DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE FOR MONDAY

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TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions completed their 12th 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 helmets and shorts in the afternoon.
  • The team will be practicing on their indoor field Tuesday, August 5. The session WILL NOT be open to the general public. Tuesday's workout was previously scheduled to be on the outdoor fields and open to the general public. Monday, August 11 will be the next 2008 Lions training camp practice sessions open to the general public. Practices begin at 8:35 AM and 4:30 PM. 
  • The Lions announced that they have placed LB Teddy Lehman (hamstring) on the reserve/injured list and signed LB Darnell Bing. Lehman was originally drafted by the Lions in the second-round (37th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. Through four years in Detroit, he played in 41 games (16 starts) and posted 165 tackles, a sack (2 yards) and two interceptions (18 yards). Lehman signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent March 5, 2008 but was released July 25. Bing entered the NFL as a fourth round (101st overall) draft choice for the Oakland Raiders in 2006 out of USC. After being waived by the Raiders in 2007, he spent the season on the San Francisco 49ers practice squad. Bing signed with the New York Jets January 15, 2008 and was released July 29.
  • G Edwin Mulitalo was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and practiced with the team today. S Daniel Bullocks, TE Dan Campbell and WR Shaun McDonald all remain on PUP and did not participate in practice today.
  • 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. To purchase tickets or for more information go online to www.econclub.org or www.detroitlions.com.

 

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On when the remaining three players will be taken off the PUP list: "The way it sounds - did you guys talk to Dean (Kleinschmidt) too? - This is general. (G Edwin Mulitalo) came off today, and everything we talked about this morning, that we think that we can get 'Mac' (WR Shaun McDonald) and (Dan) Campbell and Daniel (Bullocks) ready to go next Monday. We think that will all happen. Now, Mac and Dan - everything's fine for sure. And Daniel has passed everything with flying colors. Today he started resistance work, where you jam it and go. Now we have to just see how that responds. But everything looks great; the knee is great. Doc checked him out. Now the plan for him is Monday also, and we'll be able to get these guys going. That's the plan. It's day-by-day. I think the other two for sure; we just have to see how Daniel responds."
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On LB Ernie Sims' statement that he was supposed to 'take it easy' in today's practice: "He did. (Laughter) The guy has really enjoyed the tempo, I think. These are short practices, but the speed and the tempo - if we can do this: get our hitting like that and the fundamental work. What I don't want to do is just start cutting practices out because you're worried about numbers; the team won't make progress and get better. So if we can do that and be safe and stay up, we can get our work in."

On when he'll know it's time to take S Daniel Bullocks off PUP: "I think what it comes down to is when everything's structurally fine, which it is right now, and then everything is passed to go, I think the next phase is how he reacts around piles. The piles he's not used to with that leg. He's so used to for a year not getting it hit or touched, and now you have to get used to being around piles and all those things again. So that's probably - now you start him in maybe seven-on-seven and drill work and then eventually you just have to go."

On whether Bullocks will be ready to play on the same level as when he was a starter as a rookie: "Oh yeah. He's staying; he can go to all of the meetings. He does all that stuff. The trainers are working on some of the basic movements we have, but now it's about game conditioning, carrying your pads and tackling. So it gives us time to get him going, and we just have to get him in and see where we're at. But we have a chance to really bring back some really tough football players right now."

On the significance of this season's additions to the secondary: "For Joe (Barry), as a play-caller, when you call MAN, you feel pretty good about it. If you ask a guy to go up and bump, he'll go up and bump. The disguises are really good right now; we're disguising everything. A big part of this package is physical pressure, but mental pressure on that quarterback where he can't tell what you're doing. Those guys know and understand what we want. Then the insertion in the run game is key. So for a play-caller it's everything."

On the difference in this year's secondary: "You guys see it. When it's that obvious to you, it's very obvious to us. It's just about - this whole thing is guys just being in position and doing their job. Sometimes you have to give up an opportunity to make a play, by being disciplined so somebody else can make that play. And that's what it's all about.

On how the quarterbacks looked on film in Saturday's scrimmage: "I thought it was a pretty good day, really. For the most part it was good."

On QB Dan Orlovsky and QB Drew Stanton's performances specifically: "I thought the young guys did a nice job. Really they were pleased with it. So it's just day-by-day. The hitting - boom - getting hit, and sometimes you might have held on to it and the blitz is running by you because we're not going to hit them (in practice.) But now we're excited to get to this next stage for them."

On how T George Foster has responded to being challenged for the starting position: "He's cut down a lot of the - we cut down our package a little bit, too, so he's really done a nice job of - in terms of executing, this is a system he's been in and executed. So far, so good; now the next major step will be coming in the preseason games under the gun. But I tried to make this a pressure-packed camp, charting everything from penalties to everything to see how we're doing, and he's doing fine."

