H: Talk about would you please this is your first off season as defensive coordinator, assess your unit.
JB: Well, where weâ€™re at right now with it being June, Iâ€™m very excited.Â I think weâ€™re right where we need to be going in to training camp and Iâ€™m excited for training camp to get here, and keep the process going and get these guys to play in games, get them to see how theyâ€™re going to react in the preseason games.Â But I think right now after going through mini-camp and 14 OTA days weâ€™re on course and weâ€™re exactly where we need to be.
R: Turnovers have been a pretty big emphasis of the off-season â€“ do you think you guys are better personnel-wise, or the scheme?
JB: Well, yeah, Iâ€™d like to think we did make some moves, personnel-wise, and I think thatâ€™s going to help us, but Iâ€™m a firm believer that you become what you practice, and become what you preach â€“ weâ€™ve spent a lot of time in the classroom, individual periods, both stressing it when we do go against the offense, getting the ball back any way we can.Â The ballâ€™s on the ground, when the ballâ€™s in the air, itâ€™s gotta be ours.Â So, weâ€™ve spent a lot of time emphasizing that, and hopefully it will pay off.
R: Rod talked about the secondary a lot, just that he was pleased.Â What have you seen, or what do you like about the secondary?
JB: Well I think the safeties to begin with.Â I am very excited about our safeties.Â I think weâ€™ve got a good group of safeties in the sense that we have some great leadership in Kenoy Kennedy, a guy thatâ€™s a veteran.Â And then we have some really good young up and coming players in Daniel Bullocks, Gerald Alexander and Idress Brasheer who Iâ€™m really excited about.Â They signed last year and I did really like coming out of college. Played in our system for coach Dungy in Indianapolis for a number of years.Â So I feel really good and Iâ€™m really excited about our safety group as a whole.Â And I think our corners came on.Â I think our corners really understand the system because I think thatâ€™s the key thing in this defense.Â A corner has to know what his job is.Â HE has to know what he has to do on every snap.Â I think our guys are figuring that out and itâ€™s a group of guys and the number one thing we have to do in this defense is we have to tackle.Â So we have a group of corners that are tough guys that will tackle, that will stick their face on somebody.Â So Iâ€™m excited with where weâ€™re at right now.Â
R: Not any disrespect to Donny Henderson, is there anything in particular that you cleaned up there, because he was learning the system there last year as they were.Â Is there something you have to emphasize?
JB: Yeah, we taught our system.Â We taught how our corners play, whether it be Cover 2, Zone Coverage; I have no idea how it was previously taught â€“ we taught it the way we teach it and we followed the teaching progression that we follow.Â The guys really bought into it and they did a great job, so thatâ€™s kind of the theme here.Â Iâ€™m excited with where weâ€™re at right now.Â Are we ultimately where we need to be when we open up, opening day?Â No, but weâ€™ve got training camp and preseason games, and after 14 OTA days and Mini-Camp, Iâ€™m excited with where weâ€™re at right now in June.
R: Your cornerbacks in this system, can they gamble or do they have to play disciplined?
JB: No, weâ€™re not a gambling team.Â There will be certain times, in certain situations, where maybe we can take a little bit of a risk, but this is not a gambling type of defense.Â Weâ€™re very technically sound, the goal in this defense is to keep the ball inside and in front of us.Â If we do that at all times, weâ€™ve got a chance.Â If the ball goes over your head, obviously thatâ€™s where bad things are gonna happen.Â So to answer your question, no, especially at the corner position, weâ€™re not gonna be a gambling-type defense.
H: Ikaika, talk about him, I canâ€™t wait to see that guy when he is in pads, he is fast.
JB: Yeah, I am very excited about him, and I guess we were hoping to get two or three days out of him at the end.Â The general consensus was just to keep him out of it, which was smart.Â We didnâ€™t want to do something silly with his pec injury, but he was able to do individual, and we did enough walkthroughs against the offense where he did get a little bit of a work.Â He got in there and actually got to show at least the mental aspect of it.Â Just like you, I canâ€™t wait to see this kid go, because I think heâ€™s a specimen, number one, but I think heâ€™s one of those kidâ€™s whoâ€™s motor is never gonna stop.Â A bunch of plays, obviously using technique and with his physical traits, but just going so hard and playing so fast, heâ€™s gonna make a lot of plays at the defensive end position, so itâ€™ll be good to see him in pads once we get going.
