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The entire transcript from Rod Marinelli's final interview post OTA. A lot of great info!

Marinelli: I’ll just kind of start out and open it up a bit. We had an opportunity to go down to the high school (Detroit Renaissance) today and I just had some reasons for it. One is a great change of environment for our team. It’s something we need; especially when you go on the road, all of a sudden – hopefully we won’t have the hashes that wide and the numbers that wide –but it was different, it’s a different environment, so we have to learn to go in to an environment and still play one snap at a time and still do those things. So that was one thing. Really the number one would be, in talking to our team this morning, is that you have to take opportunities as you develop a player you develop a player, you develop a person and you take a moment to give thanks, and you be grateful. Because every man here in that building has a story that somebody affected their life. And if you had a chance to play high school football or high school sports, you’ll know that. A teacher, a coach, somebody affects your life. Because we’re not all here by our self, I believe that. It takes a chance to give some thanks and some gratitude and one thing I want to do is get to that school and I believe and it’s only my opinion that one of the great resources in our country are those teachers and those coaches and those young people. And we made an effort to go down there and the opportunities there that if they afford us the opportunity to come in to practice and their facility. And really the third thing is that I wanted those young people to see successful professional people come in. These are as successful professional people as there are in the world. They’re the best at what they do. And it was an opportunity to see them in the work environment. How they approach their job and how they prepare for their job. That was really positive. Again, I thank our team for a great off-season. It was tremendous off-season. We hit about 99 percent of attendance the whole way and it’s not mandatory. I just appreciate it. I’m excited about this team. I made that statement. I’m excited I’ve got a kicker out here still kicking. After about thirty years in the league he’s out to get his career year. He has to have that for us. He has to have a career year. Every guy does. I feel good about the team, I’ve said that all along. I’m not backing down from the statement. I have very high expectations for this team. Not just the talent, but the attitude of it. So I’ll leave it at that.

Reporter: Coach just one thing about the workout again with those kids. When you were going through the drills, could you feel or sense the kids, players, or coaches…the way they were sort of drawn into the whole setting?
Marinelli: Yea, hopefully it just gives energy to the kid. Well that’s, I can see. You may not be a pro football player, but when you get a vision of something you want to be, you got a chance to keep getting better. I think it’s also for those coaches and teachers who, I mean, they do a great job. I take my hat off to them every second of every day, what they do. It shows them the respect that we should show them.
Reporter: It was your idea, right?

Marinelli: Yes.
Reporter: What did you say to the players and coaches afterwards?
Marinelli: You know, I kind of re-told those young people exactly what I told our team. Why we came. I said we all have a story about being grateful and thankful. That we have a chance to…that’s maybe not the people who coached us but it represents that. And that we have a chance to really, I guess, give something back. In a selfish way we’re also gaining a lot by being thankful and to the people who helped us along the way. Every guy in that room, believe me, there’s somebody affected. That more than one, two, three, four, five people affected everybody’s life. I mentioned to those young people that they will see the same thing., You’ve got coaches that care. I mean, if you see these coaches, if you get a change to talk to those coaches how much this meant to them. Not personally, but what it did for their students. That’s what I thought was awesome. They were caring about the effect it had on their students. That’s important.
Reporter: What gave you the idea, or what inspired you? Did something like this happen to you? Or did you see another coach to it? What gave you the idea?
Marinelli: No. No. It’s part of something that’s always on your mind. When you have something…I list things that are always on my mind. I keep a list. I keep them by my desk so every morning I look through those and it just stirs ideas in your mind. You know, you get through these OTA days, and I’ll be honest, We’ve been going since March 20th and you know me, I’m grinding for 3 and a half months. These get long. You know, and you’re able to change the environment and do something that when you’re giving back it changes your whole focus for the right reasons.
Reporter: You’re talking about stories and is there somebody that has affected you? That comes to mind when you’re talking about that?

Marinelli: Oh, there’s no question. My high school coach. The first day I was here I told you that. Just great people,… tough…tough. Consistent, un-bending. Every guy needs that. I think people need that in their life. Those days those guys would come to school in suits. You walk in there and walk back and he’d change his clothes and get P.E. gear all day. Take a shower and walk out in a suit. I couldn’t understand why you do that. I’d just come in my gear. But it represented more than that. and what they tried to represent and instill. In those days those old coaches would wear suits to the game. I remember that. Rodell cleats and white socks and a suit. Just what the game meant. Because they were professional coaches.
Reporter: Obviously that whole suit to work thing didn’t rub off on you.

Marinelli: No, it didn’t. They remind me of that a lot.
Reporter: You don’t even have white socks.

