's sending a message, it's sending a message that I want to win and this team wants to win. That's one way to really establish winning: being able to have great talent finders and then developing the talent once we get it. All those things happen and then the chemistry together and the willingness to work. So that's the thing I'm just passionate about - just keep going, I will not be satisfied. I can't go to bed, I'm restless. So we just keep working that way."
On whether they're moving Calhoun around in practice: "Mike (Martz) is working him in some different areas - all of our backs have got to catch the ball and those things. He's getting some exposure to the entire offense. (You want) to see what these guys can do in all of the different areas."
On T Jonathan Scott and G Fred Matua: "They're doing pretty doggone good. Again, what you're looking for here is probably a lot of the movement, the balance. Can they bend and all of those things? (How is their) footwork? You really can't tell a tremendous amount (without) collision. The skill guys you can see: breaking in cuts and ball skills and those things. What you're looking for here is all of the footwork and the balance. Are they stiff or anything like that; the movement part. Then you just try to keep these guys up to speed and then maybe their sets on pass-pro (protection), how well they're set. I like their movement. They're big guys. There's another kid that we signed as an undrafted free agent, (Frank) Davis from South Florida - a good looking athletic 330-pound kid that moves well. He's a nice looking kid. Pads usually define that; it looks good right now but you have to just keep working towards those things."
On whether there will be open-competition on the offensive line in training camp: "Oh yeah. In that way you have just got to get down and if a guy has some position flexibility, if he's backing up here and he might be the best guy here, if he fits that spot, if his range and his talent and those things fit that spot we can do that. We're just trying to find five starters right now and then some guys who can have some position flexibility and backup and some of those things."
On whether he's always as willing to improve his coaching staff as he is his roster: "Oh yeah. I feel great about the guys that we've hired. Everybody was impatient with me - I kept hearing that we were going to go to the combine without an offensive staff and all of those things. I just took my time and I think we found the right guys. Just how they coach this camp is really impressive to me. It's a pressure that I keep on myself. That's the No. 1 thing, I am accountable. It's on me. We just push players and coaches and keep driving for success."