More transcripts from mini camp. Here is Marnelli from today.

Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli
On the mini-camp in general
: “I thought each day has been very good. The tempo has stayed the same all three days. I really like that part of it. I just believe it’s going to be a very good team. I feel very strongly about that. I’m setting high expectations for them, and I believe in my heart they’re going to meet them.”On how the team might change from year to year: “I think you start talking about the team chemistry—the chemistry of a unit changes. What brings chemistry, that cement that brings that chemistry together, is belief, fundamentals, working together—all those things. Because once they leave the building, everybody is different and likes different people. But when we’re on that field, it’s that energy, the work habits and that tempo. So it’s just something that’s part of the NFL, and they know what I want.”

On changes in player positions and starting lineups: “I think some of it, a great trade did happen. We brought two quality players in on a trade. And then, like I told you guys, I was really looking interested in getting edge speed. I really wanted to add speed to the edge part of our defensive front. Dewayne [White] was out there, who’s a good edge speed guy. We were able to get a real good guy out there. I think that is going to show some speed there, and the corners that we brought in. It was speed, looking for that tempo and speed.”

On G Stephen Peterman and other players the team found last year: “He’s a really good player. He came in, and it happened too with the amount of injuries we did have we were able to actually bring guys in that—you know, Blaine Saipaia comes in, we get a chance to get a great look at him. Frank Davis, opportunities—guys had some opportunities to kind of step in. Jonathan [Scott], and now Peterman comes in. We’ve been very fortunate to find some guys that I think their character of football is—especially Peterman—just loves this stuff. I mean he’s out here all day. I think especially on that offensive line, if you really coach those guys well and they really love football, then it’s not all athletic ability there. It’s just these guys will take the proper step and block the proper guy, and that’s that attitude. Boy, he [Peterman] brings a special attitude to us.”

On TE Eric Beverly: “We’re getting to know him still. I was excited because I competed against him for so long when he was with Atlanta, and he’s a guy who’s a classy veteran. He’s a pro, and I’m hoping every guy I bring in is that: a pro or a young guy who is just looking to somebody to ‘How do I do this?’ And he comes in as a great veteran, has a great reputation. When we were bringing him in to have a chance to visit with him, this whole building, everybody who was here when he was here before, said, ‘Wow, what a great person. You’re going to love this guy.’ And he comes in, he’s tremendous. A tremendous worker, a pro and he really gives you a force that we’re looking at that point of attack—a tight end who can really establish the point, the run part of it. We’ve brought some other guys in, Rudy [Sylvan] and some of these guys. We’ve got some big tight ends. Big, physical men. But he brings us a veteran that’s a real pro.”

On the difference between this year and last year: “I just think it’s been a year-long process. Everything kind of just takes place that last day. Like I’ve told them, I believe that it was that last game that we played. The guys that were left standing at the end went out there on the road and just kept moving their pads up all the way to the end of the year. They just kept working. And we kept losing games all year by that much, and we finally won a game at the end by that much, which, they kept playing. I think that carries over into your off-season. At least I want it to, and then you start adding other pieces like that. Then it’s just a slow process. Sometimes if you hadn’t seen us for a year, you’d go ‘Wow, they look different.’ I just see process as it comes along.”

On if he’d changed anything at all: “No. Everything is the same. We just want to try to do everything—it’s not so much what you’re doing, it’s how you’re doing it.”

On his expectations for the team: “I’ve got high expectations for this team, and I can say that because I feel very good about it and they know that. We’ve got a team that is fast and explosive. We’ve got some key veterans who just keep coming. We’ve got the type of speed I’ve talked about on defense I like. We’ve got a great kicker, a great punter and a great longsnapper. That’s a great start of it, and the more speed you add to your defense, the faster your special teams get. So there should be very good expectations.”

On past coaches making lofty claims about the Lions:” It’s okay. I mean it’s just me. That’s what I see. I’m out here, I look, I see it, and I believe it. I am not going to undersell, I’m going to overrate those men. That’s the expectations. I’ve got great expectations for this team, and I like where they’re working. You’re seeing what I’m seeing—it’s fast and explosive. We’ve got to just go out and keep working and one snap at a time and go to work.”

On quarterback QB Drew Stanton: “I can tell you it’s all the rookies. Their heads are rolling and spinning right now (with) the amount of information we’ve got. So sometimes a pro quarterback, it’s just trying to get the information out in the huddle and learning all the new personnel and calls and those things. So it’s just a process, and it takes some time for these guys.”

On what coach Marinelli is looking to work on before training camp: “You’re always looking outside. I want to be constant in doing that. But then you’ve got to keep looking at this team right now, how far some of these guys we can develop before training camp. Not everybody is going to go to training camp. Once our drafted players start signing, you only have so many numbers you can take, so guys are competing right now to get to camp. We have to do a great job of evaluating the guys that we have. We have to keep working right now on some of the injured guys who are going to come back in June for us at the start of June camp and get those guys ready to go. It’s that same process. We’re getting all the fundamental work. Some of them couldn’t perform in team, so that’s okay, but we’re getting that basic fundamental, getting that 30, 35 or 40 minute period of individual work every day. So that’s critical, (along with) the learning in the classroom. So we just keep working. To answer your question, if there is a guy out there, we’re always going to keep looking.”

