Hondo S. Carpenter

On RG Damian Woody: "He had a broken bone in his hand; (we) casted it; he's fine; he practiced today. He'll be fine for camp."

On the absence of WR Mike Williams: "I excused him on a team issue."

On whether Williams' excusal was disciplinarian: "I'll leave it just at those words - they're perfect for me. I excused him on a team issue."

On whether Williams will be back for the OTAs: "We're expecting him to be at the OTAs."

On FS Daniel Bullocks' absence: "That's a personal issue. He's excused."

On what they've gotten out of this mini-camp: "Really, it's nothing more than what we got out of the first three-or-four months. What I'm trying to say is: there's no end to this. There's not an ending. It's a progress. We'll just keep moving forward - and we have OTAs next week. This was just another step. It's building this team with all of the details we want, the conditioning, the tempo, how we want to do things, the speed of the game and the energy. Then all of the sudden you start putting a team together. That's the issue everyday. It's not just a mini-camp, it starts again Monday."

On whether they took steps with their conditioning in this camp and how can you gauge it: "Oh you can see because they're trying - they're out here trying every down. The speed that we want to play at, on offense, defense and special teams, I want it to be unique and special. The standards are set. Now, we'll ask the players to keep lifting their standards higher. The standards have been set about five months ago."

On whether the intensity is as important as the execution in these workouts: "Both (are important) - I want everything. I want the focus, the movement, the intensity, the details and the communication. I want it all, every snap."

On what his thoughts are on the occasional 'scrap' in practice: "I don't like it. We're going hard, we're going fast; the biggest thing that I worry about sometimes is player safety. These two guys are going and they could fall into somebody's legs behind them. I make sure they understand, it's about player safety. I want to go fast, I want to go hard but I want to go smart. Those things happen when you go that fast. We've just got to be smart and keep our poise. Our game is about intensity, toughness and poise."

On whether those 'scraps,' reflect the intensity and the mentality they're developing: "That could, but it also could lead to being 'not smart.' I want it all. I want the toughness, the intensity, the speed… and no penalties (laugher). I want it all."

On how quickly the team is picking up the schemes and how the execution is: "I've been really pleased. We're not playing anybody yet. In terms of men, we've challenged these guys mentally, unbelievably. They're in it, they're digging in it; they're concentrating in their meetings; they're working at it. We've thrown a lot of stuff at them. Then, anything you throw at them, there's a skill involved. So you've got to teach the skill with an assignment. I'm going to hand it to our coaches. I'm lucky - I've said that a hundred times - I'm lucky to have a staff like I have. I'm very fortunate."

On the coordinators not scripting the team portion of practice: "It's awesome. They both have a great ability - actually, they're just about calling a game. At times, you can script for success or script for this guy or that… these guys are learning to really play the game of football and the adjustments. What happens, there will be some things that pop up in practice that we might not have been able to script. Things pop up and we're able to coach. You take being a robot out of it a little bit. It's neat."

On whether not scripting the team portion of practice puts tremendous pressure on the coaches: "They have to prepare for everything - every snap and every down. There is situational football every period, so we condense it by having say, a run period or a blitz period. So that's condensed a little bit. Then it expands in your team period, leaving a little bit more. There's a natural progression that you try to teach and build."

On whether the assistants know what each one is going to see from play to play: "No, but they know what we basically have in. What it forces the coach to do is to prepare. They prepare for every front, every blitz. It's not so much preparing for that blitz, it's preparing your rules. Offense and defense are built on rules. So you have rules, so what you do is teach rules, rules, rules. You teach concepts. So those rules and concepts should take care of everything you see. That's the key thing. It's not a play or a blitz, its concepts. These guys do a great job of teaching concepts."

On whether most coaches script the team portion of practice: "Not all."

On whether they did this in Tampa: "We did some of it like that."

On whether he's surprised that both of the coordinators approach it like that: "Oh no. I coached with one (Donnie Henderson) and I played against the other one (Mike Martz) way too many times. The imagination is unbelievable but the thing you have to understand, they're both extremely fundamental guys; concepts, teaching, fundamentals. You can see that in our first 30 minutes everyday. Fundamentals everyday; fundamentals, teach, fundamentals, teach. Then you progress and expand; progress and expand. It's challenging for the players. When they get out here - you better not have cotton in your ears, you've got to clean it out and you've got to go concentrate. That's what makes a practice stimulating and you can really stimulate players that way."

On his transition from being an assistant coach to being a head coach: "I've said this kind of before, I've been in this role, in my mind, forever. I always have - I just have. I just believe that I've always prepared for this. I was an assistant head coach for a long time so I had a feel for what I wanted this thing to look like. Some guys may get it and they don't see it. I see a team; I see the vision of it. I was lucky, I was fortunate or whatever you want to call it, to get the (coaching) staff that I have."

On being an administrator for such strong assistant coaches: "I have no problems with that because that's what I want. I have no problem with that. I just tell them what I need to tell them."

On whether WR Scottie Vines has been absent: "He's had no absence. He's fine. He just has some groin issues."

On whether WR Mike Williams has had some kind of injury: "He's had some minor injuries."

On whether he's asked his coaches to 'throttle down' the screaming because the media was watching: "No. I think we kind of went back to some really basic concepts today, so there wasn't as many assignment errors. Usually what really sets guys off is when you're not on the details. That's what sets us off a little bit and demand the little things."

On whether there was any difference at all in this camp from the last one due to the grievance: "No."

On whether he minds a little animosity between the offense and defense: "I don't know if it's offense and defense - sometimes it can be between a guard and a three-technique or a receiver and a corner. I don't think that's a problem. It's those individual battles. What I tried to explain to them right now: it's not so much offense and defense, it's individual survival. Guys are trying to fight their way into camp. We don't want to worry about our opener, whoever that is. Those guys can't worry (about that). They've got to worry about putting food on their own plate and making this team. So that's what the issue is. The issue is that position vs. that position. That guy is battling. We talk about it and we understand how competitive that this thing is. I want competition. I don't want a right of entitlement. I want competition. It's not offense (vs.) defense, it's guys just competing for work."
Courtesy of the Lions Media relations!
Courtesy of the Lions Media relations!


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