Lions quotes: Jim Schwartz's comments from Sunday

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Quotes from Jim Schwartz's media session after Sunday's Detroit Lions practice.

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say after Sunday's practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On the impact of the four starting defensive linemen missing time today: "You're used to stuff like that. There's a lot of time we mixed different groups and stuff like that. We're going to have a lot of those guys. You know the way we play up front, we roll guys through. None of those guys up front are going to play 100% of the snaps anyway so everybody needs to be ready and be able to play quality reps."

On S Tyrell Johnson: "He has done a really good job on special teams. The greatest reward is the opportunity to do more and that's what happened. He's been consistent and I think his play has been consistent at safety through OTA'S and training camp. We got him late last year so he had to jump on that. He really has improved on special teams and has made plays for us on special teams in the first three preseason games. He has been rewarded with the opportunity to do more."

On if DE Ronnell Lewis was released due to not being able to perform as a special teams player: "Well that was part of what we're trying to get. We had a hard time getting him on the field in that capacity last year due to injury. This year with just where his conditioning was and things like that starting on the PUP. He made up some ground and he was doing well, but it's a crowded position there. Drafting a couple players and signing two players this offseason is going make it difficult. We have really good competition there. It shows a little bit about the strength that we have at that position that we were able to release a guy like Ronnell."

On if DE Devin Taylor's development played in to the release of Lewis: "I think all those guys, not just Devin, have played well and have done a nice job. It's a situation where you can't keep everybody."

On how difficult it is to release and miss a fourth round draft pick: "You want to take advantage of every single one, but not everybody makes it and not everybody works out. I think we have done a good job of free agency and second wave of free agency. We have done a good job of adding other players. You draft a guy like Ronnell you don't know that you're going to draft Ziggy (Ansah) the next year. You don't know a guy like Devin is still going to be available. You don't know that you're going to be able to sign a Jason Jones and an Israel Idonije. The only thing we can do right now is try to evaluate who our best starter is right now and go that way. That's the decision that we made. You can never think too far ahead and you can't think too far behind when it comes to draft picks."

On the evaluation process for kick returner: "There are still a lot of different options that we have. When we get down to roster cut time that will be part of the decision making we play is whether they can contribute as returners. Who it looks like our starting returner will be and how that affects other positions, it is a position that is an important position but it has to be balanced with other things. The good thing is we have a lot of different options. The difficult thing is the only time you can really fully evaluate is in games. Unfortunately you lose so many opportunities in preseason games because you don't have very many kickoff returns. It's almost like, (Reggie) Bush did it in the preseason, and you kick from the 20 so you can evaluate them all. You really have a hard time evaluating the cover guys, the guys going down making tackles and the guys returning. It makes it a lot more difficult to be able to work stuff like that. If you're not punting very much, it's hard to evaluate some specialists. If you're getting a lot of turnovers the last game, you didn't return a whole lot of punts. It's a difficult thing, but that's really where the most valuable evaluation comes from is preseason games."

On his concern regarding the wide receiver: "I think every position we'll keep an eye on them. That's what, not just us, but all 32 teams will do is keep an eye on guys that become available. I think there's no difference if it's a wide receiver, running back, offensive line, defensive line, corners, and everything else, every player that becomes available, our front office does a really good job of evaluating. If they think it might be a fit then we're not afraid to make those kind of moves."

On if he's disappointed that no player has been distinguished at right tackle: "I wouldn't say that. I think that maybe not in your eyes or somebody watching but we have a lot of chances to evaluate the offensive line. You can get good evaluations in one-on-ones and our team periods, pass rush periods and things like that. You don't really have to wait for 15 reps in a preseason game. That's one of the advantages we have in that case. I think that regardless of our positions on the offensive line, whoever ends up being our starting five we're going to be in a good position. We have good competition there. We have a lot of different options and a lot of guys that can potentially get the job done."

On C Dominic Raiola: "He's always has had a strong presence. He's a very smart player and an experienced player. He rededicated himself this offseason. He gained a little bit of weight and got bigger. A lot of times when you talk about offensive linemen it's not a good thing when they're gaining weight. For him, it was a tough matchup sometimes against some defensive tackles and I think physically he looks as good as he's ever looked since I've been here. Mentality he's always been into the game and has been a good leader. He's been strong this offseason."

On the progress of the rookie class: "It's still yet to be seen. We're not to a regular season. You probably evaluate that a little bit better when the season's over. Guys have to make it through an entire season and see where they can contribute and things like that. I think it's, even though we have had training camp and preseason games, it's probably still a little premature there. There are potentially some guys there that can really help. I think that is certainly beneficial."

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