More Lions mini camp transcripts from here at Allen Park: Marinelli and Martz!

Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli
Opening Statement: “Two good days. I like our tempo. Just like I talked about yesterday, but I’m going to keep saying it—I like this team. I’m going to give them expectations. I’ve got high expectations for this team and I believe it. We just have to live up to those expectations. Whatever those expectations are, we’re capable of fulfilling them. We just have to work towards those expectations.”

On having no decals on the helmets: “It’s a team with just a bunch of guys trying to make it to training camp right now. Then we’ll get to training camp, and it’s the next phase and guys earn them.”

On the unhappy demeanor of Joe Barry and Mike Martz: “We have some rookies out there at times, and we want them to be so on it. The information is hard. We just want to be on it in terms of every detail. Sometimes when you’re teaching, if you put your hand on the fire you get pain right now and that’s not good. Sometimes you have to coach that way, right now and immediate. You have to be vocal and strong at that moment to correct it. (The players) want that from us. They want to be coached extremely hard, and they want to do things right because they have really good expectations for themselves.”

On why he works extensively with the defensive line: “That’s the individual period and that’s where all your skills are developed. You can see the series of drills we do everyday. So it’s about getting off and footwork, all those basics. Something I’ve always believed is if you have a strength, stay to your strength. I could walk over here and look over there, but no I’m going to work my strength. I have confidence in every guy on this staff. It is a heck of a staff. I look at now how to organize, motivate this team, organize a practice, get these guys ready to go and get the right mindset. Now what else can I really do to impact it? I can get that front. I can do that and I’m going to do that. So, I have to use my time like that. That’s why I do it.”

On players playing with their instincts: “That’s what this system is built on, its rules. Mike (Martz) gives us all kinds of movement and shifts and you’re thankful as a defense that you get that. But what happens is, when you don’t have rules you’re always adjusting and thinking if your rules aren’t clean. The cleaner your rules are, boy you go right to your rules, your alignment, your assignment, your gaps, and now you play with speed. You can have speed, and if it’s confused, it doesn’t play fast. So our job is to get the speed, clean it, teach-teach-teach in those meetings, rep, fit drills and then let them cut it loose.”

On the attitude adjustment in comparison to last season’s roster: “I just think you find the right guys. You’re constantly looking for the right guys that fit us, fit me and our organization. The guys just want to go fast, but now you have to have the speed to go fast too. That was the thing I talked about in the off-season. I wanted to get edge speed on defense, corner speed and now we’ve got speed on our offense. So now you put it all together with good fundamentals and that team has got tempo.”

On Drew Stanton not participating in team offense: “Sometimes it’s just learning. It’s not just him, but we have a linebacker who we took (out) for a while. It overwhelms them at times right now. If they can’t get the play calls and get the huddle call right, then the whole defense is messed up. Nobody can get aligned. You just have to go back and re-teach them and get them in a learning situation and teach and then put an emphasis on that you have to learn your stuff. You got to know it. We’re throwing a lot at them, and we’re trying to bring these guys along as fast as we can. I want to put pressure on them.”

On if Ernie Sims is playing the strong side linebacker position: “No Ernie’s a ‘Will’. Sometimes with adjustments it could get him into a situation where he’s on the tight end or something. That’s just the adjustment to the defense. It could be a one-back adjustment and all of a sudden he’s covering the tight end. It’s the same front, but it’s a shift, a movement or a motion. Now he’s covering the tight end by himself. That’s all it is. He’s still a ‘Will’-backer.”

On if there is more emphasis on takeaways: “Oh yeah. We’re trying to hit that one. I’ve hit it with our team. I thought last year, by the end of the year, we were able to get the tempo and how hard we wanted to play, pounded fundamentals and obviously turnover-takeaways were big. We were not good in that area last year, (not) where we want to be. So I’ve started that thing in the very beginning. First team meeting, back to our last OTA days and just keep emphasizing it and talking about it. Now the coaches have put drills into it, and we’re trying to get a five-to-seven minute section everyday. It’s not just in the off-season though, we have to carry it through next season. It becomes a habit, with guys sprinting down the field trying to punch the ball out. Once again, that will force us to lock on to it a little bit more. All those things will work, all the fundamentals, the details and all those things, but the turnover and takeaways are big. So we’re going to pay attention to it.”

On Roy Williams’ injury: “I’ll probably know more tomorrow morning. We have a staff meeting in the morning. They’re treating him. It’s a slight pull. He’s got to be smart.”

On Marcus Robinson’s injury: “He’s got a quad.”

On the defense’s performance against the offense in practice: “During practice it’s so hard because some guy will make a play, depending on who is in there. The best thing I like, what I’ve seen and really enjoyed is from both sides of the ball, somebody will make a play and everyone is high-fiving. They see it. It’s team chemistry. They just want to win. Let’s put everything else aside and let’s win. Let’s do what it takes. I take my hat off to them. They are playing so fast and they are competing for positions. They are competing to go to camp, but they also recognize the guy on the other side of the ball who is making a heck of a play, and they are tipping their hat to him too.”

