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Lions Quotes: Jim Schwartz Talks About First Day Of Rookie Minicamp

May 11, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz  talks to the media after rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
May 11, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talks to the media after rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

The Detroit Lions held the first practice of their rookie minicamp on Friday afternoon. Following the practice, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz met with the media. Below are quotes from the press conference (via the Lions). You can check out video from Schwartz's press conference here.

On his first impression after the first day of rookie orientation: "It's hard (to say). Guys are out there working hard; we've got a good, wide variety of players out there. We've got draft picks, we have guys that are signed free agents, we have other guys who are here on a look-see tryout basis; we have a couple of our younger players that don't have accrued seasons out there. So we've got a wide group.

"The biggest thing today is sort of getting the first-day jitters out of the way. They had a long day; they all traveled yesterday and got a lot to work through today and they all tried to make a good impression and they all did. We did a good job of staying on our feet and didn't have very many balls on the ground and things like that. But, it's the first day."

On his impressions of QB Kellen Moore: "Obviously he has (had) a lot of success - I think 50 wins in college, and those weren't 50 wins against inferior opponents, he's gone on the road and beaten some big-time teams. He's been consistent over that period of time, so there were a lot of things that we liked about him and when the opportunity arose... We really weren't in the quarterback market so to speak, but his talent was there and he's got a good resume. We think he'll fit in well with us."

On whether Moore fits the structure of the Lions' offense or if he's a guy that you would have tailor some parts of the offense to because of where he came from and how he played: "Everybody is a little bit different. We're not going to call the game exactly the same for any quarterback, and it's been that way since we've been here. Even our other two quarterbacks, you know, Shaun Hill, Matt Stafford, have a little different skillset and we'll call the plays accordingly and they both accomplish and play a little bit differently. It doesn't look the same for either of those guys.

"But execution is what we're looking for, the ability to execute our offense. It's really not changing things as much as it is just sort of they get it done a little different way and I think Kellen is that way.

On what they could see from a guy like T Reilly Reiff today: "Not a lot - he knows how to lineup. He looks good lining up, but we don't have any pads on. You don't want to get too head-over-heels on linemen and running backs and people like that that make their living in the trenches out here with non-contact practices. But I think that he (had) a good first day.

"You can tell as much of what we did here today about him as we could outside (of practice). I mean walkthroughs, meetings and things like that. You can tell that he's an experienced, smart, confident player and he's going to do well for us."

On Reiff working today only at left tackle: "What we're going to do in this camp is play him at one position through the whole practice so that he's not flipping. We're going to give him some time at right tackle in this camp, but we're not going to flip him within a practice - let him work that entire practice at a certain position. A lot of our guys do that already in practice - something that he's going to have to get used to. Like I said, all decisions that will be made along the offensive line are going to come at the end of training camp, after preseason games and things like that. It's something that he's going to have to do.

"Being a young player, he's moved around a little bit. He's played some guard in college, he's played left - it'll come natural for him to move around and eventually we'll settle him in one spot."

On what his message was to the players about what they're hoping to see this weekend: "You want to see guys make a good impression with work ethic. You want to see guys make a good impression with their enthusiasm, their ability to retain. And when they can do those things, they can show their athletic ability. There's only so much that you can see out here when we're not going live.

"But they're learning how to practice; you want to have confidence that when we get to our OTAs and we put the vets out there that they're going to be able to go out there and be able to compete and be able to practice. I think when this weekend is done, all of these guys will be able to say, ‘I'm a better football player than when I began this camp.' If those guys can say that, regardless of what position they're in, whether it's an undrafted player or drafted player, if they can say they're a better football player on Sunday than they were on Friday, then they made valuable use of the time."

On whether they plan to keep 3 quarterbacks: "We'll see how it shakes - we're going to keep our best 53 players when we get out of training camp.

"To make that decision now is not a wise decision. We've got to see who our best 53 is. Last year, we kept three, but it doesn't mean that we'll keep three this year and it doesn't mean that we'll keep two. It's just really dependent on how it goes and who earns a spot on the 53-man roster."

