On Friday's performance: "It's always fun the first day. Last couple of days we haven't slept very well just because there's been so much anticipation and so much excitement. I mean it certainly didn't hurt that we had Pure Michigan Chamber of Commerce weather today. It was a great day to come out, players were excited. You know, it's a little different. The NFL over the years, the first day of training camp is more of just an extension of your off season program, of your minicamps. We're not really starting over, we did third down periods, we did team move periods, we did some fringe area stuff. Our players were in good shape and I think it showed."
On DE Ziggy Ansah's ankle: "He got stepped on. It's just sort of normal first day stuff. He doesn't have anything significant."
On non-practicing guys: "Leroy Harris came off an ACL last year, and what we wanted to do was make sure, he's doing really well, but we wanted to make sure that after doing conditioning and stuff like that, that the test stuff, that he didn't have any kind of swelling or anything else. And if we can be sure that you know it's not going to be sore the next day. We can get past that then we get him on the practice field. That's a little more of a precautionary just to make sure he's doing really well. We're happy with his rehab."
On WR Devin Thomas: "Devin Thomas or Ronnell (Lewis) just after the conditioning test just didn't really respond really well. We just wanted to give them a couple extra days to round themselves into shape. They both passed their test, but just as far as recovery afterwards, Ronnell has always been one of those guys that needs a lot of IV's and stuff like that and you take the approach of just rather than putting them right out here and possibly pulling a hamstring or something like that, give them a day and let's monitor them and see what else. But those were direct results of conditioning tests. Even though they did pass their conditioning tests, there was still some concern after that."
On QB Matthew Stafford's career: "He obviously has command of our offense and I think the step that he's taken over the last couple of years is having command over what opponents' defenses want to do against us. Like I said, what we're doing in practice today may be a little different than what our offense would see on a normal game basis, but he's good at recognizing different ways that people play us. People don't always play us the way they play other people. And each year I think he's taken another step with leadership. He's always been a mature guy for his age, but I think he's, you know, rounded off the field stuff, he's spent the entire off season in Detroit. I think those things are all beneficial."
On Ansah's development: "Just like a rookie there's a lot of things that he's working on. He's very skilled, he's very talented, but I think that a lot of times those guys through OTA's and mini-camp, you know feel like, "OK I got this," and then first day of training camp comes and it's like, "wow, that's a big adjustment". The next time that'll happen is his first time he'll have pads on and first preseason game, first regular season game, each of those times is going to be a step up in competition and I think that's probably the biggest things. Those great athletes stay at that pretty quickly and we expect him to."
On DT Nick Fairley's weight loss: "I'll tell you what, he's really impressive from where he left here at the end of mini-camp to his report. You know people make TV shows about Extreme Makeover and stuff like that and I like where he is right now. He's worked very hard in five weeks or six weeks whatever it was where he was gone and reported in great shape. His weight was done and he just needs to stay on that track. We've talked about how talented he his but it's been more about availability thing with him rather than a talent thing. And it looks like he's taken it very seriously. I'm proud of him for doing it."
On the availability of S Louis Delmas and monitoring his reps throughout training camp: "I think mental attitude is important through all that stuff. It's a grind when you go through camp and when you're trying to sort of get your way through. He went out and did some individual stuff, and had a brace on his knee, he was working through that. We'll probably sit him tomorrow, and bring him back on Sunday. And maybe each day try to get a little bit more, He did individual today and maybe extend it a little bit more depending on how he's feeling. Like I said the other day, we're going to have to be very proactive in the way we handle him and it's going to take a lot of discipline on our part and on his part. There are going to be some days where he's feeling fine, but we have to have the discipline to stay with the schedule and I think he's on board with all that."
