Hondo S. Carpenter

On how the OTAs are going: "We have another week; four more opportunities to get better next week and we still have two more opportunities this week, so we have six good work days left."

On whether there was anybody not here today: "I believe it was 100-percent today."

On whether WR Mike Williams is back practicing: "Yes, he was here practicing."

On whether Williams is physically fine: "He's getting better. He's getting better; treatment all those things, so he's back working. He was here Monday; we had a long walk-thru, some of those things."

On whether the issue with Williams was straightened out: "He's here working. That was the whole thing and, like I said, he's here and (he's had a) good start this week, very good."

On whether he has had some sort of injury: "He's had a little bit."

On whether it was a hamstring injury: "Yeah, but we're getting him cleaned up here, and getting him ready to go, get him healthy and he can get some work in now after the last couple weeks."

On how he gauges how players are progressing at this stage in the offseason: "I think the biggest thing and we talk about it as coaches everyday is that, we look at fundamentals. No. 1 - how we plan the footwork that we're asking or the drillwork carrying over into our team. Then the next phase is our system and we're able to play situational football the last couple weeks where we had blitz periods, down and distance, we got into the red zone today a little bit; we were able to work our red zone and 7-on-7. So you look at different situations without hurting our fundamentals. We still get our work everyday and basic fundamentals. That's the progress I see as first individual players improving - maybe hand placement, footwork, those things - and then it's the package itself."

On what kind of feedback he's getting from the players: "I just think they're so happy - I like that (laughing). No, it's been good; everything's been good. The best feedback is nonverbal. The best feedback is going out and doing it. That's the feedback I look for: nonverbal. Talks don't mean much to me - never has, never will. Just show me on the tape, show it on the film, show it out here on the grass or the turf or whatever it is; that's what I look for."

On the conditioning of the players and whether he has seen improved player conditioning over the last few weeks: "A little bit. Yeah, we've got a long ways to go. We want to play at a pace - our pace - where our pace is and the speed and the tempo and be able to do it for four quarters. That's what I'm looking for. That is a never-ending issue. It will never be good enough. It will never be. I don't know what the ceiling is; because there's not a ceiling. It's just got to get better."

On whether this team has developed an identity yet: "I hope the identity is team. That's my goal: Lions football, No. 1; not offense, not defense, not special teams, not coaches - Lions football. That's the identity I want. It doesn't matter who does it, we got to win. No matter how it's done, we got to win as a team. Lions football, that's the identity that I want. It's non-talented issues; the issues that take no talent to do. That's what I'm wanting. I think once you can establish that, which is hard, then we can branch out around that. But I don't want to branch out without having that core of Lions football."

On what he has seen from the defense so far and how they are adjusting: "What I like so far is they're on the details, and they're really on fundamentals. We've spent a lot of (time on) fundamental work. I know there's good speed here; I know they're going to hit, I know that. We now have to set the standards for them and then within those standards now we've got to go within our system. That's the biggest thing - not guessing or doing those things; that we play together as a team. I've got a good feeling about that group. That's the only words right now. I think we've got something we can lay our hat on that's going to be pretty good."

On solidifying the offensive line: "It's pretty good right now. We've got a nice mix of guys in there. I think - again, I'm just saying this, it's early - but I think we've really upgraded. Especially with attitude; I'm talking Verba and Tucker. They've come in and brought something extra for us - Stokes - and with the men that we have here I think, and then couple of draft picks. I like the movement, the energy and they're coming together. I see it every day in practice and we'll just let this thing work out and get into camp and go to work."

Whether he feels he's added players to the offensive line and not just prospects: "No question. (We've added) some veterans - that football means a lot to them. They're here because they really like football. They like the work; they like the communication; they like meetings and all those things. You're never going to like it like we do, right? But I mean, you've got to like it - it's your job. I just - I really like the group. I just think that they're veterans, there's a lot of pride, they've kind of come in together a little bit."

Whether he worried about Verba being committed to playing after sitting out last year: "No, I don't think that was ever an issue - commitment to playing - I don't think. Boy, what we've seen of him here, he likes football and all those things. I'm just excited to have him here and that part's very exciting for me. I've got a gut feeling about it. (Though) I've been wrong before."

Whether all 20 offensive linemen will make it to camp: "Well, we're a few over right now, so we would have to make cuts to get to camp. Some guys are fighting to get to camp right now. I don't know yet. We'll have to just wait and play this out until our last week or so and into the summer."

On building from the bottom up with the offensive line: "I think, really, they reflect what I'm saying, but I think that's also the team we've got. We've added to every position and where guys come up who love football, compete, got in here and it just energizes everybody - (they're thinking) 'I don't want to get Wally Pipped here,' do you know what I'm saying. So there's a lot of competition, a lot of energy."

Whether the offensive line was his biggest target area to improve: "It was an area we thought we could get better in; especially with some of the men that were out here. And I'll say this, too, also: the veterans we've brought in I'm excited about it, but our line coaches are outstanding, too. If you get really an outstanding veteran NFL line coach, boy that's a big part of the whole deal because talent without coaching is going (to go) all over the place. Especially detail guys, so I think we're getting a nice mix up there and hopefully each position can kind of feel that a little bit. With the receivers we've done that, added some running backs and on the defensive line we've added a few; linebacker we've really done a nice job and the secondary in the safety position we've added. So hopefully from the bottom up, guys just keep pushing each other."

Whether S Daniel Bullocks is back at practice: "Yeah, he's here today. We got him back today. He's all squared away and did a good job today."

Courtesy of the Great folks at the Detroit Lions.

Courtesy of the Great folks at the Detroit Lions.


Hondo's Blog