- The Lions completed their ninth day of two-a-day practice sessions today at the team's practice facility. The morning session was a full-squad practice and in the afternoon, the team held a special teams practice. Detroit worked out in helmets and shorts for both sessions.
- 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.
- The Detroit Lions will open additional training camp practices to the general public at the Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park. The general public is invited to attend Lions training camp Monday, August 11 and Tuesday, August 12 in addition to previously scheduled open practices (August 4-5). Access will be limited to the first 700 fans on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are two full squad practice sessions scheduled for Monday, August 11 that begin at 8:35 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Gates will open 30 minutes prior to each session. On Tuesday, August 12 open sessions are slated to begin at 8:35 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (special teams only).
- The 12th annual Detroit Lions Kickoff Luncheon presented by Tribute Restaurant and the Wisne Family and hosted by the Detroit Economic Club will be held on Wednesday, August 27, at Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. Lunch will begin at noon followed by the program that will feature Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli and the introduction of the 2008 Detroit Lions. The entire team annually attends the luncheon and awards from the 2007 season will be presented. Players receiving awards will include: Most Valuable Players Dominic Raiola (offense), Ernie Sims (defense) and Alex Lewis (special teams). Other awards will go to Gerald Alexander, Jared DeVries, Mike Furrey, Stephen Peterman, Cory Redding and Keith Smith. A portion of the proceeds from the luncheon will go to Detroit Lions Charities, the Lions' non-profit foundation that has donated more than $4.8 million to charities in Michigan. The primary recipient of Charities' proceeds from the luncheon will be Think Detroit PAL youth football, which includes approximately 3,000 Detroit children playing football in the nation's largest after-school tackle league. Tickets for the luncheon, which is open to the general public, are $60.Â To purchase tickets or for more information go online to www.econclub.org or www.detroitlions.com.
TRAINING CAMP ACCESS FOR GENERAL PUBLIC
After Saturday's scrimmage, the next 2008 Lions training camp practice sessions open to the general public will be Monday, August 4. Workouts are scheduled to begin at 8:35 AM (full squad)Â and 4:30 PM (full squad). 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. Parking is available in designated lots on Republic Drive near the Lions Headquarters and Training Facility. Gates will open 30 minutes prior to the start of each practice session (ex: 8:05 a.m. for 8:35 a.m. practice). Re-entry is not permitted and children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Personal belongings are subject to inspection upon entry and items not permitted into open practices include: professional cameras (lenses over five inches long and/or 50mm or above), any video camera, food, beverage, coolers, lawn chairs, blankets, umbrellas, backpacks or large bags. The fan viewing area features: bleacher seating areas, additional standing areas, a shaded tent area, The Roar & More team store, offering items such as official 2008 Training Camp and Sideline apparel, and concessions. Though autographs are not guaranteed, it is common for Lions' players and coaches to meet fans following practice sessions.
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On RB Kevin Smith's increased reps with the first-string offense: "We're running guys in and out and getting some good work."
On whether Smith looks comfortable with the first team: "I think so; he really understands what he's doing. He's picking up the blitzes well; routes and doing all the things we're asking him to do. It's going to be great competition."
On Smith's love of the game making driving him to be a better player: "Oh, no question. I told you guys this before, but when we're talking to him at the combine, I'll never forget it, I asked: how do you spend your off season? (He responded) 'Getting my armor ready.' And there was no smile, it was just: 'I'm just getting my armor ready in the off-season.' That means he works. He's come here and he's been the same guy, every day. He really is, just a very serious, very determined young man."
On the difference between guys who say they love the game and the ones who really do: "Sure, when you see it, is about practice 15 through 22 when it's miserable. They're sore, and he comes out, and you don't make mistakes. You get better, you concentrate well, you gather your information from the meeting room and you take it to the class room. He's been impressive; a lot of these young guys have done a nice job."
On what the fans should look for at the open practice tomorrow (Saturday, August 2): "They say it's a scrimmage, it's not a scrimmage. Nobody's going to the ground. It's normal team work but it's going to be a lot of situations. Every situation called, so if we're minus two, we'll punt from them backed up; we'll have simulated drives. We just want to be in all parts of the field, all down in distances; we'll punt from backed up, we'll have pooch punts, the kickoff, kickoff return. We need to get a feel of game substitutions, in and out. The only thing that hurts us not having it at Ford Field, I love having here, is the press box to side line communication. I don't know if we'll be able to do that. None of the coaches have volunteered to go up on the tower (laughter). And then we'll finish up with the two minute drill, we'll have a nice crisp two minute drill, a run drill. So all the areas that we need to look at in a game, we'll touch."
