LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI AFTER THE SATURDAY PRACTICES
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "I just have a quick comment as we start. We put in another good (practice) of solid work. It's nothing special. It's nothing (where) I'm going to say: 'wow.' It's just that we put in another very good solid (practice). The thing I'm impressed with right now -I just believe those 9-on-7s are so important to the makeup of a football team, and how they're competing in that drill. It's not (about) who wins the drill, its individual performance. It's the man getting better at what he does. I just sense that team is willing to compete against each other right now. That's the thing you're looking for and want. Is it perfect yet? No. We've just got to keep pushing and pushing, one snap at a time. That's what we're going to do. We're going to get a rest, meet and then practice."
On DT Shaun Cody's knee injury in practice: "He (the trainer) said right now it just looks like a mild sprain. We're going to get it checked but that was the first thing the trainer told me."
On whether he expects a certain amount of 'raggedness' early on: "That's what you are able to coach off of: when it gets raggedy. The theme last night and it will be a theme today is now: let's get mentally tough. The environment is hot and we're tired. Let's just do what we're supposed to do on that snap. It gives you a great avenue to teach what you want. It's miserable; they're miserable but you've got to learn to love that. Once you learn to love it, you've got to learn to excel in it. That's our opportunity to teach on the field. Not just football, but that part of the game. It's important to our staff."
On whether he can tell by the players' body language if they're buying into it: "I guess I could just feel how they're competing. I can just sense it's a pride of competing. This is demanding - it's a tough camp now. But they're coming out and they're working. The best thing you want to see is just: guys showing up on time; learning their information; coming out and detailing it and trying to execute. That's the only thing I'm concerned about. All of the other stuff that works out, I'm not as interested in that."
On DT Shaun Cody and WR Corey Bradford: "Shaun Cody just looks to be a mild sprain right now - that's the first thing (the trainer) said coming off. (Bradford) needed an IV. We had some (players with) cramps and IVs."
On whether some things surprised him yesterday while reviewing the film: "When you really look at it, you're trying to look at individuals and see if they're doing what you're asking them to do: the fundamentals and the skills and all of those things. Like I've told these men, I think this is a good football team - in my opinion. The talent is pretty darn gone good and its equal in this league. It's just the theme of doing things right every day."
On whether Bullocks will work exclusively at the free safety position: "We're looking at free (safety), that's the biggest thing there. But I like all of those guys to have some position flexibility. I want to constantly build the depth of the team."
On the importance of the safety position in this scheme: "You need to have the ability to have range and tackle. You can eliminate a lot of big plays. Usually an offense needs a big play on a drive to score. If you have guys that have ball skills back there and are tacklers - that is key. Then sometimes those guys have got to drop in the box and you would like to have both be able to do that for disguise purposes. They've got to be very stout run defenders and great tacklers.
On whether they feel that Bullocks has range and tackling abilities: "Everything we've seen so far on (Bullock's) has been all mini camps. Now it's time to tackle and all those things. He's got that stuff that we're looking for. He's demonstrated that on tape before."
On Bullock's being able to recognize enough to be a starter by the opener: "Yeah - every guy is coming out here to work to be a starter right now. We're going to give him that opportunity. We don't want to put the cart ahead of the horse; we just have to see where he's at. It's his first day; he's a little behind right now and has to catch up a little bit."
On whether his means of motivating are different now as a head coach than when he was an assistant: "It's still the same. I've got to be who I am. Any success I have had, I've got to make sure that's me coming out of it. If I all of the sudden come back and start to be something that I'm not, then I'm not as good as I can do to help our team win. I've got to do both. I've got to still be who I am and I've got to still manage. That's important for me."
On the wide receiver rotation and how it affects the depth chart: "Right now, with the amount of running we're doing - you've got to be smart so you just don't wear somebody down totally. We've had an opportunity to go out and look at guys doing different things, different routes and all of those things. It's different for health issues too."
On not reading too much into who is lining up with which units: "It's practice. If you look at the linebackers and the line, we're rotating guys through there quite a bit. It doesn't mean much other than a chance to look and maybe give the other guy a 'blow' a little bit."
COURTESY OF THE DETROIT LIONS