clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Jim Caldwell's quotes from Friday

A recap of Jim Caldwell's comments from Friday.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Friday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On his impression of TE Eric Ebron's recent play: "I think he continues to get better. I think he's a lot more comfortable with things. You can see that he doesn't have to think as much about the calls that are being made in the huddle and things of that nature, and that happens. The more comfortable they get, the better they play. I think he's evolving."

On what Ebron has to do to create big plays: "He said there's no sense to break them if you can jump over them. Everybody has their things that they do from a physical standpoint. He's a different body type, everybody's a little different. Everybody is not like Joique Bell that will run through you and over you. Everybody has a little different talent level. That's what makes this game unique."

On if Ebron's strength is with the ball in his hands: "I'm not certain that I would say that that's his strength. I do think that he's a very capable ball carrier. He does have tremendous speed for his position and I think you haven't seen the best of that yet. I think you'll start to see a little bit more of that emerge as time goes on."

On what Ebron has to do to be where they'd like him to be in his maturation: "The difficulty is that when you have as many guys as we have that you'd like to get the ball in their hands, it makes it interesting. If he gets five catches during the game and things of that nature, what his targets are, I think he's been up a little bit as of late but we still got Calvin (Johnson), still got Golden (Tate). We came out of a game last week and maybe Golden didn't get as many touches as he typically would get, guys out of the backfield and things of that nature. So, it gets spread around. But I think now, when he does get called upon, you're starting to see a bit more production."

On how important tackling is to a defense: "Well, it's very important because the obvious part of it is that you're holding the opposition to a minimal gain as often as you possibly can and in particularly against some very skilled runners at all positions. Our guys I think, have certainly been moving to the ball well. But the big thing is, even when we happen to miss a tackle, which you're going to do in this league on occasion, is that we have so many other guys that really move to the football. They do a tremendous job of getting themselves in position to help and to not relax and think one guy is going to make it, that's been important. Now, there's been some games we didn't tackle as well as we'd like, but for the most part overall we've been a pretty steady tackling team."

On if he worries about the safety of players when they attempt to hurdle defenders: "Certainly, you do. I don't think you play this game necessarily suspended in the air at any length of time with as fast as these guys run. The contact in the air is not a position where you can protect your body and you come down awkwardly sometimes when you do that, when you expose yourself a bit. So yeah, we're concerned about that. We'd like them to keep their feet on the ground but sometimes in the heat of the ball game they're reacting to what they see. They're experts at what they do, they have natural feel and I don't think you ever want to take that natural feel away. But if you have a choice between going in the air and being able to lower your shoulder and try to get some extra yards, we'd prefer lowering the shoulder. But sometimes they feel a little differently."

On CB Darius Slay's and LB Tahir Whitehead's shoulder injuries and if he's concerned they will miss the game Sunday: "We'll see, to be honest with you. We'll have to kind of see how it goes here the next couple days."

On if T LaAdrian Waddle has cleared concussion protocol: "He's following it, let's put it that way. He's with the league's protocol and going through the proper steps."

On how much more careful he has to be with Waddle now that this is his second concussion in two months: "What we do is follow league protocol. I think that's what it requires with our physicians and doctors, everybody that's involved and we've been doing that."

On if DT Ndamukong Suh and LB Josh Bynes are still sick: "Yes. But Bynes is here and will practice. Suh will practice, I'm not certain how much, but he'll practice."

On how he handles a situation where players are sick: "The ones that have been stricken with it, we certainly try to remove them from the location until we can kind of make certain that it's under control. But, you know how it is, it's just like any other setting where people are communal, you're going to have bugs hop around. We try to take all the precautions we possibly can. Until they come up with a cure for it, they're subject to it just like everybody else in society."

On how concerned he is that Bynes or Suh might miss the game: "I don't have an indication that it will happen, but it's not out of the question."

On how the defense would hold up without Suh: "I'm not certain and I certainly don't want to find out Sunday."

On how the defense would hold up without Suh going forward: "I don't think that I've said anything differently, he's certainly a huge part of what we do. I don't think those that watch and those who understand underestimate the impact that he has on a game, even when he's not making tackles. It's probably one of those things that if you had an opportunity to measure it out it would be substantial because he draws double teams, he draws slides protection in his direction, enables us to kind of get a sense on what's going to happen and who's going to be free and isolating certain guys. That's why you see Ziggy's (Ansah) production is where it is, George's (Johnson) production is where it is, and all those things can happen. Linebackers can run to the ball sometimes a lot more freely because they're doubling him and not climbing to the second level because they're concerned about him making plays. He had three tackles for loss last week and the guy is a great player and when you have great players they typically create opportunities for everybody."

On if Suh is the best defensive player he has ever coached: "You do understand I was at Tampa when Warren Sapp was there, who's in the Hall of Fame. I don't think you ever compare guys one to another, but let me just tell you Suh is a great player."

On if Suh could become a Hall of Famer: "Guys have to stay healthy and all those kinds of things and I think that's down the road for him. He's got a long career ahead of him, but there's nothing that tells you that he couldn't be."

On if there are any tweaks he has made to Suh's game to help him improve: "Jim Washburn and Kris Kocurek do a tremendous job with those guys. They're always trying to find the optimal sort of way to operate within the schematics of a defense. I think the defense is different, but down in the trenches a shade is a shade and so they've probably been operating the same way for quite some time. I just think he's grown within under their tutelage. Teryl (Austin) obviously has done a great job with that group as a whole but I think he's always evolving because he's always trying to find a way to get better. I think you'll see that from a physical standpoint he's bigger, faster and stronger when he came back this year. His percentage body fat was down, his lean muscle was up and the guy is incredible. I can anticipate that continuing on for quite some time. 

On what it's like to not have Suh at practice: "We don't have on pads. Often times there are tempo periods and things of that nature. We notice that he's not there because obviously he's a tough guy to miss when he's walking around. That part of it yes, but the practice setting it's a little different."

On the game captains: "We have two on defense, Johnson and Darryl (Tapp), Rob Sims on offense and Ashlee Palmer on special teams."