DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE

Hondo S. Carpenter

TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions completed their first day of two-a-day practice sessions today at the team's practice facility and headquarters with a morning and afternoon workout. The morning practice was held on the indoor practice field and afternoon practice was on the outdoor fields. The team worked out in pads for both practice sessions.
  • The Lions placed the following players on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list: LB Boss Bailey, TE Dan Campbell, C/G Tyrone Hopson, LB Teddy Lehman, WR Scottie Vines and CB Stanley Wilson. The team also placed G Matt McGhghy on the Non-Football Injury list.
  • John Robinson, who was formerly a head coach for the Los Angeles Rams and at the University of Southern California, is currently a guest coach at Lions training camp. Marinelli served as Robinson's defensive line coach at USC in 1995 before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996).
  • Three coaches have been added to the team's coaching staff during training camp as part of the NFL Minority Internship program. Malik Hall (Fordham) is working with the defensive line, Earnest Jones (Aurora University) is assisting at the running back position and Marcel Yates (Boise State) is helping tutor the linebackers. Last season, Offensive Assistant Shawn Jefferson served as coaching intern for the Lions during camp as part of the NFL Minority Internship program. In addition to the coaching interns, Lions former linebacker George Jamison is interning in the team's player personnel department during camp.

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On getting the guys in pads and ready to play football: "This is part of the game of football that I love. These drills represent what I want to accomplish here - our Lions coming off the ball together, low and hard; we're physical and tough. It develops an attitude. It starts a lot of things; you're individual period is a progression to where you want to go. All that run, and all that drill that we do brings us to the nine-on-seven; and my backbone has always been nine-on-seven which will establish who we are."

On the first day: "It was solid, nothing special yet. What I did like was that the effort and willingness is there. We have a long way to go but were just going to keep pounding the rock, and keep working on it. But in terms of that I was pleased."

On whether S Daniel Bullocks will be signed in time for the afternoon practice: "I'm hoping. I've been out here all day so I don't know, but I'm hoping."

On the list of players on PUP: "I believe it's five or six. So we have to get those guys going; we need them back."

On anticipating the first real practice: "Oh, I was excited. I kind of stayed up a little later than usual last night with Coach Robinson and we talked a little bit about where we are, and what we're trying to accomplish. We probably stayed up a little too late; but I got up and I was excited to come out and go to work. It's a great day, a great day for football to get started."

On having Coach Robinson present: "It means a lot. Our relationship goes back further than I can explain to you. He's really been one of those coaches that I look at as my teacher. When you get a teacher that sits down with you and have him here and everything he brings to the table - and also to have him here as a friend, is very important to me."

On WR Charles Rogers: "I'm really on the other end of the field right now, kind of running around. Once we get a chance this afternoon to really watch practice on tape and some other things I think I'll be able to better answer that. I believe that he's in pretty good shape right now. We just have to work and get it going; I think they're all working extremely hard; so we just monitor them as we go."

On WR Charles Rogers weight being at it's lightest (195): "Sometimes it's not about the weight, it's about the fat. You might be a nice looking trim 150, but you really might be fat. It's body fat percent that we're looking at and that's when you have great endurance over a long period of time. That's what I'm trying to get, endurance and conditioning. You want to get the fat off these guys and get them lean. As you watch, we run a lot at practice."

On the players weighing in yesterday: "We're going through that process right now. I thought it was good, not great."

On whether WR Mike Williams made weight: "He's over just a little bit. I'm not sure on the numbers right now."

On practice looking the way a regular practice should: "I would agree. When you play football, usually the way to get a guy better is in pads. We, as a staff have to do a great job, and I in particular, with practice etiquette on how you practice in pads. I think there's a bigger chance of injury when you're going fast like we were going in our (OTAs). Here we can protect them; keep them up off the ground and understand how to practice. We can make it a safe and very physical practice."

On being disappointed with having the first practice indoors: "We've got to be smart. If you take them outside and the footing is bad you could end up getting a groin pull. That's why I've got to be smart. We have the next opportunity this afternoon to get out there and go."

