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On why Spencer Havner was placed at LB
"We can use him in a lot of different roles. He can play some tight end, he can play some fullback, he can play some linebacker and he can play some special teams. We're just getting him up to speed in a lot of different places."
- On his feelings about the return situation now that WR Stephan Logan has joined the team
- "He's a dual returner – returns kicks and punts. He has explosive ability; he has really good speed and the ability to go the distance; he's strong. He's small but he's strong; he's packed in there pretty tight for a 5-6 guy. The other tale of the tape with him is that he also contributes elsewhere on special teams. He has run down as a gunner; he runs down on kickoff cover; he's run down as a five on kickoff cover – which is one of the interior players. So he's got some toughness. He has some speed. Even though he's short, he doesn't play small. He plays tough.
"I think it adds a different dimension to us, No. 1 as he's a sure-handed guy, who's real natural at catching punts. He gets himself squared up really well, but also adds a little bit of explosive ability there, and has the chance to make a big play."
On what RT Gosder Cherilus has done to earn a starting spot
- "I thought Gosder was very consistent. He had a very inconsistent spring mainly because of his knee. That was one thing that we went in not knowing how that was going to respond and not knowing exactly where he was. But from the beginning of training camp, I thought that Gosder was very consistent. He played very well in the preseason games and gave us a comfort level that he was ready to be the player that we thought he could be."
On what he expects the Bears to do differently this year
"Obviously their offense is completely different, with Mike Martz being there. The defense, there has been a little bit of some different wrinkles that we may not have seen from them last year. You know, adding a player like Julius Peppers adds a different dynamic to them defensively. I think that's probably the biggest difference, getting Urlacher back and adding Peppers– you're talking about two Pro Bowl players added to that defense. But offensively, scheme-wise, that's the biggest change. (There's) a lot of returning personnel on offense, but mainly just a different philosophy, a different scheme."
On whether the Bears are getting away from the Tampa-2 strategy
"They still run parts of that defense. Just like West Coast on offense, there are 32 teams that run some variation of West Coast offense, but they're not "West Coast." I wouldn't want to label them 100-percent Tampa 2, or whatever. They do a little bit of that and a little bit of other things too."
On whether he's still looking at what the Bears did last year even though the Lions' offense is different this year
"Yeah, you look at those games. We have different dynamics. We're in different places. (Since) we finished the year in Week 17, there's a lot different faces that we put out there on offense. That'll change. That'll change the way they play us. That's part of the in-game adjustments and things like that. We just need to have a good plan and be able to attack no matter what a defense does. That goes for Chicago, and that goes for all the opponents."
On whether he anticipated so much turnover on Defense
"I mean, for good reason. I think that what you saw is us build around a couple young players: Louis Delmas, DeAndre Levy. You saw us go out and retool the defensive line; draft Ndamukong Suh high, and trade for Corey Williams, and bring in Kyle Vanden Bosch. There needed to be turnover, but I think that we had a couple things that we're relying on, that we can hang our hat on. Most notably, those players, back end, middle and up front. If you're going to retool, if you're going to rebuild, you have to hang your hat on something, and we chose to hang our hat on those guys."
On concerns he may have regarding the secondary
"I feel fine injuries-wise with the way they're going. We have guys that are in some roles that they need to go play well for us. I don't know if I have the same level of concern as you, or a lot of other people. We need to play the games and we need to perform on the field. Talent-wise, I think you could go position by position back there and you could say, okay we're upgraded from last year, we're upgraded from last year at that position. The question is, how much of an upgrade and where that takes us because, it didn't take a whole lot to upgrade where we were defensively last year."
On CB Alphonso Smith
"We had a little conversation before the meeting, a little bit out on the field and then I talked to him during our seven-on-sevens, just techniques we play with. He's got great personality. Anytime you're talking to a player who has even one year experience in the league, you're at a completely different spot than talking with rookies. They have a frame of reference, everybody in the NFL to some extent run the same schemes. So he's played the techniques before; he's got a great attitude and we just need to get him up to speed quickly. I like a lot of things about him – he's got a nose for the ball. I think one thing is when you look at DBs, interceptions are a little bit like sacks on the defensive line. You either have it or you don't. He has the ability to find the ball in the air."
