The Detroit Lions' practice this morning may have been brief (because the team had their charity fishing tournament today), but Jim Schwartz had quite a bit to say during his session with the media. Via the Lions, here are quotes from Schwartz's press conference:
On the players who didn't participate today: "Anybody that didn't practice today was injury related. Everybody is in town and here. We have a lot of things that we're trying to sort of make sure that they don't roll up on us, and Jason (Fox) has had a good offseason, but his knee was getting a little bit sore so we decided to shut him down. You won't see him for the mini-camp.
"Other guys you'll see back. Today was a light day. The next two days are going to be almost training camp type length to practice - number of reps and things like that. We didn't want to go three days in a row that way, but we wanted to build toward it. So today was a little bit of a light day.
"We did some no-huddle stuff out there today, but the next two days will be long practices. We'll have rookie sessions after practice - and they'll have a long day, they'll have meetings in the afternoon and everything else.
"There's a couple guys we're holding out simply because of sort of wear and tear, other guys that we just shut down for this mini-camp and Jason (Fox) was one of those guys."
On the rookie sessions after practice: "When we do that, just like in training camp, when we get to the end of practice, there'll be younger players that will get more reps - just stay on the field. We'll do another team period, might do another 7-on-7 period. Altogether, we'll probably be on the field for... the vets will be off in about two hours or so; I think we'll have another 15 minute period (for the rookies). We've got two-and-a-half hours, but we'll use about 2:15 of it, but it'll be similar to what we do in training camp.
"We'll have a walkthrough in the afternoon before we leave, but they'll be out there working on the field."
On whether there is something he specifically wants to get out of the mini-camp: "Just what we talk about all of the time: just each being a little better than the day before. Each step along the way, we've increased a little bit more. There's been different phases to our offseason program and this is a different phase. We get to mini-camp and all of the sudden it's a mandatory attendance, but also, we've added just about everything in - we've even walked through some goal-line stuff. We want to get everything that we're going to install in training camp in by the time we're done here in mini-camp so that everything in training camp is competition and physical and less trying to learn the system."
On KR Stefan Logan working with the running back and whether he's still a receiver: "You know, he played probably more snaps of running back the last couple years than he has at any other position other than kick returner. He's a multi-dimensional player obviously. He can play a little wide receiver, he can play running back, outstanding kick returner and he's also an outstanding special teams cover player. He's just continuing in the same role that he's been in."
On what players can do in these non-contact practices to ‘catch his eye': "You can't make the team in mini-camp, but you can make a good impression. You can be smart about your assignments, you can be aware of situations, you can remember the snap count - we had a couple of those issues today with some younger players. There's a lot of ways to make a bad impression during mini-camp, but you make the team based on training camp and based on preseason games. But, this is very valuable time. Learning the system, showing good work ethic, showing that you can handle a lot of different situations and you can be a smart player. Those are things we're looking for too."
On bringing WR Maurice Stovall back and signing WR Jarett Dillard despite having so many wide receivers: "Stovall was with us last year, got hurt early on in the season and that sort of affected his role. We had a little bigger role in mind coming out of training camp than we really saw. But he's a veteran player, he's a good guy, he's a tough guy and has a chance to be productive for us.
"Jarett is the same way. He's a very, very productive receiver when he's played. He's a young veteran; he's played a little bit in the NFL.
"You just want to keep adding players and just incrementally get better. Those guys were both really good acquisitions for us at this stage of the game. We're talking about getting ready for training camp and things like that. To be able to get guys like that is good for us."
On CB Aaron Berry: "Everybody is judged on what they do on a daily basis and Aaron has done a very, very good job. Not just this offseason, but he's a young developing player. One of his biggest things has been being injury-free, and he hasn't been able to do that his first couple of years. If he's able to do that this year, he'll have a good season. He's a little heavier - he's close to 190 pounds - that's about 10 pounds of added muscle for him. He's had a very good offseason all with an idea toward keeping him on the field longer than he's been."
On today's fishing tournament and what kind of fisherman he is: "We'll see today. I'm not calling the shot... I have a lot of fun fishing. Once we get out of mini-camp, I'll spend a lot of days on the boat. But to be able to fish with a guy like Kevin VanDam who is the best in the world at what he does - I have a lot of respect for best in the world (laughter).
"I think it says a lot about him, his commitment to this area, his commitment to Michigan, his association with the team, that he's right between tournaments, that he would come out and do an event like this. This is a lot of work. This isn't showing up and going fishing. There's a lot that goes into that. We're very, very grateful that a guy that has the profile that he does is willing to do this. Hopefully it will be good for our players and it will be fun for the other people that attend it."
On S Amari Spievey: "Amari is still a young player. It's only his third year in the league and he's still young at the position. He's only been playing safety for about a year-and-a-half. Inconsistent as a second-year player; he played really well at times and had some games that he didn't play as well. He needs to get that off of his resume and now's the time to do it. He's still a young player, but that should be no longer on his resume. It's his third-year in the system; his position coach hasn't changed, his coordinator hasn't changed. We need to see more consistency out of him because when he's played well, he's played very well for us."
On QB Kellen Moore: "He has grasped the offense very well. He has command when he's out on the field; he finds a way to get it done. He's a guy that I think it's well-documented he doesn't have the strongest arm, he doesn't have the prototypical size, but once you get out on the field, you don't get any extra points for being 6-4. You get seven points for moving the ball and getting it in the end zone. That's what he has done so far in training camp. He's really smart, he doesn't get rattled and he takes good command of the huddle. He's been impressive so far. Again, the real evaluation will start coming when we get to preseason games, particularly with quarterbacks."
On whether he's looking forward to the potential of a power-running game with Mikel Leshoure: "Leshoure definitely has that in him. No matter how we do it - running the football, throwing the football, short-yardage, first-and-10 - we need to have the ability to pick up tough yardage. I think that that's something that Mikel can do for us. Kevin Smith did an outstanding job for us last year. So however that dynamic works, it's an important thing for us and hopefully those guys can give it to us."
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