On if there were things he saw today that he didn't like: "Oh, yeah. Penalties, mental errors, assignment busts, all those thing. Sometimes after we had a bad play, it was a consistent play, again and again. I'm trying to get them so that if they have a bad play, they understand what they did, let it go through their minds and move on to the next snap. Correct it and move on, and keep playing the snap that you're in. Pound the rock and you'll be fine. Mentally it takes a strong man, especially when you're tired and fatigued and getting worn down in practice. If you have a penalty, let it go, don't do it again, wire in and play the snap. It's a life skill."

On practicing in the heat: "Where I came from is really hot, so it's cool to me. It's not even an issue to me right now but they're not used to it. I'm smart with that, so are the trainers and everybody. I like the heat for them to work in. We have to water them down and be smart with them, but the heat is good, the heat is our friend. We learn to play in it, and the thing that I think is important is to be able to have mental toughness and consistency. It doesn't matter where you go. We should go to Alaska and play well; we should go to the desert and play well. The issue is about playing well and not worrying about the environment."

On the change in the number of practices over the years: "They've gone down, that's why I think the heat is so good because it's what you're doing in that short a period of time. But, if you're not working in pads and you come to your preseason game with your first group that didn't have much pad work, you end up not being ready for your first game. You can do disservice to those men in terms of physically hardening their bodies, and contact. To me, it's important the way we're doing it."

On CB Stanley Wilson's and C/G Tyrone Hopson's injuries: "They both have knee injuries. Right now we're moving guys around on the d-line. We do that, move guys to different spots to develop different skills; and, really what we're doing is developing the depth."

On if Mike Martz's offense is better suited for the talent they have: "As I look at it, I think if you have good receivers and you have good backs and a good quarterback it's a good offense to be in. He utilizes his personnel; he deploys the people very well. The deployment of our personnel and the tempo, everything I want. The heart is going, and we can still be a very physical run team at the same time."

On Donnie Henderson and the impact he's made: "Donnie is a special guy to me. We go way back. One thing I love about Donnie is that he's very forceful and very truthful. He speaks the truth and tells the players what they need to hear and he's very demanding. With my background, he's coming in and adding a little bit of a really good blitz concept that I really like. He's bringing something to the package that I really like."

On anticipating minor injuries in camp and how the off-season prepared the players: "That's something in my mind, always. I really tried to attack it in the off-season, we really ran. I think we really tried to give them the message with the last week of our OTA days. Every meeting I would talk about it and how they have to run and be in great shape. It's up to them, they're grown men. We're trying to do everything we can, but it's always going to be an issue. It's really about guys coming in shape."

On what the offense can do for RB Kevin Jones: "He started really making progress last off-season. When he first got here it was kind of a work in progress. Towards the end, he was really catching the ball well, and if you open the field up for him a little, he can really be a force. He's got a chance, and we're just taking it day-by-day."

FORMER NFL AND COLLEGE HEAD COACH JOHN ROBINSON
On his relationship with Rod Marinelli: "Rod and I worked together and have been friends for many years. I always thought that he was the most unique coach I'd ever been around. He could motivate one of these blocking dummies into becoming a player. I've never been around a man who could get into another man's face and demand things that the guy would say that he couldn't do that, and then the guy wound up loving him after he did it. I have an enormous amount of respect and affection for him. When you look at football, we all get caught in the sophistication of the NFL or whatever level it's on. However, the real sophistication is the fundamentals and the toughness and being aggressive. Any of the great coaches in history if you plopped them up here, whether it's Vince Lombardi or whoever, they would sound a lot like Rod. They would talk about goals, fundamentals and toughness. So it has been a treat to watch."

On how Marinelli will make the transition to being a head coach in the NFL: "He already has because he understands the game. He has coaches such as Mike Martz, who comes from the same passing background as Ernie Zampese, who worked for me. He has, what I think is the essence of head coaching in making your players tougher than the other guy. And when the game starts, kick the hell out of the other guy and then you win. You have to do other things, but I don't ever think he'll stray from that. I can't imagine him not talking about these things that you're going to get tired of hearing about it."

On when he was a head coach in the NFL if he practiced with pads: "Yes. I worked for John Madden for a year with the Raiders and that's all he ever did. Because of that, that's who those guys became. These guys aren't there yet, but that's who they will become."

On his first impression of the Lions: "Like every NFL team, they've got good guys. I'm sure it will take time to learn to be what he wants them to be, but they'll learn."

Courtesy of the Detroit Lions

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