On naming captains
"I might as well go ahead and announce those. On offense it's Matthew Stafford and Dominic Raiola, on defense its Kyle Vanden Bosch and on special teams its Jason Hanson. The players voted this morning on it and we just announced it to the team when we brought them up after practice.
"Well, he's a guy who we really liked in college coming out (in the 2009 NFL Draft). We felt like he was a young guy, with upside and potential; we had good college grades on him. He's worth a look as a developmental guy to try to bring along. He may give us more than just development. But he's a guy that definitely has ability – there's no question about that."
On the acquisition of CB Alphonso Smith from Denver
On the situation at cornerback and whether something could happen this week
"Something could happen any time; we're always looking, always trying to find players that can help us. There are a couple of guys out there that can play at different positions. We're looking at all of those spots."
On whether he considers CB Amari Spievey a cornerback or safety
"I think he's both – he can do both. I think that that's his value; he's a multi-dimensional guy. He's showing better at safety right now. He has an opportunity to be a pretty good player in the secondary somewhere."
On how he feels about the team in general heading into his second season
"As we talked before, I think we've upgraded ourselves talent-wise; we still have some young guys who are still learning and still developing, but I think we have the potential to be a pretty decent team."
On claiming LB Spencer Havner
"It's another multi-dimensional guy. It was interesting watching him in the preseason; he was playing some linebacker, some tight end, some special teams, some fullback, some h-back – he was doing everything. He's a guy that can play spots where we have some numbers issues right now; at linebacker, with Levy's injury and at tight end, without (Dan Gronkowski) here."
On whether WR/KR Stefan Logan will return both punts and kickoffs
"That's going to be up to the coaches. But he's a guy that can return punts and kickoffs; he also plays special teams (coverage). Dennis (Northcutt) did a good job for us on the punts but he didn't do kickoffs, he didn't cover kicks – this guy can do all those things."
On QB Matthew Stafford's development
"He really has grown. He's matured a lot; he's taken on a leadership role with our team now; he's really improved in every aspect of his game, I think, from last season. I'm very happy with him and with his progress – his understanding of the offense and everything with that."
On what this team still needs
"Wins – we need to win some games. That's what we need more than anything. Our guys have to start playing together, trusting each other and just learning how to win football games."
On some of the upgrades made on special teams
"I'm excited about those guys. Danny Crossman is a former teammate of mine. He has a lot of energy – he brings a lot of enthusiasm to the table. I think we will be improved on special teams, in regards to talent and with energy. I'm excited to see how these guys will play."
On the difficulty making cuts this year compared to recent years
"I think so – those were some tough cuts to make. Some guys you hate to see go – guys like (Jon) Jansen, Dre Bly, Landen Cohen – guys who had great camps for us and couldn't make our team. I think that's a positive."
On whether LB Zack Follett has grown into his role
"I think he has. He's still growing; he's still learning and he's still improving every day. He's a hard working guy; he's very committed, very dedicated. He's going to be successful. The process with him, like with all our young guys, is learning and developing into NFL-caliber players."
On how quickly RB Jahvid Best can change how the Lions attack offensively
"I think he will be a big part of our offense. As far as our approach on how we use him, obviously he has shown in preseason his skills as a receiver, as a running back – very versatile guy. He can change the game pretty quickly."
On getting younger, and if that was a goal this offseason
"I wouldn't say that, no. On our list of goals – getting younger wasn't on it. It's always about winning football games and acquiring talent. We tried to do that. It's not about getting younger."
On expectations as far as the team's competiveness this season
"We expect to be very competitive in every game. Every time we line up, we expect to be able to compete and match up, which has been a problem in the past. I think we should be better this year."
On CB Aaron Berry
"He had really good OTAs; a really good early training camp. We've seen a lot of good things from him in coverage. The question for me with him was his ability to go out there and perform in a game. I wish I had more to look at, but he did good in the final game he played. So, we're going to go with that. He has an opportunity to help us I think."
On the linebacker and secondary situation and making improvements
"We're definitely looking at both sides of the ball right now – trying to improve. (We) had some talks today with some agents about some players and I would say we're going to continue to try to improve our team."