R: What do you expect from him role-wise, is he a starter?
JB: Shoot, he hasnâ€™t even taken a live rep yet.Â No.Â We have our depth chart the way it lies right now, but again, thatâ€™s where it lies right now, here in June.Â Thatâ€™s what training camp is all about â€“ itâ€™s about competition, and of course we have guys at the very first practice when we call the first defense who are gonna line up with the first defense, but September 9th, that might change.Â Thereâ€™s a lot of time between July 25th and September 9th, so right now, Ikaika is one of the defensive linemen that weâ€™re bringing to the camp.Â Weâ€™re gonna throw him in the mix and see what heâ€™s got, and Iâ€™m excited just to see him play football, play in our system.Â Heâ€™s kind of been doing stuff with us right now, but not really, so the skyâ€™s the limit for where we can be.
H: You were awful hard on Johnny Baldwin at first, but at the end he actually seemed to be getting it, talk about that guy.
JB: Well, with Johnny, college to the NFL is big for anybody â€“ even a guy who played in the SEC; with Johnny, coming where he came from, everything was new to him, having brand new cleats in his locker, brand new gloves in his locker, that was something that was brand new for him.Â I think he was kind of big-eyed there for the first two weeks, and again, itâ€™s big for any rookie.Â The terminology, the guys yelling at you, and the speed of the game alone is a huge difference.Â Again, he is a million miles away from where he has to be, but he was two million miles away a month and a half ago.Â He hit some good strides and Iâ€™m excited about him; heâ€™s got the things you canâ€™t teach, the athleticism, the speed, the quickness, and heâ€™ll only get better the more comfortable he feels in our system.
H: When I asked him about your kicking him off the field, saying â€œget off my field,â€ he said that it inspired him, because he knew that when you did put him out there, heâ€™d be ready.Â Talk about that attitude, he wasnâ€™t pouting.
JB: Well, I think with anybody, first of all, with me, Iâ€™m the first one to tell him if you do something bad, Iâ€™m gonna get on you.Â Now, also if you do something good, Iâ€™m gonna be the first guy over there chest-bumping you, so donâ€™t get sensitive on me.Â That was probably the best attribute early on, that I saw, is that he didnâ€™t go in the tank â€“ you could rip his butt, you could throw him off the field, and three plays later he was back, like â€œOkay, coach, Iâ€™m ready to go.â€Â So I think, with a kid like that, when he has that type of attitude and when he approaches the game that way, I think Johnny Baldwin is gonna be successful because heâ€™s gonna work at it.
R: Who do you place more emphasis on, whether you had to pick between a third tackle, and another defensive back, what would you choose?
JB: Well, selfishly, Iâ€™d take the defensive tackle.
R: Talk about if you will, you had teams calling you, wanting to trade for them after you picked them, and why Detroitâ€™s in the best position in a long time, safety-wise.
JB: Yeah, the thing I like about it is that we got a nice mix of guys.Â Weâ€™ve got Kenoy, whoâ€™s kind of the veteran of the group, we got Idrees, whoâ€™s been in the league for five years, and then weâ€™ve got some young guys, like Gerald, Daniel Bullocks in his second year, oneâ€™s a rookie; I think itâ€™s a nice mix there, and I think itâ€™s great for Gerald.Â Any time a rookie can come in and heâ€™s got a nice mix of guys at his position â€“ you know, he can take different things from Kenoy and Idrees as being veterans and then Daniel, heâ€™s only a year removed from the shoes that he was in, so I think itâ€™s gonna be a great learning opportunity for him to take bits and pieces from the different safeties around him.Â So I think heâ€™s in a great situation, I really do.
We apologize to the great Lions fans that canâ€™t watch this as a video which would be much better for the fans.Â The new recent stupid NFL rules prohibitÂ that.Â Â Thanks Goodell BUT MOST OF ALL, THANK THE TEAMS.Â GOODELL WORKS FOR THEM AND THEY ARE ALLOWING HIM TO DO THIS!