DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE A RECAP OF FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2008

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  • The Lions completed their second day of two-a-day practice sessions today at the team's practice facility with a morning and afternoon workout. Both practices were held on the outdoor fields as the team worked out in full pads in the morning and in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) in the afternoon.
  • Detroit signed their final draft choice, second-round selection LB Jordon Dizon, and now has all of their eligible players in camp. Dizon missed the morning practice, but agreed to a deal in time to participate in the afternoon session. The team has elected not to sign seventh-round draft choice LB Caleb Campbell after the U.S. Department of Defense determined that he could not participate in the NFL through the Army's Alternative Service Program. 
  • S Daniel Bullocks, TE Dan Campbell, WR Shaun McDonald and G Edwin Mulitalo all remain on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and did not participate in practice today.
  • Detroit had an NFL officiating crew participate in both practice sessions again today. Officials Carl Paganelli (Umpire), Jerry Bergman (Head Linesman) and Scott Steenson (Side Judge) will spend another day in practice with the Lions calling penalties to both help the team and hone their own skills for the upcoming season. The officials also met with the media today for rule clarifications and to explain rule changes and points of emphasis.
  • The Detroit Lions will open training camp to the public at their headquarters and training facility in Allen Park for a second-straight year. The general public is invited to attend Lions training camp July 29, August 1 and August 4-5. Both practice sessions (morning & afternoon) will be open on each of those days. Training camp practice viewing areas at the team's headquarters and training facility in Allen Park have been increased to accommodate approximately 700 fans on a first-come, first-serve basis. Specific practice times for the general public will be available approximately 24 hours in advance on Detroitlions.com.

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On DT Cory Redding having a better training camp after having participated in the offseason program: "You know me. In terms of that, I think it's everything. You get a chance to work with the guys. You develop your habits each and every day. Just being in football, even if it's a limited period, an hour a day - whatever - you keep your focus. And I think when guys are under those contract situations it's hard because your mind is off, you're not around. So I see him just taking off, especially from the season he had two years ago. Last year he played hard. I'll never doubt that. He just has to get more credentials."

"Just from practice. You've got to practice. Especially those down guys, you have to practice."

On the importance of getting more of a pass rush: "We've got to. We're working hard on our stunts and our games. This is a group that's got really good speed and good conditioning, good endurance right now. So hopefully we can just get eight guys rolling right through there and be able to get the heat."

On the importance of getting sacks:
"I think it just about ends that series. When you get one in a series, if it's a first-down sack too, they're devastating. So it's so important to get that sack. Hits and pressures are all good, but you always shoot for the star. You shoot big, and that's the sack. Anything less… not quite good enough."

On his feelings about DE Jared DeVries:
"I just admire guys like that. I've been around guys like that a long time, and I've gotten a lot of mileage on those guys. He's always been an extremely tough, good defensive player in terms of doing everything - he drops, he stunts, he does all those things - but when he came up and had 6.5 sacks last year in 14 games or 13 games that he played, the thing that really jumps out at me was the timing of them all. The three he had in the Chicago game were in the fourth quarter. He got that one sack fumble at Dallas, you know, the one we didn't get. He had one early in the Minnesota game that really stopped the ball in third down. The whole complexion of that game had a chance to be different. And just the pressures. The thing is, I've said you get leaner as you get older. Because usually if you understand techniques real well, you get older and you become a stronger player even though you get leaner. Everything I've asked him to do he does it, and he just does it exactly right."

On if the competition among defensive linemen is wide open:
"Oh, yeah, let them go; it's fun. But boy, he's a good salty veteran over there, and it means everything to him. You know him; you've been around him longer than I have. Just let it play out."

On the status of the players on the PUP List:
"We talked about Dan (Campbell). Dan is just fine; we just want to make sure we don't get him into something. You have to keep your eye on him. When he's up, you don't know, he sneaks in a drill and he's not supposed to be in the drill. That's him. So we're just being smart. Edwin (Mulitalo) is getting close and he'll be fine. But we really worked the two, McDonald and Daniel (Bullocks) really hard yesterday. Now hopefully we'll see how they come back."

On how Bullocks and McDonald seemed this morning:
"I haven't had a chance to really talk to anybody yet about it. But that's a big thing: the day after. See if there's any swelling or stiffness."

On if he knows the extent of WR Reggie Ball's injury:
"I don't know anything. I know he got banged up and they're just checking him. It looks like it was just knee-to-knee, but we'll see."

On whether rookie LB Jordon Dizon is close to signing a contract:
"I hope."

On whether he's looking forward to welcoming Dizon to training camp:
"I am - very much."

On the secondary making a lot of plays on the ball during the morning practice:
"One thing is we have some guys that have been in this system - I think that has helped them. They see it. Jimmy Lake's a big plus now because he's coached that system back in the back row, too. And I see it. We've got some guys with real good ball skills. Dwight's (Smith) got great ball skills; Brian (Kelly) does; Bodden's got tremendous ball skills. So I think we've got guys back there that can catch a football and break on the ball. It's day-by-day. I'm never happy. If we turn over (sigh). If we're not getting the turnovers (sigh). So I'm miserable every day."