On what immediate help the team needs from this draft class this season: "I think it's a little too early to say. I think it's a fact of life in the NFL now that you need contributions from rookies. I remember a long time ago when I first started being a fan of the NFL, it was a common thought that every rookie you had on the field equaled one loss in your won-loss column. I think those days are long gone.

"You used to see guys that would say, ‘Hey, it takes five years for a rookie to learn how to play quarterback for instance. I think those days are gone; I think college players are ready and you see guys that can be effective right away. I think over the course of 16 games, we've seen that we're going to need everybody on our roster: rookies, vets - everybody's going to have to play a part.

"We drafted these guys for a reason. Every single guy has talent and their talent fits a job description that we had for them. But whether or not we'll get to that point is going to depend on what happens between now and the games. Not what's happened up until this point."

On whether they intentionally drafted players who were former captains because of leadership: "I don't know that that was really planned. A lot of times the best players in college are also the captain. But certainly we value leadership and certainly the guys that have shown that over the course of their career are going to be in a better spot, but that wasn't our No. 1 criteria in looking for players."

On what he saw from CBs Bill Bentley, Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green: "They moved well.

"I don't know if you guys have ever been down to the Senior Bowl, but the first day of Senior Bowl practice, you almost have to discount it a little bit. The quarterback-center exchange, the wide receiver- quarterback timing, defensive backs... The first day, not many people look real good, then all of the sudden you'll see them start to get their feet under them so to speak and you'll see them sort of figure it out a little bit.

"All three of those guys showed the athletic ability that got them drafted, but they've all got a long way to go, just understanding the whole defense and where their help is and how they're expected to cover and just doing things a little different than they did in college.

"Their heads are all swimming right now; we've thrown a lot at them. Again, we want to get them exposed to as much as we can because those guys next week are going to be in our offseason program with our vets; the week after that, they're going to be on the practice field with our vets. If they roll-up against Calvin Johnson they're going to have to be ready. So they've got a lot of work ahead of them these next two weeks."

On where things stand with WR Ryan Broyles: "He's not ready to do any of this stuff yet, but he is working very well and he's better than when we saw him at his pro day; he'll be better tomorrow than he is today. He's had a very, very good rehab from his knee and has made good progress, but he won't be competing in any of this stuff."

On where Ronnell Lewis will play: "I think he fits well with our defensive ends. I think if you look what other people might try to make a 3-4 outside linebacker, the Cliff Avril's and even guys like Vanden Bosch, they're less than 260 pounds. So he's not out of place with us and his skill-set is good rushing the passer. I think the thing that he brings to the table that we really haven't had here for a while is special teams ability. He's always been a good special teams player and he gives us a little bit different dimension than we've had on special teams.

"But he'll be a defensive end for us, but maybe a little different than some of those other guys. Maybe he'll be a little bit more active on special teams, maybe like our linebackers are expected to be."

On Ronnell Lewis's strength: "All these guys are freakishly strong; all of these guys have things that they bring to the table. Ronnell is very, very strong. He's also got good straight line speed and he's played at a high level. He's made a lot of plays; he's made a lot of plays for lost yardage in college and did it at a major level of competition. Just like our defensive ends on our roster now, each guy is a little bit different and I think you embrace the individual things that each guy brings. He's strong, but all of our guys are."

On how CB Chris Greenwood's transition from small college to the NFL is going so far: "Well, he made it out to the practice field today - that's the first step. The thing is, we took them through meetings today and things like that, like I said, we've got a lot of different guys. We have guys who were first round draft picks, we have guys that are young veterans that have been in our offseason program that are all out there. The thing that doesn't matter anymore is what school you went to, what round you were drafted in, what your signing bonus was, everything else. All these guys have similar opportunity; all of them are here for a reason; all of them are talented enough to be here and it's what they make of it from this point.

"Chris is a very talented guy and when you put him out there... I don't know what a small-school guy is once they get out there. He fit right in with everybody else and he's trying to learn like everybody else. His head's swimming just like a big school player, but athletically he really belongs and it'll be fun to watch him progress."

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