On Foster's statement that at this point he must cut down on mental errors: "I think with what we've cut back in our package, it makes it easier. Now it's on them. When you start cutting back, and they know exactly what to do - you know, you rep it and you walk through it and now you teach the fundamental work - it's on the players now. He has to go execute. When you know what you're doing, and know how to do it, now we can really evaluate you."

On what the coaching staff wants to see from the rookies in the preseason games: "I want to see obviously the toughness, how well they prepared - all those things. But probably as much as anything, will they play in our system and not get out of the system and just start making new defenses up on their own, or new offensive plays up? Just making stuff up and guessing. Because we have to be able to count on these guys under pressure to be where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there. And to see guys who can tackle."

On LB Jordon Dizon's size and speed: "You can be a big man and if your feet, let's say, aren't real quick - I call it 'ground pounder' - and your feet are out of the ground, you've got no power. I don't care how big (you are), you can lift the weight room up; but if you don't have quick feet, you don't have power. You can't convert your weight room into football. This guy's got great feet. I always talk about feet. When the feet are in contact with the ground, you've got power. When they're out of the ground, you have no power. And when he strikes - (motor sound) - his feet come. Ernie's feet (sound) like that. So no, it doesn't surprise me. He's going to be - he'll jolt you. He's got that, like a boxer, that quick punch. He's got that short explosion you should look for."

On the distraction Green Bay's coach Mike McCarthy must be having with the Brett Favre fiasco: "I wouldn't comment on that."

On whether middle linebackers can be trained in similar fashion to quarterbacks, with numerous reps: "Yes."

On if Dizon still needs many reps before he can be trusted:Â "Well you just have to see how he progresses during the preseason. A big thing in this system is trust in this system. The best thing I can tell you is that if you're a middle linebacker, (when) you see something coming at you, you go splatter it; when you play some Cover 2 now, you can't, because you're playing pass first. They have to see if that's a run pass, play-action pass or a run, and then go. As soon as those guys get aggressive too quick in the seven-man front, you expose the middle of the field.

On the patience required to play Cover-2: "It's hard. It's the discipline of it. Its seven points if you make a misdiagnosis - that's trust. That MIKE backer is trust. So you have to train them and train them and train them."
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On WR Roy Williams' comment that RB Kevin Smith has the best vision of the other backs: "What I've seen so far, he has been... He's done a nice job with his cuts. He's physical; we know that. Like I say all the time, he's a guy who can break tackles. And he'll get an opportunity to do that in a couple days here, but I think he's really everything we thought he was going to be."

On how much work Smith will get in Thursday's first preseason game: "Oh, we're going to talk about that tomorrow. What's today - Tuesday? Today is Monday. We will write it up on Tuesday and talk about it on Wednesday."

On the biggest thing he would like to see Thursday against the Giants: "I just want to see the quality of every snap. That's what I'm looking for. Each guy, the snap, there's a quality - quality execution. Our fundamentals are showing, our hustle and our effort."

On rookies DT Andre Fluellen and DT Landon Cohen: "'Flu', when he's like this, stepping (illustrates), he's average. When he does this (illustrates) and steps, he's pretty good. It's just the consistency in the footwork. I call it a sweet spot. Once you get just a little bit out of whack - bam, bam, bam - because we're not big. You have to be exactly right. Cohen's been a surprise. I shouldn't say a surprise. I knew he had the power, but he's quicker laterally than I thought he was going to be. He comes out of those double teams, boy, and he's been snapping out of it. And he's a big man - big, thick guy; great motor and great work habits. I'm really anxious to watch these guys develop over the next month I guess. He's showing up. He is showing up, and I've been impressed with him. He's done a good job."

On S Dwight Smith's strong personality and presence: "He is. He is strong. Mentally, he's strong. It's good to have him. If he sees something wrong he has the ability to call it out. That's why I think your team becomes pretty strong, is when the team itself starts policing themselves. Saying, 'hey, if we're going to sprint to the ball, then let's sprint to the ball. Hey, you turned down that hit, you can't turn down hits.' When you do that, you have to have that swagger on the defense yourself, and he does. Oh, he's got swagger."

On whether 'swagger' was missing from the defense before Smith's arrival: "The only thing I can say is: a lot of these guys haven't played in it (the Tampa 2 system) in the past. But you've got some guys who have made their careers in this system, and they believe in the system. A lot of times they call them 'system players.' Brian Kelly is a system player - believes in the system. He loves it. He's trained himself - all his drill work. He knows how to make plays and not to guess, and Dwight's the same thing. Dwight doesn't make many errors. I mean in the run game, he just doesn't make errors."

On whether Smith's success with the system makes him a good teacher to his younger teammates: "No question, just as you watch him. Things like disguising, understanding how to disguise the package. And then one thing that will surprise me if it doesn't happen is how well they ought to tackle. Those guys tackle. They will tackle. And I want that hopefully spreading to the whole team - the importance of tackling."