- The Lions completed their seventh day of two-a-day practice sessions today at the team's practice facility with morning and afternoon workouts. The morning session was a walkthrough practice in shorts and in the afternoon, the team practiced in helmets and shorts.
- WR Devale Ellis, RB Kevin Jones and DT Shaun Rogers remain on the PUP list and did not practice today.Â
- The Detroit Lions will hold an open practice at Ford Field on Saturday, August 4, 2007. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. The Lions practice is free to the public - no ticket is necessary for entry. Fans can enter Ford Field at Gate A or Gate G. Practice will begin at 5 p.m. and will last until approximately 6:30 p.m. Immediately following practice, Ford Field will broadcast former Lions TE Charlie Sanders' 2007 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on the video boards. Parking will be available in the Ford Field Parking Deck on St. Antoine St. for $6.00 until 6 p.m. or until the deck is full. Autographs will not be available at the public practice.
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "We came out with a good walkthrough today. Like I said, I'm trying to teach this team to be a good professional football team and it's no rewards unless earned. That was a very physical practice yesterday, but it wasn't just physical hitting, we were in the right gaps. We were blocking the right guy, under heat and duress and all those things; that's what I'm looking for. I'm going to keep pounding it, you might as well call me Peter the Parakeet. I'm going to keep saying it over and over and over; that's what we've got to do. If you just keep hammering then we're going to be fine. They came out wired in this morning, caught them off guard with this. We had a team meeting then came out, and we'll practice this afternoon in helmets and shorts."
On the difference between this year and last year's training camp: "There's a difference, it's the trust. They have to trust me and I have to trust them. You go out and practice hard and you have errors, well I'm going to do it again. That's just me; we'll just keep drilling it. If I don't like the tempo, we're going to do it (again). These guys, I've said it from our OTA days, to understand the pace and to play really fast and smart; it's hard to do. (Especially) without hitting each other too much, without having a proper etiquette. The learning curve on that is hard. You've just got to keep doing it and they are working extremely hard at it - it was extremely physical yesterday. They've earned this, we'll have a helmets and shorts (practice) this afternoon and we'll get back to the pads tomorrow."
On the player's efforts at practice: "Execution is everything. You have to have effort, you've got to, and then the details. Each guy has got to be on top of his details, doing things right. Then there becomes trust within the offense/defense special teams, they trust each other. I know my buddy is going to be in the B-gap if I got the A-gap. It's a trust thing. The backbones trust the front that they're going to put heat on. The quarterback trusts the offensive line that they're going to work hard on their protections and that the receiver is going to be where they're at. When I start to see that, then we'll be smart and get going."
On whether the trust factor has become more prevalent since last year: "I want to find out who can do it. If you remember the trip I had at Oakland; well I might give them keys this time and let them use them. The thing I did that week was I wanted to see who could do it. I had 13 guys who could do it, that I felt did it the way I wanted it and they were all on the same flight. You start finding out about people, and I found out a lot that day and I found out a lot with the last quarter of the season."
On whether the Raiders player's reaction had an effect: "No, I always come back with it's what we do; do what we do. Focus is important and my background has been that way. I just needed to stress this to the team. To me, last year if I just would have went out and rolled them out here, well I had to make a statement of what I wanted. I made it hard; they were in pads the last week of the season. There was a group of guys that stayed with it all the way and kept getting better."
On his league leading receivers (Williams and Furrey) campaigning for WR Calvin Johnson: "Oh, it's awesome. It's not the best talent, it's the best team. When we cut this team down everybody will have their roles defined. Those last ten guys on the roster are critical; it may be the most important ten guys. They create the morale of your team, because their jobs aren't always the best jobs. Then you got guys who are like: well this isn't what I want to do. You have to be able to weed it out, see it, see how these guys are playing and then develop our depth."
On his receivers losing some yards and receptions to the incoming WR Calvin Johnson: "Oh they're awesome; they want to win the right way. They want to. It's my job, our staff's job, to guide them correctly; it's all on me. We've just got to get it done."
On G Edwin Mulitalo: "He's hard grinding; he's working; he's lost weight; he's just a strong good man but we got nice competition in there now. We got Frank Davis flying around and Blaine Saipaia and (Stephen) Peterman. We got guys that have played a lot of football that we liked last year, so we'll let it kind of play out."
On whether G Edwin Mulitalo has been affected by injury: "No, I think he's healthy right now. He just missed some time, but he's got a great relationship with Jim (Colletto), and that helps because he knows what to expect; he'll be fine."
On the morale provided by G/T Barry Stokes: "Oh, he's a great guy; we have a lot of guys like that. You know you get a team of that, and then when you have to trim down you're still keeping guys; he's not the only one. You got a bunch of guys like that, you're hoping. That's what I'm gearing toward. We're going to hit adversity, so that'll be great and see how we respond."
