Detroit Lions: Jim Caldwell’s Quotes At Fifth Training Camp Practice

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 /

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell met with the media at last night’s practice, the team’s fifth practice session of training camp.

The Detroit Lions are now a week into training camp and completed their fifth practice of camp last night. Here is a look at what head coach Jim Caldwell had to say to to the media on day five of the team’s training camp activities.

On what role he sees S Don Carey in: “It’s great to have him back because he’s a guy with a lot of experience for us, really our special teams unit. He’s certainly been a guy who has been extremely effective year in and year out. He does a tremendous job and he does a lot of jobs for us in the perimeter. He plays a little bit of nickel and plays some of the safety position as well. So you know, Don has a valuable role for us and not only that, he still has an opportunity to add a few more things to his repertoire.”

On LB Deandre Levy’s health status: “He’s progressing. That’s about the best I can tell you.”

On if TE Cole Wick has stopped progressing since OTA’s with pads now on: “I don’t think so. Everybody’s going to get a point where you get a little tired. I don’t think he’s gotten to that point yet, either. But there’s a lot of stuff during this time year, goes a lot faster. He’s been here also, a little earlier than the rest of the guys, so they’ve certainly been working at it. But I don’t sense that and I still think he’s developing.”

On the importance to see Levy in an exhibition game: “Not a huge priority.”

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On DT Gabe Wright’s progression and fit into the defensive line: “Every year he’s gotten better. I think from year one to year two he came back and there’s a difference between being in college shape and pro shape. I really do, there’s different demands. The intensity level is a little bit different and that’s not saying anything despairingly in regards to a college program. There’s such great college programs, but the fact of the matter is it’s just a little bit different. He’s dealing with a little bigger individual and between his first and second year he developed, got better. He’s done the same thing this year. So, he’s right there in the thick of it, but it’s a lot of good heavy competition.”

On Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Ron Prince’s coaching style: “He’s aggressive, he’s smart, he’s tough. He’s experienced and he’s demanding, probably the best way to describe him.”

On what specifically Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Quinn has brought from the New England Patriots:“They’ve done a lot of things. I’m not certain I want to go through every single one of them. I think you can probably ask Bob just in terms of what he has brought directly, but oftentimes you find that we kind of talk about some things, make some adjustments and changes and don’t necessarily put a stamp on it and say, ‘This came from this place or that place’. I can tell you, like I mentioned the other day, he’s added a lot just in terms of direction, focus, energy from a personnel standpoint and the whole gambit. So, he has a wealth of experience and I think you’re going to see he’s one of those guys too, he’s very, very open. He’s analytical. He does a great job, I think of taking information and being able to adjust according to the situation that fits and trying to get us into some of the best programming that we need for our players. And that’s from nutrition, to facilities, to you name it. It’s all the way across the board. He’s pretty in-depth in those things.”

On how the renovations across the facility have tangibly impacted the roster: “You’re talking about some things that we kind of just got started in it. Oftentimes it’s not something that you’re going to see overnight. You can see by the excitement of the players that they can tell that things are certainly better for them. From the standpoint of the field in which they have the opportunity to work on here in the indoor, which they love. It’s certainly the nutritionist. Oftentimes, guys have had to go out. There’s a lot of places across the country where they actually have to go out and find their own person that kind of takes care of them. They hire their own chefs at home. All those kind of things. We can get that here in the building now. There’s a number of things like that, that’s changed—new hydrotherapy room, the weight room is different in terms of the machinery. It goes on and on and on. But I think those things have already been reported I believe, so you’re well aware of them. But the players benefit from all those things.

On Matthew and Kelly Stafford bringing awareness to the importance of first responders by making them special guests at tonight’s practice: “Well, certainly we’re obviously proud of them, and it’s the way in which I think things have been done here for a long time. I think our players have done a tremendous job of certainly getting out in the community, making a difference in the community. There are a number of different foundations guys take to heart. They work at it, they want to try to improve our community, but also, they certainly understand that they’ve been blessed with great opportunities, so they spread it around quite a bit. I think that’s extremely important.”

On any update on RB Theo Riddick: “Yeah, he’s getting better. I mean he’s coming along, and you’ll see a little bit more activity out of him.”

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On what it means to him to see former WR Marvin Harrison and Coach Tony Dungy get elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend: “It’s been two years in a row now that I’ve had a chance to go down and see Bill Polian inducted, and it certainly was quite a moving experience, and now I have an opportunity to see both Tony and Marvin go in on the same evening. Two guys who I think have had a tremendous impact on our game, and on me personally. Marvin is a great player who, without a question, was one of the great practice players, but also one of the great players in the games as well. I think that’s usually why he played so well, because we saw probably better catches in practice than he ever made in games, and he made some great ones in games. Always in tip-top shape, a constant professional, great competitor. It’s great that he’s going in, and well-deserved. And then Tony, I think we all know that he’s certainly been impactful in so many different areas in our business on every level. Obviously an author, a commentator on television, a great father, and he’s done some tremendous things with ‘All Pro Dad’ and alike, but also he’s had an impact on our league. Just in terms of myself, Mike Tomlin and Lovie Smith. Three guys that worked for him. Certainly we all benefitted from his tutelage, so yeah, it’s going to be great to see him go on and great to see a number of the guys that were there with us during the time that Marvin was there and then we were there with Tony, so it should be a lot of fun.”

On if he plans to scrimmage before the team heads to Pittsburgh for a week of practice and the first preseason game: “Our practices are going to be exactly the same as they’ve been prior to years before. We’ve practiced with pads on, is that what you mean by scrimmage? Well, we’ll do that Saturday (on the mock game) it’s kind of every year the same time, basically the same routine. You guys probably know that by heart I would think, right? It’s always on Hall of Fame weekend, it’s Saturday morning. This year it will be at Ford Field, last year it was here, so yeah we do go through the mock game, but it’s not necessarily what you mean by scrimmage. You know, we go through different situations but it’s not all-out tackling, or anything of that nature. That’s why I was trying to get you to clarify what you mean. Unless you’re telling me that we’re not scrimmaging now the last couple times you’ve seen us in pads.

On what the mock game is designed to do: “Game-like. Well, we have the NFL officials that come as well, so they really get a feel for it. For the young guys, but then the older guys as well, get acclimated, but the young guys have not been accustomed to the pace. The rules are different, so they’ll be calling it just like they see it, so it gives them a good feel for that. Substitutions, all those. You divide your team in half and try to work as closely as you can. You can’t duplicate it exactly to a game like situation, but you can get really close, and our mock game has kind of been that signature event to do that. The guys look forward to it, and it’s pretty competitive.”

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On if he likes the fact that the mock game is at Ford Field this year: “I do, yeah. It really gives us more of a game day type feel. You know, it’s going to be fun and I understand there’s a pretty large number of fans that are going to be there too, so it should be a great day.”