On RB Mikel Leshoure's response after surgery: "I don't think it's an issue right now. Once they heal, they heal. I don't think it's an issue."
On the defensive linemen competition: "In training camp, injuries tend to run in bunches because there's a little bit of a chain reaction. We've lost some corners and some defensive linemen. We'll get all those guys back pretty quick. Problem is when one guy goes down, all of a sudden another one goes then you're three down. It makes it very difficult to get through training camp practices without some guy having to shoulder more of a load. That's what we have seen in a couple of those positions, a chain reaction of injuries."
On DE Devin Taylor and the importance on training camp: "When the first-round draft pick is a defensive end, sometimes you sort of lose when another draft pick is a defensive end. All the attention goes to Ziggy (Ansah). Devin has had an outstanding camp. He's one of those guys that has really shown up when the pads went on. Not only is he improving every day, he's played his best in the full padded practices. He got a chance to get good reps with the first group out there today, knocked down a pass on the goal line that probably would've been intercepted. He's done some really good things. He's got a long way to go, but it's encouraging to see where he is. It's also encouraging in the fact that he's played his best when it's been full padded practices."
On WR Ryan Broyles' progression: "I thought today was a really good day for Ryan. I think we forget where he is or sometimes we tend to lose sight of where he is with the ACL and the rehab. He's much farther ahead than where he was last year and he really came on last year. It's tough. You're not going to feel great every day. There are going to be some days where you're out here and you're trying to push through. Our trainers do a good job at managing him and he does a very good job of rehabbing. Yesterday we had a day off and I think there's no coincidence that Ryan was able to come out here and make some plays. Particularly in those two minutes, he made a couple really nice catches that would've put us in scoring range."
On C Dylan Gandy getting more first-team reps: "He's in that mix. He's had a good camp and we're not discounting anybody in there. We're going to rotate all those guys through and see who plays the best. He's definitely in that mix."
On P Sam Martin's ability to put back-spin on a punt: "That's become somewhat of a standard kick in the NFL. I think it's really changed the way that teams play in the backed-up punt. If you go back ten years, I don't think you've ever heard a coach tell a guy to catch a ball in the ten-yard line. The old rule was you put your heels on the ten and if you had to back up at all, you let the ball go. Now these guys with the back spin ball are so pin-point with their control and what they can do that they can drop that ball down inside the five-yard line with regularity. I think it's been one of the things that has led to so many punters netting forty-yards over the last few years. I think it was four or five years ago it was the first time in history that it ever happened. They're so much better on those plus-fifty punts where they don't lose that twenty-yard touchback and that affects your net. It's certainly a weapon and it makes guys have to make a decision back there. If they let that ball go you have a really good chance of getting it down inside the five-yard line. Both he and Blake (Clingan) are both good at it. Like I said, that's become sort of a standard kick. You need that in your tool box and both of those guys have done a good job with it."
On considering Martin as a possible kickoff guy: "Oh yeah, that's one of the reasons we drafted Sam. He's got a strong leg for kickoffs. Akers has done that his whole career. With Akers, we have taken it sort of easy with him coming back. Every day he's doing a little bit more and things like that. I think that we have plenty of options during the season when we need them. He has a very strong leg not just on punts, but also on kickoffs."
On his optimism for this season: "I think we have real reasons to be optimistic. We have some key players back from injury, we've added some players that fit well into what we do. We have outstanding leadership. We have a resilient team of things you need to succeed in the NFL. I think that those are the key things."
On what the players have to adjust to due to the special teams coaching change: "Everybody runs fairly similar schemes. There are some technique things that are little bit different. Just hearing a different voice. Practice is organized just a little bit different. I've worked hard with (John) Bonamego to try to come up with good ways to fit it in to practice. We have some other stuff coming up next week where we'll try to fit some punts and field goals into our team periods. Just to get them used to the flow of the game. There's been a little bit of change. I think that we have the makings of an outstanding core group on special teams. We have great competition in our punter position. Both of our kickers are on track to be NFL kickers. Well (David) Akers already is. Håvard (Rugland) has a chance that if he continues to develop. (Don) Muhlbach's a mainstay with long snapping. We have good competition with our returner. But we also have a good core group of linebackers and I think those will carry us a long way in our special teams."