On the depth of the team: “Right now I think overall the depth to it looks pretty solid right now. But I think what you look for is that this guy can come in and compete for this job. That’s what you kind of look for at that point.”

On if he has seen QB Drew Stanton and TJ Duckett’s Michigan State pride in the locker room: “No.”

On players that have jumped out at him during mini-camp: “Oh boy. The quarterback, Kit(na). He’s really got a grasp on this offense. He really does. Now the weapons we have out there, the speed we have out there, I think that all has a chance to come together. I really like the play of some of our secondary guys. A lot of people won’t know their names right now and that’s good. They’re just coming in, kind of a no name group back there, but they’re just coming in everyday believing in their fundamentals and they’re really starting to show up. I’m excited about that.”

On if he is excited about the rookies or acquired free agents: “All of them, and the guys that were here last year. We’re just coaching all those guys. In football you just keep coaching people and believing in them. They will start rising up to your expectations. They will if you coach them well and if they have enough talent, and they do, so it’s on us to help them.”

On what needs improvement: “Just our daily work. The number one thing I have to keep working on with our football team is not just the football part of it, but it’s the certain blocks of mentality that you have to have. Playing one snap at a time. How are we going to face adversity if something happens and we get an injury or go on the road? How do we face those things? I’m facing them everyday. I try to get blocks in place for them on how to defeat those things when they do come your way. So we talk about these now. What I’m trying to give them is some tools and some fundamentals to deal with adversity. Adversity should energize you. If you really like this stuff and adversity hits, get energized with it. But to get energized, have a plan.”

On if it is difficult dealing with the franchise’s history of losing: “As soon as something happens, ‘oh here it goes again’. No, we just have to keep going and keep believing and keep pushing straight ahead. Believe, have confidence, be energized with it, look forward to this process and have a tool to do with one snap at a time to deal with the job at hand.”

On what his specific expectations are: “I just don’t like to go out and make a statement about this and that. I just have great expectations. This is really going to be a good football team in my mind. I’ve said in team meetings what our expectations are and we’ve talked about that. I just believe in this team a lot. I love it. I feel better and better everyday that we’re here. There are going to be bumps in the road, and so be it, but nothing changes. This is going to be a very good team.”

On if he likes the play of quarterback Dan Orlovsky: “Yeah I do. He’s been working at it and getting better. You can see he has a nice touch to his ball. He can really throw and nice ball. He is learning and he is hungry. He just wants it. With Kit(na) there, it really gives him a feel with a savvy veteran like that and he’s learning every day with him. I’m excited about it.”

On the mindset to run the football: “I think our o-line coach (Jim Colletto) really brings very strong mentality to that also (along with) his background with the Ravens—he was with the Ravens when they won the World Championship there. He’s got a great background and he has a great background with Mike Martz. Mike, over the years, loves to run the ball. I think we have some explosive backs right now, really explosive backs. We really added to our line. But like I was saying after the draft, with our receivers out there, it is going to really open up some opportunity to run the football. It really is. It’s tough now you get those two, three, four receivers at times and it’s tough.”

On the importance of running the ball in the fourth quarter: “Oh no question. It’s all part of it. You don’t just have two backs in the backfield or two tight ends to run the ball effectively. You can spread people out and run the football just as effectively. It’s all part of it. I like some of the guys we got here too up front. We’re just going to keep developing them.”

On if he is happy with the attitude of the team: “Oh I’m trilled. To see these men put together five practices like this—the same tempo, the same pace, every practice. That is something you’re working towards all the time as a coach. No matter what happens, if you’re tired, rain, shine, doesn’t matter. We just got to go out and keep doing those things right. At times coaches have to set the pace for practice. Right now the players are setting the pace. They’re really setting the pace. At times I have to slow them down. They are knocking each other out, out there. But that is the biggest part, when they put the pack on their back, they start going forward. I’ve been impressed the guys we’ve brought in, but also in the players that are returning who were in that Dallas game.”

On his thoughts of receiver Calvin Johnson after mini-camp: “He’s a good player. He’s a big athletic man. The thing I probably like about him as much as anything is what’s inside the guy. I mean he’s here early, he’s studying, he works. There is a lot of stuff in this offense and boy he’s on it. He’s just another Lion just coming in and putting a good days work in. He’s humble guy and just gets to work. It’s exciting. He’s very talented and very fast.”

On his thoughts of RB T.J. Duckett: “He gets the ball and takes off down field. That’s what you like, guys exploding down the field. They are all bringing something to the table right now, but we have a long ways to go – OTAs, summer, training camp, but so far so good.”

On what type of role Duckett will play: “Right now, we hope, he’s competing for the job back there. That’s what we like, but that all takes care of itself over a period of time.”

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