Marinelli: No, they remind me of that all the time. But no, believe me, it doesn’t. Their attempt…that wasn’t just them that was an era. I go down to those coaches today and see those coaches down there they are terrific. Wow. Al those hard it is. I coached and taught in high school. I know how hard it is. To try and get those guys out there that are looking around, to try and get them to focus and talk to them about getting better and all those things…they don’t know those things. Sometimes it’s not being re-enforced back home for them. All those things they are trying to get through to them. So I understand their job and how hard it is and I really admire what they do. Â

Hondo: Coach, I looked back at looked at some of your comments at the end of OTAs last year. You talked about how you have to focus on getting better, pounding the rock. You never one time said you had a good football team, and that reflected during the season. Now, its “We got a good football team.” Would you talk about the differences?

Marinelli: Yea, there’s no question. I didn’t know this. I’ve told you before that I don’t like to just say something to say something. I have to see it. I have to see and believe and see and believe to get going. I believe so much in attitude bunched together that we’re willing to push forward as a bunch of men with a goal and a vision that you can accomplish a lot of things. I’ve just seen this group of people, group of men, just coming together. It’s not me. It’s a staff and the players themselves. It comes back, I think, that all that chemistry starts with fundamentals. I really believe that. You come down and get your fundamental work every day and footwork. That’s where your motivation comes that you see yourself getting better. I think they believe in our staff. They believe in the systems. That’s why I feel good.

Reporter: John Kitna talked about attitude today and last year there was kind of an undertow in the locker room that brought your team down. He feels that you’re past that. How has that transpired?

Marinelli: Well I can answer it two ways for you. You keep looking for the right type of people that I want here. It’s about team. In this league its really hard, it really is. Its team and their livelihood. So I’m dealing with both. I’m not naïve, I’ll always understand those things. But you get enough people in there that work with their leadership and all those things. But, I do know this: and I’m not naïve enough to believe this also all the good chemistry and all that thing that we’re trying to build a team, team building. When you hit adversity. That’s when it counts. And to me, that’s what meant so much to me last year, is how we finished the last month. And we didn’t win them all, but it’s how we practiced. The guys that finished were in pads and the guys went to Dallas at the end and fought, and they could have laid over. They could have just gone Christmas shopping. and they didn’t and that’s part of what you’re looking for. And se now that good feeling, when it hits a block, it hits a wall, how do you respond? Where’s the metal toughness? So within that chemistry, hopefully, is that toughness. That consistency I want to stay with. We have to take this approach right back into camp and re-start everything again. Right back from the ground zero and re-build it.

Reporter: What message did you give them or will you give them?Â
Marinelli: You know, that we’re a good team. And I appreciate their work. The staff and I myself…we appreciate and thank them for a great off-season. They made this a great off-season. We didn’t. They allowed us to have, as a staff, allowed us to have a fine off season. And I thank them for that. But now the work continues. The strength and development, we’ve really…Jason, Jason and Malcolm in the weight room are doing a great job in this off-season. They’ve really got us bigger and stronger. You can see it. We’ve got some different guys in, too. But we are a big team. Offensive line is a big group of men. They’re speeds…the running and the conditioning…and we want to make sure they take care of themselves this summer and enjoy it. They have to have some mental time off and then go to work when we get back.

Reporter: One more week of your work out program? One week or two weeks?
Marinelli: Yea, we have a couple weeks left and so that’s what I try to do is condense this month, hard. It was a hard month, I kept them on the field a lot. But now they get a couple weeks now to get back to their running or lifting routine. They can get with a coach and clean anything up. I have film left to watch, they can get all that in at a little more of a leisurely pace right now.Â

Reporter: What about injuries now? Where do you stand in terms of health? What’s up with Dee McCann? Is that a knee?

Marinelli: Yea, it was a knee and so we just have to see. He may just start on P.U.P. You know, we have to see.

Reporter: Who else will start on P.U.P? Him, Jones, and who else?
Marinelli: Well, Kevin’s a possibility, Calhoun is a possibility, Campbell is a possibility, but I don’t think so. I think he’s going to be ready. But I don’t see much after that, really. I think we’re going to be ready to roll.

Reporter: How about Bryson?

Marinelli: Yea, that’s another one.

Reporter: Less of a problem? Do you think he’s more likely to…

Marinelli: Who? Ed?

Reporter: Bryson.             Â

Marinelli: You know, I hate saying it but we have to wait. They are all going to be close. All going to be close. But that’s not a bad thing. A guy can start P.U.P and three days later he’s doing well, we take him off and get going.

HONDO: So Dee told me he thought he would be back no problem by training camp. You’re not so sure?

Marinelli: Well, we’ll wait and see. You know, every player is going to be back. Every player, they love, I mean they all want to be there. They are going to be ready to go. Especially when you are competing for a job. I guess I’ll always ere on the side of being a little conservative.