On S John Wendling being a special teams player: "He's big, fast, strong, tough. Those are reasons as to why he is good. He's also embraced that role. He's played some defense for us. He's finished some games and started some games. Over the course of his career his main contribution has been being a top notched special teams player."
On WR Devin Thomas' return: "We'll just sort of wait and see. Those guys we have them listed as day-to-day, but they're all on varying spots on day-to-day. He's not on a progression yet to come back. It doesn't look like it's long term. We have Ronnell Lewis back, we needed Ronnell back today. Coming off some of the other injuries, we actually made the decision to potentially come off the PUP a couple days ago. It looked like that's where he was trending and he was going to be there and it just came at the right time for us."
On CB Ron Bartell's return: "We had a shoulder pad practice today. His shoulder is a little bit sore, but his legs are in great shape and everything else. We were careful with trying to keep him out of contact situations. That happens in practice a lot of times. We might have a running back or a safety, we don't put redshirts on guys but some guys aren't quite as full contact as other guys and Bartell was that way. He's been really good in his group. He's provided great leadership, he's been talking to the other guys. He's found a way to contribute even though he's been injured for these last three or four days. It's good to get him back on the field in a playing role rather than just a mentoring role."
On DE Ziggy Ansah's progress: "It's hard to gauge stuff in training camp. I think we'll see progress when we start to get in to preseason games and we start seeing those guys play. It's very, very difficult to rush the passer and avoid the quarterback. You're telling guys to run as fast as they can and try to beat the offensive line, but stay away from the quarterback. It's like telling someone to run the hundred-meter dash and stop at the finish line. It's really, really hard to do, so it's hard to cage exactly where he would be on pass rush on some of those. I think this, he's picked up the scheme very quickly. He rarely makes a mental mistake. His technique is improving. But this is a production league so how much he can be productive we'll see in the preseason games."
On QB Kellen Moore's progression from year one to year two: "It's been a big jump for a lot of players that are first year to second. You're seeing the same things that we see. Good command over the offense, good rapport with the other skilled players on offense and has good command of what we're doing on defense and what he's presented with. He's made very accurate passes. We liked that about him last year and we're seeing the things that have made him such an accomplished college football player."
On S Amari Spievey: "Spievey, I think it was hamstring or upper leg tightened up on him. He wasn't able to finish the reps."
On CB Darius Slay: "Slay rolled his ankle. He should be fine if he was able to finish."
On changing the way things are done in camp due to team and other league injuries: "Training camp has changed in general just because of the rules. There are no longer two-a-day practices. Well, I take that back. We have a second practice, but it's a walk thru inside. Nobody's taped or stretches or warms up, it's more of a mental review period, a meeting on the field. There are times today that this was a good training camp practice. Contact, a couple live snaps on the goal line, a little bit hot out here, it was good training camp practice. I think we also need to be smart with players. The days of eight straight weeks of two-a-days, 10 practices, a day in full pads, I don't know if that was going to put guys in the best position to be able to make it through 16 games and be productive over 16 games. You need to balance both. We try to do that. It's a little bit of a challenge with the schedule, but I think we get enough practice time. We have a lot of guys in camp. We're insulated a little bit with injuries. Again, you see a run on an injury in one position, you see how it affects someone else and the way we're able to go. We get a lot of work done. Players don't have a lot of down time during the day. They're also able to get a little bit of rest. They had an off day yesterday. You tell those guys 20 and 30 years ago that there was an off day in training camp, I don't think any of those guys, and Bubba Baker if you would've asked him about that a couple days ago, they would've shook their heads. It's changed a little bit."
More from Pride Of Detroit:
- Lions sell out tickets for half of regular-season home games
- Lions training camp: Notes from Thursday's practice
- Lions happy with current group of offensive tackles
- Lions training camp injury update: Ron Bartell returns to practice
- Lions training camp: Recap of Thursday's OL vs. DL drill
- Lions training camp: Havard Rugland, David Akers not perfect on Thursday