Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell Mum on DeAndre Levy’s Injury

Jul 29, 2016; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell stands with his arms folded during practice at the Detroit Lions Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell stands with his arms folded during practice at the Detroit Lions Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Did you miss what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on day one of training camp? Read his quotes here.

Detroit Lions training camp officially got underway today with the first practice of camp this afternoon. Jim Caldwell met with the media following the session and while the news of DeAndre Levy being placed on the non-football injury list was a hot topic, Caldwell offered very little on the subject.

That is to be expected considering what we’ve heard from Caldwell on injuries in the past, and while he downplayed the severity of whatever Levy is dealing with, that will do little to pacify Lions fans’ fears.

It was fairly early in camp last season that Levy stopped practicing and ended up playing in just one game despite consistent reassurances from the team that they did not believe Levy was dealing with any long term issue. Now it feels like a “here we go again” scenario.

Here is a full look at what Caldwell had to say after Friday’s practice.

Opening statement: “I thought the guys moved around well. I certainly wish we could’ve gotten outside, but that’s the way it is. We have to be able to adapt. I think our guys do a good job of adapting as well as anyone, so they did adapt. They came inside and got a lot of good work done. So, still got a long way to go, but it was a good start. So, I’ll open up for any questions.”

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On DE Ezekiel Ansah’s progression and what the team would do without him: “You know, it’s a good question, and I certainly don’t want to find out anytime too soon. He has really developed into a quality talent. I mean, I think it’s kind of like an understatement if you say that about a guy that’s been to the Pro Bowl, but the fact of the matter is, he’s still yet scratching the surface of where I think he’s capable of being. From a physical standpoint, he’s developing, he’s stronger, he’s running just as fast as he’s ever run. And he has a real, real good knowledge of his responsibilities. There’s not a whole lot of thinking involved now. So, I think he’s one of those guys that’s going to draw a whole lot of attention. You have to kind of know where he is, otherwise he’s going to be able to wreak a little havoc.”

On news of LB DeAndre Levy starting Training Camp on Active/Non-Football Injury: “You know, we just kind of want to be careful with him, and just make certain he’s ready to go when I anticipate he will be at some point in time. So, if it was something long term that we deemed as being long term, you certainly know I would let you know that. But at this point in time, we just—we want to be a little bit prudent in terms of how we deal with it.”

On whether or not Levy’s injury is related to his hip: “You know we don’t talk about injuries and all those kinds of things. And everybody’s a little different in stage, because you see Ameer (Abdullah) is out there, but Ameer has a shirt on that nobody touches him with the red shirt. But yet we can still get some good work from him as well.”

On where Levy’s injury occurred: “We don’t talk about all those kinds of things until we’re required to put something on an injury report.”

On the possibility of RB Ameer Abdullah appearing in a preseason game: “We’ll see. The most important thing is him getting healthy. Obviously, he’s been cleared, but it’s just kind of a progression that he’s going through.”

On the importance of Abdullah feeling contact in practice before the start of the season: “Probably. Primarily only if a guy hasn’t been in it before. It doesn’t carry nearly as much weight in that regard through a guy that’s kind of been in the middle of the pro football game, and season.”

On CB Darius Slay signing a four-year contract extension: “You know, every case is different. But, in his particular case, I mean he’s certainly doing exactly what we thought he could do. He was here before I got here. Had an opportunity to work against him when I was elsewhere, you could see the talent, the speed. And when I get here, you could see he took another step and every year he’s gotten better and better. I mean he’s got all of the attributes you’re looking for. Obviously a guy that garners that kind of a contract. He’s got speed and quickness and obviously he has a good feel for the defense as well. I think it’s one of those things that he’s really developed himself as a leader. I mean guys listen to him, they have respect for him, and we’re glad we have him.”

On Slay covering opposing No. 1 receivers: “It’s something we can do. Every game is a little bit different. It kind of depends on who we face, where they put in, what the matchups are. So it just depends.”

On Slay’s personality on the field vs. off the field: “No. Probably not quite the same as it is off the field. He’s pretty loose on the field, and he plays with a lot of intensity and loves the game, and is in the game, and those kinds of things. But off it, he’s a likeable guy that loves conversation.”

On if WR Anquan Boldin is the same person he remembers from their time in Baltimore: “That’s who he is. First of all for a guy to be able to kind of jump right in and not really miss a beat, he was able to keep up with some of the difficult audibles and things of that nature. So, I think it’s admirable, but a guy that’s been in a number of different systems, you find that pros adapt very quickly because they have always something they can say, ‘OK that’s just like so and so when I played here,’ there, or wherever. So the associations I think make for a little bit more of a quick adjustment, so he’s done well thus far.”

On what he was looking for in Boldin’s workout before offering a contract: “We didn’t work him out. He came in for a visit. Some guys you kind of know who and what they are and it doesn’t require nearly as much leg work.”

On assessing the practice of rookie T Taylor Decker and DT A’Shawn Robinson: “I haven’t looked at the film yet, but I know one thing. They both, well at least Deck (Decker) did, commented about the speed out here because they were moving. And I think that’s something he’s going to have to get really accustomed to. In the spring, you know oftentimes, yeah, you get it some, but it’s a little bit different the closer you get to game time. You get everybody here, very competitive atmosphere, it goes up a tick. I would assume he held his own, but we’ll see when we look at the film.”

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On the comfort of signing Boldin without working him out: “Yeah, well, if you’ve been around him, we’ve had him, he’s been with us. We certainly know his body of work and we certainly had a real good feel for him in that regard. He’s one of those guys. Everybody’s a little bit different. You’ll find some guys that play into their late 30’s. You just had a young quarterback that did the same. Most recently you have some guys that don’t make into 30 years. At 29 years of age they have some difficulties. He’s one of those guys, a rare guy that takes great care of his body. He’s a strong individual from a physical standpoint. He’s been able to battle and give out more punishment than what he takes. And I think that’s kind of what’s helped him through the years.”

On how Boldin’s blocking ability helps the team: “When you look at him, he’s a well-rounded guy. He’s very, very physical. I think, I don’t know what year it was, but I know the offensive linemen I believe in San Francisco adopted him as a honorary lineman one year because of the fact that he blocked so ferociously. But he’s always been that way. He’s been highly competitive. But the things that he brings just in terms of competiveness, desire, sets a tone for the room, toughness, is pretty special. So those are the kind of things that simply are under the radar. But production isn’t under the radar. I mean, every year he’s been right in the thick of it.”

On if he expects Levy to be major piece on defense: “Certainly.”

On Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Dominic Raiola’s role: “He’s working with our strength program. So he’s in there with Josh (Schuler) and with Harold (Nash) and doing a great job for us. You know, he’s one of those guys that loves the game and always took care of his body. You know, he was out here oftentimes at five o’clock in the morning getting ready day in and day out. So he loves that aspect of it, so we’re glad to have him back.”

On if Raiola is helping the offensive line: “Obviously, 15 years of experience, whatever Dom played. What was it, 15 or 16 years? Something around there, it was, you know, a long time with that kind.”

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On Detroit Piston Marcus Morris wearing A No. 93 jersey: “He told me that he loves football. He thought we were going to have the pads on the first day. I told him there’s a little bit of an acclimation period. “

On when the team will put on pads for camp: “Three-day period we have to work with.”