DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE & TRANSCRIPT OF ROD MARINELLI

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NEWS

  • The Lions completed their 19th day of training camp today. The team held morning and afternoon workouts on the outdoor fields at their headquarters and training facility in Allen Park. The morning session was a full-squad practice in full pads and in the afternoon, the team held a special teams practice in helmets and shorts.
  • The team announced today that they signed FB Keith 'Thump' Belton and placed P John Deraney on the Reserve/Injured list. Belton originally joined Detroit as a rookie free agent following the 2004 NFL Draft. After spending parts of his rookie season on the Lions practice squad and active roster, he was signed to the Bears active roster December 29. Belton spent the 2005 and 2006 offseasons with Chicago as well as parts of those regular seasons on their practice squad. He finished last season on Denver's practice squad and was with them briefly during this year's training camp. Deraney signed with the Detroit as a rookie free agent following the 2007 NFL Draft. In Week 1 of the preseason, he kicked the onsides kick in the fourth quarter against the Bengals (8/9) that allowed the Lions an opportunity to score the winning touchdown. Deraney also kicked a PAT in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati.
  • A couple of Lions receivers have taken the NFL preseason by storm. WR Shaun McDonald's 146 receiving yards were the most in NFL Preseason Week 1. WR Troy Walters' 8 receptions also happened to be tops in the entire league in Week 1. McDonald's 83 yard touchdown in the second quarter against Cincinnati is the second longest play from scrimmage in the 2007 preseason. In the last eight NFL preseasons, only three wide receivers have had more single game receiving yards than McDonald put up against the Bengals (R. Moss vs. ARI in 2000- 164 yards, I. Hilliard vs. NYJ in 2003- 150 yards, J. Morant vs. NO in 2005- 161 yards).
  • WR Devale Ellis, RB Kevin Jones and DT Shaun Rogers remain on the PUP list and did not practice today.
  • The Detroit Lions will continue their 2007 preseason this week at Cleveland Browns Stadium when they face the Browns at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Saturday's game will be the 39th meeting in what has been dubbed the Great Lakes Classic between the two teams. The Lions enter the 'Dawg Pound' looking to build off their preseason opening 27-26 victory against the Bengals while Cleveland began their preseason with a 16-12 win at home against the Kansas City Chiefs. Next week's game will be televised live in Metro Detroit on WKBD-TV UPN Channel 50 with Frank Beckmann handling play-by-play, former Lions QB Erik Kramer adding color commentary and local sportscaster Steve Courtney reporting from the sidelines.

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "We kept Roy (Williams) out today, he's got a sore hamstring; we just want to be smart with it. We feel he'll be fine to play. (Mike) Furrey bruised his knee, we feel he'll be fine to play, get him some rest today. Boss (Bailey), we just wanted to rest him down a little bit and take something off of him. (Ikaika Alama-Francis) has a little bit of a bruised shoulder, we think he'll be fine. We'll still make a decision on Teddy Lehman when the time comes. He's practicing, but we've not made a decision whether he'll play or not. Then Kalimba (Edwards) rolled his ankle today and we'll just have to wait and see how that plays out."

On if rotating guys in on defense is because they want to get a look at guys: "No, we're just taking reps off of guys as much as anything. So, sometimes I'll keep the first tackle sometimes out of the rotation just for contact."

On the rotation at cornerback: "We're just rotating guys through right now. Sometimes the first group will go out, we'll say 'ones,' and it's not all ones. We're just rotating groups. At some positions we're holding guys out or maybe don't want to get (them) as many reps."

On if the No. 1 defense is set: "We're still looking at people, yeah. We're just rotating guys through."

On if they've settled on the starting cornerbacks: "I think it's still up in the air. We're having some nice battles over there. I'm going to let them compete, there're some guys really working. We've got a couple, two good weeks left of football and three good preseason games, so I'm excited about that."

On how close WR Calvin Johnson is to being with the first unit: "Close - we're evaluating him there. We'll just kind of let it play out, see how he works. The biggest thing is, like we did with Ernie (Sims) last year, we just want to work him in there (and let him) earn it; we know what he's doing and obviously he's a special player.

On if he will replace WR Mike Furrey: "Right now we're just working on just getting the work done, day-by-day."

On how much of the battles take place in practice and how much in the games: "I think both. One thing you get to see, you see a guy work in practice and do these things. But, the game means something also. Because of how he takes the classroom, the fieldwork, to an arena, and you've got to be able to see a guy, how they perform there. But, this (practice) means a lot, and the classroom, obviously, means a lot for us too."