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Lions rookie minicamp: Jim Caldwell's comments from Day 1

A look at what Jim Caldwell had to say on the first day of the Detroit Lions' rookie minicamp.

Leon Halip

Below is a recap of Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell's comments from the first day of the team's rookie minicamp. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "We just began our rookie mini-camp. The guys reported on Thursday and we are able to kind of get them straightened away in terms of physicals and things of that nature. Today was the first day that we had a chance to take them out on the field as a group. Obviously, you know our draft picks were here on Monday. But this is more of a focus on young guys. We have some guys that are trying out. We have a number of guys, obviously, that are here trying to find a way to crack into the National Football League. We also have our free agent draft picks as well, so we have a good nucleus and the guys are working hard. They are trying to absorb a lot of information in a very short period of time. That's kind of part of the test, just to see how much they can absorb and how much they can apply. It's been good thus far and we are looking forward to a couple more productive days."

On DT Caraun Reid: "I think, obviously, the intelligence part is a forgone conclusion. Obviously, he's a quality student, has been all of his life. (He is) from a very, very challenging institution academically as well. But he's a guy with some talent too. I mean, he's quick, he's got strength and power. We saw a lot of it just in terms of preparation for the draft, but even out here today you can certainly see some of that. But a lot of things - I'm going to temper a lot of my comments, like I always do, because this game's played in pads. We're still in shorts."

On his first impressions of TE Eric Ebron: "We had a chance to watch him in terms of the draft and preparation and everything. He's just what he's supposed to be. He's a big, athletic guy that certainly moves extremely well, covers a lot of ground and he's learning quickly. So, he's adapting and doing all the things you would anticipate he would do. Let's just put it this way. His reputation preceding him, he's living up to it. But like I said, we've still got to put pads on as well."

On having two mobile quarterbacks in rookie mini-camp: "We're not necessarily looking for a different mode (of quarterback). These two guys (QB James Franklin and QB Jonathan Jennings) are certainly a little bit more of a wide-open type of a scheme where their legs are an important part of what they do, but I think you see that all across the board in our league now. I mean, you have to be able to make plays a number of different ways. Some guys make them in the pocket, some guys outside of the pocket, so these two guys haven't spent a whole lot of time underneath center. They've been shotgun more or less mostly than anything else, so they're learning that part of it. But they both have a good skill level, so we are taking a real good look at them."

On Ebron's presence in the meeting rooms: "He's working at it. Obviously, he's a very talented guy. There is a lot of information he's going to be given. He has been here since Monday. He's done a nice job thus far. He is engaging, I think you can see that by his personality. He loves the game, has great passion for it, and usually when you find a guy that's determined, has great passion, plus you add that to his talent level, obviously you've got a pretty big upside."

On not drafting a quarterback and the decision to bring in QB James Franklin: "We take a look at every player available, and those discussions were certainly ongoing during the course of the draft. It just turned out in a way in which, obviously, we ended up having to go through a college free agent in order to find another guy. (James) Franklin is smart. He's a talented guy. He's had a very good career. He was with a winner. He knows how to work extremely hard. Certainly, you can see it. If you get an opportunity to talk to him here before it's all over with you will see he's a very, very bright young man and he can grasp a lot of material quickly."

On what he saw in scouting DE Larry Webster: "He's got a huge upside. Obviously, he's a guy that certainly has explosion. He has speed, he has quickness, he's intelligent. (He has) great desire to play the game and he's rooted in the game. I mean, he has a great love for it and passion for it, although he played basketball early on and was a fairly decent player, I guess, in that aspect as well. But, you know, all of the physical traits and also the intellectual traits we were looking for, he does indeed possess. Working with him out here, I think our guys and our defensive line has been pleased with where he is right now. They're young, trying to learn all of this information and grasp all the information and execute. He's come along nicely."

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