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Lions quotes: Jim Schwartz's comments from Saturday

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

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

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

On T Riley Reiff's performance Thursday night: "He has done a nice job. There's been sort of one play where we'd all like to have back. I thought we ran the ball very well. We protected the pass well and that's hard to do that without a quality play from your left tackle."

On Reiff's development: "We drafted him in the first round so we obviously had high expectations for him. He got on the field for us and played a nice role for us last year. This is a different role for him and he's done a nice job whatever we have asked him to do. There's no reason to think that it won't continue in the future."

On if Reiff has the potential to be as good as the player he's replacing at some point: "You're talking about a guy there that has played for an awful long time and has never missed a game and was steady as can be. Riley is a second year player that's working as hard as he can. It's hard to compare those two guys. Hopefully ten years from now we can say that, but you can't say that right now."

On if he has seen better coverage on special teams: "I think that all starts with the kicks. Punts and kicks have been drastically improved. I think that makes it easier, much easier, to cover kickoffs in particular. When they're out of the end zone, it's a lot easier to cover. I think that's been the big difference. We've been working a lot of different groups and there have been a lot of different guys in there. I think that time will tell if we've improved there. I know that our kicks have been better in the preseason kicks and punts."

On G Leroy Harris: "I think he has steadily progressed. He was a guy that started PUP for a couple of days. He's gotten a little bit more each practice and each game. We rotate a lot of guys through a lot of different groups. Again I wouldn't read too much into where guys are in different periods and stuff like that."

On how far behind Harris is in the right guard battle: "I wouldn't say he's behind at all. He's right in the thick of things. He's done a nice job in training camp."

On CB Darius Slay's performance on Thursday night: "He had some bad technique at the line of scrimmage. Particularly on the first play when he gave up the pass. We knew it was going to be a challenge with those guys with a quarterback. I mean (QB Tom) Brady checked to that play and that's something that Slay needs to learn from. Number one is to play his technique a little bit better and number two is to have an awareness of what was going on with the offense and what he was showing to the offense that made him check to that particular play is all a part of growing up. As far as being a player, and you can only get that through experience, he experienced it firsthand."

On RB Steven Miller's performance on returns: "It's been really hard to return kickoffs. Little bit like the reasons we said before it's hard to return them when they're out of the end zone and ten yards deep and stuff like that. He's been ball secure on his punt return which is number one. He made a couple guys miss. I think you sort of pride yourself as a returner on being able to make the first guy miss and that's one of the things he's been able to do. So ball security and make the first guy miss, after that you have to have some help blocking. I think he's done well."

On putting a rookie in that role: "We'll make the decision we think is best for the team. Being a rookie doesn't discount anybody from doing anything. We started rookie quarterbacks. There's no card or no whatever. You need contributions out of your rookies. However it works out we're going to make the best decision for the team."

On if the future of the kick return position is inexistent: "I'd say that but then the Super Bowl and Jacoby Jones comes and he's eight-yards deep or seven-yards deep whatever it was and it was a huge play in the game right there. One of the reasons they won the Super Bowl was because of that play. There is less opportunities, but when you do get an opportunity there are still chances to make big plays."

On if the kick return specialists needs to be multidimensional: "I think it depends on the rest of your roster makeup.  Ideally you have a guy that contributes in other ways whether it's coverage units. There was a time where Josh Cribbs was one of the best dual returners around and also was a pro bowl gunner and was their best kickoff cover guy. Or a guy that has a role on offense, those are ideal situations. Depending on what your roster is there are a lot of ways you can manage returner positions and try to get the best guys on the field to make the most plays for you."

On WR Micheal Spurlock: "You can tell he's a veteran player. He just goes out and quietly does his job. He's been effective on offense. He plays inside and he plays outside. He made a nice play to give the quarterback a place to throw the ball for the last touchdown that he got. He's been in the return game and good on the coverage units for special teams. He's a veteran player. A little bit of a known quantity, but he's had a good camp."

On DE Jason Jones: Jason's a guy that we targeted in free agency and we did it for a reason because we thought he fit well with the other pieces that we have. I think he has had some ups and downs during camp with his availability to practice and stuff like that, but when you see him on the field you know what an impact he can make. Again it wasn't just the sacks. He made a big tackle for a loss and had some other nice plays. He's had a good camp and he's going to be a good player for us."

On Thursday night's D-line: "I think we can all play better, every position. We didn't play our best football. It's a good situation to be in. The week before we were saying we didn't play our best football and we lost the game. This week we're still saying we didn't play our best and we have a lot to work on. We have a long way to go before the opener. Today we came out. It was a tough day for the players. They were off yesterday, came back and had a lot of film work and classroom stuff today. To come out on the field and have a good tempo I think that was a good sign from the players."

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