On his early impressions of CB Leigh Bodden:
"I just think he is kind of what we thought. He was a heck of a player coming out of Cleveland now, and I just think everybody's starting to understand who he is."

On the value of defensive backs catching the ball as opposed to just knocking it down:
"It's pretty big. It means you either get the ball or you don't. It's big. That's valuable - those are turnovers. We've got a chance to go in and get interceptions. One thing we've done and we've been pretty good at is: we hustle pretty well; we seem to get a lot of fumble recoveries, we strip the ball out and those things. Last year we started getting more picks. So hopefully if we can just do things we're supposed to do on defense in terms of stopping the run, getting the turnovers and letting the front hopefully create pressure, we'll have a chance to get better."

On the status of LB Ernie Sims' injury:
"We're just, again, taking it day-by-day, still going to be smart with him. He's fine. We just want to make sure. This guy, man, he likes football."

On the competition for starting positions in the secondary:
"I think it's just: who can we trust. Back in that back row, it is about trust. Sometimes the heat gets turned off on them and I keep turning it on, is the front. I stay on them - on them because you say, 'Oh they got beat back there.' Your spotlight can be on the back row but the front's got to help so I keep the spotlight on them. But it's the trust between the two groups, and then it's just guys that you can trust. You know, they've got to be in position when they're tired, when they're fatigued. They're going to make the tackle when they're supposed to. They're going to be on their landmarks where they're supposed to be. You call a blitz, they know the adjustments. That's what it is: just not beating yourself."

On if having a stronger secondary will help the pass rush:
"Sure it will. Especially when you play man-coverage and you lock things down, it buys a step for the line."

On if he plans to use man-to-man coverage more often: "The thing I want to be able to do is tighten it up a little bit. Our man and our zone last year were kind of similarly off a lot. We didn't feel we could challenge as much up front as we wanted."

On having veterans with experience in his defensive system and their ability to teach others:
"It's big. When you get players like that, you trust them because they know what to do. The players see them. We can't demonstrate too well, but when you get a player seeing it, and he's made a career in this system, those guys become system players. Brian (Kelly) and Dwight (Smith) are system players. So they've made their career playing in a system their whole career."

On whether he felt that Stanton and Orlovsky looked better in this morning's practice:
"I would agree - I want to watch the tape today. There's so much to see in a play when I'm standing out there.  You're never happy; if they're on, then you're saying, 'The secondary has got to get better.'"

On why he brings officials to camp and the effect it has had on the players:
"I've had them here every day since OTA minicamp. The way I've looked at it is that it's my responsibility to teach (the players) the rules. I've got the officials here to enforce the rules. So if we've taught it, they've enforced it and it's on the players. Usually everything is on me - in assignments and teaching. (Penalties) is on them. It's either lack of judgment, it's either a lack of concentration on their part, or a lack of self-control. It's one of the three and it's on them. So once I've got that taught, they know that, and I'll put the screws to them."

On penalties during practice and how he approaches them:
"Today (there) was more, yesterday we hardly had any. We had two off-sides today. They hard-counted us twice and we jumped. You can't do that; you give a team four outs and they have three brand new plays. It's just discipline. Later in practice, it starts to happen. I think we had a hold one time. You just can't do it. The best time to train is when they are tired. The longer camp goes, I've got to be more demanding of them. This is when you have to concentrate: when you're tired and you get miserable-you've got to learn to love to be miserable and enjoy it. Bring that other guy into misery with you and be more disciplined."

On the players on defense all being lean:
"I think they need to take a little bit off still. It's about movement. This package is about quickness, movement, speed and endurance. I'd like to see a team that gets stronger and stronger in the fourth quarter, and no matter where we go, we can count on great conditioning and defense and hustle."

On the conditioning of his players:
"If you're 305 pounds, why not be 295? That's an extra ten you're just carrying on your back. Why not get rid of it and harden up?"

On whether or not he issued fines for players being overweight:
"No fines."

On how he plans to utilize QB Jon Kitna:
"I think we're exactly where we want to go. We need to eliminate the penalties and turnovers and keep him standing and eliminate sacks. We can't go backwards. Sometimes a punt is a good play. If we do it well, we create a lot of yardage. That's real estate we can take. I want to be smart. You can see what we're doing with the boots. We're running the ball and forcing that. That seventh and eighth man in the box, you can take care of with that boot. That's a way for him to get outside and the young guys to get outside. It gives him a chance to control and move the pocket a little bit."
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On Kitna's health and conditioning: "He is a heck of a conditioned athlete. I thought a month after the season, he still looked miserable. I think right now, he looks great. He conditions well. He's a highly-conditioned guy and you can see it."

On what LB Jordan Dizon needs to do to improve:
"The first rule to getting better is show up."

On bringing Dizon up to speed in training camp:
"It's tough because the things we cover in detail are hard to repeat. It's catch-up now. It's just catch-up."