On the heat being an issue at practice today: "Yeah, I mean, a couple guys weren't able to finish the running, they were cramping up and got some IVs, but it's good. From a standpoint of ‘we're not a hot weather city, so when we get nice hot, humid weather like this, it's great to practice in,' it's great for our conditioning. We're only practicing once a day so all this we can get is good for us."
On WR Ryan Broyles not finishing practice: "Yeah, you know, we've got a lot of camp knees. No real injuries. Just guys that get sore from a lot of reps and you know just different things. Corey Williams is one today. No real injuries. But the whole idea is there are a lot of things we want to push through. We want to push through when you're hot and you're sort of out of wind - you need to be able to go. We don't want to push through knee soreness. We don't want to push through hamstring soreness and those guys fell into that category. So as soon as they're not sore we'll get them back out there, but we'll just see where that is."
On young CBs Bill Bentley and Jonté Green: "Both of them have done very well up to this point. They've shown good cover skills and they've also shown good awareness in our zones. Bentley has been playing nickel and outside corner, Jonté' been strictly playing outside corner, but they'll rotate in. We don't limit their reps against anybody and you see those guys going against the Calvin Johnsons, the Nate Burlesons and people like that and they've competed well."
On the value of a practice at Ford Field: "It's that first, you know, before you get to the preseason game there is definitely a value to it. We've done it just about every year to get down there in some way and just get familiar with the locker room, you know, how you're getting out to the field, just tracking the ball. That way it's not the very first time that somebody is going in there to play a preseason game. It also gives a chance for more fans to see us. Not everybody can make it out here on a weekday practice. A lot of peoples' jobs don't allow them to do that. A Sunday evening down at Ford Field, a chance to get autographs, see the team and stuff like that. That's a different environment so it gives us the chance to get in front of some different fans."
On if one of the dehydrated players was DE Ronnell Lewis: "Yeah."
On LBs Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis: "Those guys are a little bit like you're talking about our corners. Those guys have handled everything we've given them. They're multi-dimensional players. They've fit the schemes we want to use them in. No. 1, they're showing well physically, but No. 2, they've really done a good job mentally. And that is a very difficult position for a rookie to step in. Those guys have lived up to the expectations."
On quantifying the level of competition at the LB position compared to previous years: "It has the makings of a very good group. Now, there is a lot of ground we have to cover before we get there, but it has the makings of a good group. A lot of combinations of guys, even our veteran players, they are still young. You know, the Justin Durants, the Stephen Tullochs and the DeAndre Levys and those guys are still pretty young. So it's a good position No. 1 for competition but more so with talent."
On whether or not it's unusual several of the team's top LBs are young players: "Yeah, probably. It's a position, a little bit like center on offense, that you gotta be able to coordinate the entire thing. Those guys are making all the calls and making checks and everything you do, they're involved in. Rookies have gone in, played well. But it's probably unusual to have the numbers that we have right now that are all doing a good job."
On RB Kevin Smith: "Yeah, he gave us a big boost last year, scored a lot of touchdowns for us. Unfortunately he also got hurt and wasn't able to finish the same way he started for us. But Kevin is a very, very savvy football player that gets the whole big picture. Not just his assignments down, but he also understands the way everybody fits around him."
On the development of TE Tony Scheffler as a player and leader: "Well, I'll hit the last thing first. I think you are seeing leadership from Scheff. Scheff is sort of a low-key - I don't want to say quiet guy - but he just goes out and works. Doesn't really say a whole lot. Somebody will knock him on his feet and he'll get right back up and go and it's that kind of work ethic that sort of lays down his leadership. He's not a real vocal guy but he's worked extremely hard. He never says a word, goes out in practice and runs forever. Guy's very gifted runner. He fits a very important part of our offense and he makes plays for us particularly down in that red zone."
On former Titans LB Keith Bulluck's retirement: "We were together for nine years. I was a linebacker coach when they drafted him and he was a part-time player on a team that won a division and had the best record in the NFL that year. And then grew into a full-time player, a pro-bowl player, made all-pro one year. But the thing about Keith is: Keith is tremendously durable, tremendously reliable, and that means a lot. Not just to coaches, but to teammates. I only remember one game he missed in our nine years together. He was ready to play but we made the decision to put him down. He was coming off a high ankle. You guys know the way high ankles can go; they can go for a long while. He was ready to play next week; we made the decision as a coaching staff to keep him down. That durability, that availability meant a lot. You know, a guy like Stephen Tulloch here, when he came in the league he was learning from a guy like Keith Bulluck, and the tremendous durability that Stephen Tulloch has had. Being available for those games... As much as talent, it's the availability. Keith really set the tempo."
On LB Stephen Tulloch being precautionary at practice today: "Yeah, he was another camp knee. Just gets a little sore. Again, when you get some of those situations, we don't want to push through those. There are some things we want to push through, maybe a bump or bruise there, but when we get some of those we want to slow those down a bit."
On improved LB position expectations: "We expect to be improved at every position, not just linebacker, but everyone. That's why we're in training camp. That's why we play a preseason game, that's why we have 16. Those guys all have a good attitude for improvement. We don't really establish a finish line, but they're all good, hard workers and come to work every day.
On the surprising maturity of QB Matthew Stafford at just 24 years old: "I was saying that when it was hard to believe he's 21. You know, he might even shave twice a week now. I don't know, I mean when he got that big signing bonus he didn't spend much on razors. He didn't have to. But he is, like I said, I thought he was mature for 21. He's played three years in the NFL. He's thrown for 5,000 and led a team to the playoffs for the first time in a decade. He's also gone through some rough seasons. That first year he got banged around pretty good and didn't have a lot of pieces in place around him. He came back the next year and got hurt, and missed a significant portion of the season. So he's not just a little bit more mature, he's more experienced. He's been through so many situations in the NFL even for 24 years old. His career will be in a good spot because of that."
On the importance of RB Jahvid Best's being available this season: "He's an important player for us. Makes a lot of big plays when he's out there, but until he's out there, I don't want to take away from the other guys on the field. Little bit like Cliff Avril not being here. We're not waiting around for somebody to come back whether it's from an injury or a contract thing or anything else. We gotta move forward and work the guys that are available and the other running backs are doing a good job working."