On Tatum Bell and George Foster coming from the Denver Broncos run scheme: “Tatum is a heck of a back, he’s explosive, especially when we start spreading the defense out and hit him on a draw or something. The one thing he does is go that way (straight forward). He doesn’t do a lot of (back and forth). He’s a downhill guy. Foster is just a good offensive tackle. He’s a heck of an athlete. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to watch him out there, but he is quick and explosive off the line of scrimmage.”

On George Foster’s weight: “He’s right around that (338 pounds). He’s quick. Jason (Arapoff) our strength coach has done a great job. We run these guys all offseason and they’ve been on it. It shows because we’re a team in pretty good condition with the pace we’re playing at. Now we just have to get through these, our OTA days, then attack the summer with the same mindset and come back in great shape.”

On the health of Rex Tucker: “I’m going to make sure they are totally healthy. That’s the key. They are getting drill work. Tuck got some work inside today, moving around in there. I just want to be smart with them. When they are fully ready to go, we’ll put them all out there. Right now, with the guys that are out there, we’re building depth. Whoever lines up out there is a chance to build guys at depth. See who we want to bring to camp and the older guys are getting their work too.”
Lions Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz
On Drew Stanton’s participation in team drills: “He didn’t today. There is a saturation point right now. We’ve put a lot in over the last four practices. He’s not ready to deal with all that yet. Remember now, this is Danny’s [Orlovsky] first time to move up into the number two. Now, he’ll get plenty of reps. I think with a guy like Drew, you have to make sure and bring him in the right way. You try to choreograph his success so to speak. He’s going to get a lot of it. He’s going to get plenty of it. But right now, because we’re installing, he has to see and understand and see it and watch it before we throw him into the fire. His time is going to come. He’s going to get plenty of reps. There is so much in right now, they have a hard time.”

On how Dan Orlovsky has looked in mini-camp: “Good. He’s a little streaky right now just because of a lack of experience. He just needs to play like we’re doing right now at practice. If we kind of get him grooved up a little bit, then Drew will watch and see how they handle it. But he’s doing real well. I’m pleased with him.”

On what he likes about Stephen Peterman at right guard: “He is the prototypical guard for what we do. We’re going to see all those big inside tackles defensively and, at 320 pounds, he can handle that in the running game. The five-step drops that we do with the quarterback, he’s pretty stout. He’s a very aggressive tough guy. He has full knowledge of what we do.”

On if Peterman is his starting right guard: “I think you can characterize him as a starter right now. There is a bunch of them, probably three of them that are kind of in that mode, but I think you can characterize him as a starter right now. But we are a long way from playing a game.”
On FB/TE Sean McHugh: “He started at tight end until yesterday or two days ago, then we moved him back to fullback. Now he’s the ‘move guy.’ It’s the most complicated position that we have, and it takes a special guy. It means he has to be able to line up as a fullback in that formation, line up as a tight end in a nickel, and line up as a ‘move guy’ with two tight ends. So he’s got to do everything, and he’s really absorbed an awful lot, and he’s really doing pretty well.”

On if anyone else is moving around like McHugh: “Casey [Fitzsimmons]. These two guys are really kind of what we call our fullbacks.”

On the young tight ends: “It looks real good to us. Their ability to absorb what they have been able to absorb, particularly in the running game, we’re very pleased with them. It’ll be a while for them to pick up some of the passing game, especially the conditioning of it. We’re very pleased with Rudy [Sylvan] particularly. He’s done a nice job.”

On wide receiver Calvin Johnson’s progress: “One of the positives for Calvin is the fact that Roy [Williams] did get hurt. What that does is it forces him into a three-man rotation with the first group, instead of a four. So, actually, his repetitions kind of pick up, and he’s taking a lot more turns. We’re trying to ease him into it, a little like we do with Drew [Stanton], but he’s been thrown into the fire and really has excelled—pretty much what you expect somebody like Calvin to do.”

On Calvin making a spectacular play every practice: “I’m sure that he’ll continue to surprise us all the time with what he can do.”

On where WR Mike Furrey moves when Roy Williams get hurt: “I can [move him to X]. We have Mac [Shaun McDonald] as our X, and then, to help give him a breather right now with the first group. Then Mike can go back and forth between both of those. We have a couple guys that come on and execute, but Mac is the other X. And then to spell him we move Mike over there.”

On how TE Eric Beverly fits: “Very well. I was really shocked. We’ve got in a lot of offense this time of the year. A lot of stuff is in. He’s come in and really absorbed it very well—really kind of stunned with that. And he’s really done a good job of that. That was an extremely good pickup for us. Eric is a very gifted athlete. He just hasn’t been put into a position to catch the ball. Same thing with Kevin Jones, remember? Same kind of deal. These guys are athletic and have good hand-eye coordination, just get them on the machine over there. It’s just got to be routine, matter of fact, for them.”

On RB T.J. Duckett: “T.J. has gotten better every practice. He started off kind of slow—just his knowledge of what we do was behind. Now, within the last practice or two, he’s done a very nice job. He’s really picked it up over the last, actually, practice three and four.”


Hondo S. Carpenter
EditorHondo S. Carpenter
Hondo S. Carpenter
EditorHondo S. Carpenter
Hondo S. Carpenter
EditorHondo S. Carpenter
Hondo S. Carpenter
EditorHondo S. Carpenter
Hondo S. Carpenter
EditorHondo S. Carpenter
Hondo S. Carpenter
EditorHondo S. Carpenter