Hondo: Ed Mulitalo. I said everything you’ve experienced here because coming from a championship organization, what stood out to you? He said something happened today, that you told the team, that when they leave here to protect their name, their parents name, and the Lion’s name. And he said that is a championship attitude. Would you talk about that talk you had?
Marinelli: Yea, it’s just really…I think when you talk to long they have a tendency not to listen. People don’t listen very well. So when you break it down one, two, three, and make it condensed…but when you leave it that is important. You take care of your family, you take care of yourself. By taking care of yourself you’re taking care of your name, which is important. That’s what we have the rest of our life. And we take care of the Lions. And it’s one, two, three. It’s that simple but I try to constantly remind them on the same verbage. If we have a long weekend, a memorial weekend, I try to say the same thing. Will it always work? No. But that’s part of being a teacher. You say the lesson and say the lesson and you’ve got six guys flunking. You say, yea. And then you have to change your approach. Or change your words. Or change your guys. No.

Reporter: Will Shaun Rogers be on the P.U.P? Is he a candidate for P.U.P?

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Marinelli: Well, we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll have to wait and see how he finishes up the summer.

Reporter: Just from the naked eye, he looks pretty large. Would you like him to lose a little weight?

Marinelli: Oh, he will. He’s just He’s not been able to do a lot. You know he’s been in rehab with the knee and he’s gotten some individual here over the last month. Individual work for our twenty minute period and so hopefully, the key thing for him right now is that I want to make sure he’s healthy. That he’s totally healthy so I can give him a chance to perform, to be at his best. He can really help this team. If his injuries are nagging and nagging on a big man that really slows it down. So we have work cut out and we just got to get it done.

Reporter: Let me ask you a personal question. I didn’t see Woody out there today. What’s his status?

Marinelli: Right. It’s not mandatory.

Reporter: As you go forward with the team, what’s his…I mean do you still expect him to be competing for…

Marinelli: Oh, yea. I expect him to compete, yea. But it’s just I don’t follow up on where they’re at on some of these things so I’ll tell the position coach I have something to do I have to deal with. Ok, no big deal. But you got to make sure, because it’s not mandatory. You can’t…”Hey, it’s not mandatory but be here”…you can’t do that. I just want them to want to be here. You know, create that environment.

Reporter: You talked about changing players. Did you change the locker room…did you change the locker room attitude?

Marinelli: I don’t think it’s ever finished. I don’t think your roster is ever finished. I think you’re always looking and talking and seeing where you can improve. As long as it’s the right type of person that’s coming in. That’s the key.

Reporter: I don’t mean talent wise, I mean attitude wise. Obviously you’ve made effort to get rid of some guys that you didn’t think were with the program.

Marinelli: I feel pretty good right now, to be honest. I really do. Again, when things really hit is when we hit some adversity. When the guys compete and didn’t win the job. It all of a sudden changes. You know, that’s human nature. And so I’m aware of all that. How it happens. But I’m just trying to lay that strong foundation right now.

Reporter: How was the visit with Kelly Hermdon?

Marinelli: He’s fine.

Reporter: Is he healthy?
Marinelli: The medical people…healthy enough.

Reporter: Is it…Do you…diligence thing? Or are you interested in finding another corner?

Marinelli: No I like…I think you have the chance to see some of these guys out here. The first thing you want to do is get to know these people and then physically see where they are at. I’ve done that with some other guys, where you bring them in. I might do that next week with a couple more people and see where they are at and get a chance to know them, do some research on them., and go from there.

Reporter: Did you bowl yesterday?

Marinelli: Did I? No.

Reporter: He’s the commissioner and he doesn’t bowl.

Marinelli: The commissioner couldn’t bend over.

Reporter: I know you can’t talk about players under contract, but there was talks that the team might be interested in some quarterback in some city that might be on the outs because another quarterback was aquired. Are you guys interested in adding any more players?
Marinelli: No, we’re not right now. We’re just moving forward right now with what we have.

Reporter: Who is the number two quarterback, by the way?

Marinelli: We’ll see. We’ll kind of let that work out in camp still. They are all working, and working very well.

HONDO: Coach, last year John struggled holding the ball too long, that’s why there were some fumbles and things. In 11 on 11 drills and 7 on 7 he appeared even when there wasn’t a rush to be holding the ball too long. I know you were concerned last year at this point are you concerned or is that more to worry about in training camp?

Marinelli: Well I think it’s such a timing offense. Sometimes he’s not holding somebody. Sometimes a receiver could get re-routed and not be where he’s supposed to be on time so he’s expecting the guy to be at a certain level at a certain time so sometimes he is waiting for that thing to open up. And what he did, you made a good point, as the year went on, boys started going down to some of the checked downs or some of those things. But, no. he understands this offense extremely well I think he’s going to be fine.

 We apologize to the great Lions fans that can’t watch this as a video which would be much better for the fans. The new recent stupid NFL rules prohibit that.  Thanks Goodell BUT MOST OF ALL, THANK THE TEAMS. GOODELL WORKS FOR THEM AND THEY ARE ALLOWING HIM TO DO THIS!