On the competition at quarterback: "It's great. You know that's important too, but it's the guy coaching them that's really important because I trust him. He's done it. It's not like he kind of knows what he wants; he knows exactly what he's looking for. He knows how to teach it better than anybody in this league; he's an expert. You can sleep at night with that one."
On the 'money-downs as part of the game: "You're exactly right, you can never downplay that part of it. The passing game seems to be the money down. That's where your quarterbacks, receivers, rushers and picks come from. What you've got to teach is that team comes from running the ball and defending the run; that's where you build a team. It's together, that's the part I love about the run. Run drill everyday, it's just my favorite. I can't wait - wake up in the morning and say: 'oh the run drill, 31 minutes.' You know what I'm saying, because it's about team. You can't run the ball if everyone is not on it. You can't defend the run if not everybody is on their gaps."
On WR Calvin Johnson: "A couple of our receiver coaches talked to him. It's more just dialogue right now; it's just hard right now because we're in camp; you know two-a-days, meetings, so it's a little bit harder. I don't know (if he's in town). He's been in, and then he'll leave for a little bit, but I don't know."
On his thoughts of DT Langston Moore: "Oh, explosive. I like that. He explodes and I like it. He is really disrupting, we got another guy DT Jon Bradley, and I'm going to need that fourth tackle bad. I want to develop a fourth tackle and they're both exploding right now. We got another guy in the mix: DT Marcus Lewis; so we just keep looking at these guys. We'll let it play out, get them into preseason. But (Moore) is showing really good rush ability, really impacting in his gap controls and he's got a great attitude. Yeah, he is (a pleasant surprise). I kind of felt that when we had him on our roster last year at the end of the season. I could see something about him; I just need to get him to play a little bit lower right now."
On how many defensive linemen they are likely to retain: "Well last year we kept eight, but now each year your team is different. You've got to say: 'well, hey we might not have as many defensive backs that we want to keep; you know you've got to look at it. What you don't want to cut is a guy who could be a good player for you. Those numbers will change as I look at it."
On WR Eddie Drummond's status: "We know what kind of a return guy he is. That's why we have a lot of time in camp and you just kind of let things play out. We try not to jump on decisions too early. We'll get to a preseason game and that's how were doing all those things. That's what I try to do at least because when you start making decisions in your mind too early it's wrong. I kind of like to let them play out and keep coaching these guys."
On how offensive line coach Jim Colletto has developed the line: "We've got to go in the game and do it all, but you can see what he's doing. He's really a structured teacher. He teaches extremely well; he's a veteran and he's just doing a very nice job. He's a great match with Mike (Martz); they go way back to Arizona State where they coached together. They have a great relationship and that's all part of it; the chemistry of the staff and the chemistry of the team."
On whether the first string offensive line will get a lot of reps in preseason games: "That's usually something we discuss a day or so before the game. Right now we're just cranking on practice. I just don't want to get out of that mindset. My focus right now is having a really good meeting this afternoon and a really good practice. As we get closer, then the scouts get in with us and we start looking through it."
On the Lions running back corps: "I like it. Tatum (Bell) gives you unique speed - you know explosive speed. He's an accomplished runner, really a great downhill runner. He's developed into a pass receiver and he's done a nice job of that. (Brian) Calhoun, he's showing us some stuff; he's kind of jumped out at me a little bit and he can do some stuff. T.J. (Duckett) is a big back in there. We'll just let that thing go and hopefully we'll get Kevin (Jones) back there soon and it's a nice mix then. Aveion (Cason) is in there, the thing about him is he does everything good. He does everything; the kicking game, coverage kicks, he returns kicks, good pass blocker, good runner, good receiver, trust. You just let all that work out now."
On whether they would consider carrying more than eight offensive linemen: "Oh, well we went nine last year. I think we went eight defensive linemen, maybe nine. I just kind of let it play out. Sometimes you're forced to fit them in; you need to go an extra guy here or here and if we cut one back over here, now you're worried about whether you can get the guy through the practice squad that you like. There are some gambles in that. You say, man I like this guy, hopefully we'll get him on the practice squad and keep an extra guy here, but it doesn't always work out that way. As you know, we got four preseason games and you get beat up fast. Especially those two line positions. We'll have to see who can do it; who can stay consistent and steady and we'll let it play out."
On what they discussed at this morning's meeting: "We just had a team meeting and the only thing I said is that they're a pro football team. How they conduct themselves in meetings, how they prepare everyday for practice. You ask them to do a lot of stuff, and I haven't had a fine in camp. I have not had one fine and you don't want to be the first. It's these guys being on the details and those details will show up in the fourth quarter. To the guys that blow it off and say this is not important, that's not true. Everything that I ask you to do is important. If it's important to be on time, it might be important on the blitz that I take the right guy. You try to teach those habits all the way through."