On why substitutions require practice:Â "It just does. Say a guy get's an injury, that back up has to be ready. They just got to get into a game groove. They got to understand your rotations. So it's all the mechanics of the game and I still want be able to stress all the fundamentals, and still have a real good strong fundamental night."
On tomorrow being the best indication of where the team is at right now: "Ahh, I don't know. It's just another practice. It's just, today we had situations, we had a little bit of red zone, and we had a run drill and then we finished with goal line, yesterday, finished with the two minute drill. But it's all put together, and what it is, is kind of a rehearsal to start the preseason. But I want the fundamentals."
On signing two center's (Andy McCollum, Nick Jones) yesterday: "Yeah, it's tough finding guys to be honest. (With) no European league, things like that, there are just not as many guys around. This guy (McCollum) is a quality, veteran guy. He's done it for a lot of years, and he's smart, high character guy, I'm really kind of anxious to see him get his pads on and go to work."
On whether McCollum can play guard too: "Yeah, he's a center, guard, just a real good veteran, just a solid veteran. But, you know he hasn't been in pads yet, tomorrow will be his first day in pads"
On whether the reduced number of healthy players is hurt them: "It is, normally I would probably been in full pads this morning. Yeah, I probably would have been, with a 90 man roster, I would have stayed in pads today. And then off this afternoon, walk through tomorrow, I wouldn't have missed a morning practice in pads. I have missed two now. But I have to be smart and I have to adjust to the rules, and still get our work.
On the possibilities of any of the guys on the PUP (McDonald, Campbell, Mulitalo, Bullocks) playing in the first preseason game: "No, no, none of the PUP's. We may have a chance to start getting them off, but I don't know if we're going to play them yet."
On whether the big play receivers will like this offense: "Oh yeah, yeah there going to like it if we run the ball. They're going to like it, because if we can force those safety's to drop - that's the thing, we have to be determined. To just line up and just throw it to these guys every down will cause us some problems. But we have to go out and see if we can get this ball run and be physical. You've seen some of the play action, boots and the nakeds. That's going to help us get these eyes on crossing routes. It's all set up by the run, so we have been on the theme and we're not going give up on it, we're going to stay with it, and just keep working at it."
On have a great turnout from the fans today: "It's everything. I've said it the first day before I think we started camp. It's three-fold. One, I appreciate them coming out here. Hopefully we do a good job to host them and practice good football. Players love it when there here and then again it meets down to Ford Field. Like I've told most of the guys here, I want the fans to see it through their eyes what we're trying to do. That's really important, that they see it, their eyes, and 'here's what we're trying to do.' Now you make your decisions."
On the play of CB Dovonte Edwards: "He's improved, he really has. He's had a good off season, and he played for us last year. He's an active guy, he's right in the mix; it's deep over there right now, he's right in the mix."
On how many corners the team will keep: "As it comes down to the end of the year, sometimes you're forced to keep a guy because you don't want to let him go and you might go short someplace else. But I'll let them figure it out. That's up to them."
On what an area Edwards has improved: "I think just learning the system. He's got really good ball skills. He's rerouting well, he's active, he's a bright guy. He's a talented corner.
On WR Devale Ellis feeling more comfortable in this training camp: "Yeah, I think so, but the preseason will tell. We'll get him in there; he's going to get his opportunities. He's got some return ability too, he's got some juice."
On whether the kick/punt returning position is wide open: "Oh yeah, yeah. The hardest thing for Stan (Kwan) is you don't know who is going to make this team yet. And the special teams - that's just hard, he's got to coach every single guy on this team, because we don't know, percentages we don't know. So we just got to keep looking, get him under the spot light and see how we do."
On the guy who shines returning kicks will have a leg up on making the team: "Oh yeah, yea no question."
On if keeping an extra guy at a position means he will be the return man: "Yeah, you would like to see that, a guy as a runner or a receiver, have that ability. Right now we don't have a defensive guy that really is a return guy."