Lions Update for Wednesday and Transcript of Marinelli's Post Practice Press Conference

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TODAY'S NEWS 

  • The Lions practiced today in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) on the outdoor field at the team's headquarters and practice facility in Allen Park. This week's practice routine is intended to simulate the regular season.
  • Through the first two preseason games, Detroit's defense has sacked the opposing quarterback seven times. Five of the Lions sacks have been by rookie defensive linemen: defensive end Rudy Hardie (2), defensive tackle Andre Fluellen (2) and defensive end Cliff Avril. 

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On trying to make this week's practice close to the regular season: "The only thing that's really different: last week it was 10 days prior, but we still went through the two in-season practices. The first week we still had two in-season practices. The only thing this week is, it's really not the same week yet because it's six days instead of seven. We'll get our two in-season practices. All I'm concerned about is this team improving. I don't care about who we're playing; they're all gray, faceless people. It's just us getting better. That's all I'm concerned about."

On not tailoring practice specifically to preparing for the Browns: "We add up a little bit more, but we do that each week. We go through maybe just a little bit more, but what I don't want to get caught up is that I want to make sure this team is improving on what we do. That's more important. Our tempo, our pace, our tackling - all those things, because once you start these cards and you start looking at opponents, it can take your edge off. And I'm still looking at ourselves in training camp mode."

On K Jason Hanson's recovery: "I think he's pretty good."

On what Hanson is doing in practice: "Stretching. (Laughter) No, he's getting a little work. He's getting some work. I think he's going to be fine this week. That's kind of our target. "

On whether Hanson will play in the next game: "I think, yeah, we have a chance to use him. We'll see how he feels game day."

On the status of injured players TE Dan Campbell, S Daniel Bullocks and WR Shaun McDonald: "Mac (McDonald) will go, as of right now - anything can change - and Bullocks will go as of right now. It can change. Campbell shouldn't. I think he's still with that hamstring right now."

On whether Bullocks and McDonald will see a limited amount of snaps: "Yeah, we'll see. They need the work, too, though. But limited meaning:Â 15, 20 maybe, in that vicinity, I think. We'll see how they do."

On what he sees in the offensive running game despite poor numbers: "You can just look at maybe some things. The pads are down. We had some nice cuts on the backside last week that I was really pleased with. One of those runs that popped was off the cut-blocking. And just daily keep pushing. The biggest thing would be getting all those guys together for a full game and doing it. But we just get out here and keep working at it, keep the pads on and just keep driving and fighting right now, and I think that's the most important thing. But I think the most important thing is our commitment to it, that we're going to stay with it."

On whether he believes he has the players in place now who can be successful at the run: "I've always believed, especially in the offensive line position, that it's more 'want to' and attitude. You know, want to. And it's developing that personality whatever it takes. Once we are able to establish that, and then our passing game, our quarterback's not going to get hit, the defense has got to go in there and they have to dig in. I want third down to be manageable. I want third-and-threes to -fours. Those are manageable for third downs, and then we're in pretty good shape at that point. The ball can come out quicker."

On the possibility of keeping four running backs or tailbacks: "They'll decide that next week or so. What I don't want to do is keep a guy for a depth number when there's a better player in another position at the very end. So I'm looking to get the best 53 players - maybe not the most talented - but the best guys to help us win. It might be a guy that can really do something special in special teams, might be a back who can do that, or a tight end. You have to get such an emphasis on that. So we'll take the best 53 football players."

On what is different about the defensive line without former DT Shaun Rogers: "Nothing. Everything's the same. We're just plugging other people in."

On whether Rogers' presence used to change the dynamic of the line: "All I'm going to say, he was a force. When he's on, he's a force. The biggest thing, like I said the other day, is give up an opportunity to make a play in this defense. And when you're supposed to make it, you have to make it. You can make plays in this defense if you're hustling and you're on your feet and playing your gaps."

On his philosophy in developing young players like QB Drew Stanton: "Again, let him finish this thing all the way out. We have two (preseason games left). We have a great veteran quarterback, and I'm really interested in this game and then the last game. So he's got two more good games. And that's part of the process; we are bringing him along right now. He's getting a lot of snaps in and he's doing some good things. He just needs reps."

On whether Stanton could be pressed into being a starter: "No. I want to see him compete. I like what he's doing. He's competing extremely hard right now."

On whether he's comfortable with the starting linebacker group: "Yeah."

On what the rotation will be: "We'll see after two games. That's why you play preseason."

On the chance rookie T Cliff Avril has to make an impact on the team: "Well, he's got a chance to rush this week, and it's if he wants to still make an impact. I want to see it consistently. He's got the juice. He's got the stuff. The sack was good, but there was another move if you saw it earlier in the game, on a good tackle he made a great inside move and got a hit on the Q (quarterback). That was more impressive to me than the sack because that's what I'm looking for, those things at the level; ball pumped out quick, but he was able to make a nice move. But he's progressing fine. It's just daily preparation out here. Like today, it's hot, I want him to work and get better today. That's what I'm interested in."

On being excited by the potential of the young defensive line: "One, I think we have some young, athletic guys. There's no doubt about that. And they work. They all come in here, they're all lean, they're all working and they all run well. So it's just now we just have to grind them down, you know. Grind them."

On how rookie DTs Andre Fluellen and Landon Cohen have looked: "Solid. Sometimes above solid, sometimes below solid."

On whether that is consistent enough: "No."

On rookie T Gosder Cherilus' performance so far: "He's been solid."

On CB Leigh Bodden's performance against the Bengals: "Those guys… I don't know if he got… he had one play. I'm just trying to remember it all. He only played about 12 snaps."

On whether Bodden appeared to have regressed: "No. He hadn't regressed. It's just sometimes there's corners who can come out in a game and they don't get challenged. Nothing goes their way."

On how Bodden has picked up the system: "I think the re-routing and the exit angles, just some of those things, it's new. But he's done a very nice job with all that. And (we) really want our corners to tackle. They have to. On the backside of the slot, they have to do a nice job of tackling."

On what RB Artose Pinner's role would be if he makes the team: "Well, he has run very well. At the end of the game he's come in and run extremely hard. He's got run skill, no doubt about that. And I need a guy in those roles also to be an impact special teams player. That determines a lot for me. It could be that third back. The guy who gets the suit, he's got to impact the game special teams-wise and be a guy who can pick up the blitz and a guy who can run the ball and all of that."

On whether Pinner was impressive in the fourth quarter against the Bengals: "Oh yeah. He had some good runs. He really did. He's really a good vertical runner. He gets that step - boom! He gets uphill right now. I like that about him. Every time he gets opportunities he's been productive, and he's got to be productive in the special teams and that's very important."

On the competition between CBs Travis Fisher and Leigh Bodden: "They're just battling. We're moving into the next arena here. Keep another good week of practice and let them keep competing. It's going to be really good."

On how engaged veteran players like T Jeff Backus and C Dominic Raiola are in the new system: "Dom has always been - since I've been here, for me he's been energy. Just upbeat and he loves football. Jeff is just, he's a consistent groove player. He gets in that groove. And I think they both have really been on it and working and I think it fits them what we're trying to do with them. I think they're going to play very well."

On if the team captains are the same as last year: "No, we'll vote on that the following week - later in that week."

On RB Tatum Bell getting special teams work: "Everybody does. Every guy has a role. All your runners have roles; the whole defense just about does. Certain guys we don't, but each guy has to know it. The guys - you suit up 46 game day, every guy's got to know the position."

On whether Bell could contribute to special teams this season: "Oh yeah. Yeah."