On how WR Calvin Johnson's work ethic helps the team: "It's amazing. There's a stereotype of diva wide receivers, and Calvin breaks a lot of stereotypes. 6-5 guys aren't supposed to run that fast. And 240 pound guys aren't supposed to have the agility that he has, and things like that. His work ethic, and....I think I said this a few years ago when we signed him to an extension, as good a player as he is, he's a better person, and he's a better teammate. We're really, really proud to have him on our team, and he's obviously a difference-maker on the field, and it doesn't take one training camp practice to see that."
On CB Bill Bentley's recovery: "His athletic ability never left him when he was getting his shoulder worked on. He did a good job last year of continuing to work and continuing to study. He had a good rehab on that shoulder, but he's always been a really good foot athlete, he's been quick, and he has good coverage instincts. And he's got confidence too - there's something to that, when you're on the outside part of the field. There's a spotlight on you, and you got to relish that matchup, and Bill's a guy that's done that. He plays with enthusiasm, plays with a lot of competiveness, and it was good to get him back on the field today."
On having CB Darius Slay at full health, and being able to evaluate the competition at his position: "He was close to 100% when he left in training camp. We weren't going to put him out there unless we felt real good. I mean, I'm sorry, at mini-camp. We had a good feel for where he was when he left here. So I thought we'd already seen him, but he hasn't gotten a lot of reps with us, but he's another guy that'll turn your head, he'll make a play. I think our defensive backs.... It was some mixed action, there was some plays that our technique wasn't very good. We gave up some deep balls, but we also got our hands on a lot of footballs, and I thought they were very competitive today."
On owner William Clay Ford, Sr.'s expectations for the team: "I sort of talked about my personal excitement for this season, and optimism. He's excited for this season also. A chance to come out here on a great day like this, and get a firsthand look at the team, you can't help but feel that excitement from not just the fans that are out here, but also the Ford family. It's important for our players to see him out here, and know how high expectations he has for the team. I think that's always helpful"
On his impressions of DL Israel Idonije and what he can add to the team: "He's a bit of a known product. He's a veteran player, he's been consistent for a long period of time. We played against him twice a year, so we had a good feel for him. Not a whole lot of surprise with what you see out here, but he fits in with some of our other guys. He's got great length, he's got great size. [He's] a bigger defensive end than we've used before. He has the flexibility to move inside on some pass rush stuff. We haven't done any of that stuff yet, but pretty similar to DE Jason Jones in a lot of those ways. I think anybody that watches our defense knows that the strength upfront has something to do with the numbers. When we're fresh and we're rolling players through, we can be very effective about that, cause nobody's out there playing 99% of the snaps. A little bit like relievers coming out of the bullpen, come out of the bullpen throwing 100 [mph], throw your inning, boom, somebody else goes in, they're throwing 100 [mph], makes it hard on offensive linemen. Idonije can add to that for us."
On the conditioning of the team and if the mandatory conditioning test had an effect: "The year that we had the lockout, I think the team reported in similar shape. This has always been a hardworking team. I wouldn't say it's really a whole lot different, but I think every year we've had one or two guys fail the conditioning test. This year, we had a lot more guys take it, and we had everybody pass it. I think that said a little bit about how they took it. I think everybody takes it serious. I don't think that [new conditioning policies] made them take it any more serious, it has to do with your work ethic over a long period of time, what kind of person you are, how serious you are about your job. I think it just proved those things about our guys rather than some threat or anything else."
On T Riley Reiff's weight: "He's a really good athlete. He played some tight end, tight position for us, even though we didn't use him as a receiver. We used him to move around and things like that. You could see his athletic ability. I think that anytime that you're a player, weight only helps if it doesn't affect your movement. You can go gain 50 pounds and be heavier, but if you don't move well, it's wasted effort. I think what you've seen with Riley is as his body matures - he's still a really young guy - as he matures, he's able to put weight on, but also keep the athletic and keep the movement. I think it'll be helpful for him there. It's a long training camp. A lot of times also, some of the guys lose some weight as training camp goes on, so it puts them in a little better position to come in."