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Lions rookie minicamp: Jim Caldwell's comments from Day 3

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

Leon Halip

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

Opening statement: "We just ended up I think what has been an outstanding rookie mini-camp. Over the years, it's my 14th year in the National Football League, we've never had a group that was able to really devour so much information. Not only that, they were able to go out and apply it. We got a lot of good work done. It was an impressive group. Oftentimes you may think because you have a number of guys, obviously, we have our draft picks, we also have our free agents, but we also had a number of tryouts (players) out there. So, maybe some of you are thinking about, ‘Well, how is that relevant?' Well, what happens in a number of cases is that you have a number of guys that have been at least introduced to your system. Somewhere down the line it may be a guy that's out there that's not signed with a particular team, one of these guys we'll be able to call back and we know he has some familiarity with what we do. Oftentimes some of those tough weeks you're looking around, you've got a couple of guys that may be banged up, that's where these guys certainly come in to play. I think you'll see a number of them probably with some other teams here after this weekend. So, we appreciate them. They did a tremendous job and it was a productive weekend."

On WR Corey Fuller being able to participate this weekend: "It's big because of the fact that they get some extra reps in. He was on the practice squad, obviously, a year ago and did have an opportunity to come in and still work and try to improve his craft. Obviously, because the system is new, it kind of gives him a little bit of a head start in that regard. He was able to grind through it on the weekend and did a nice job. He was also able to kind of pave the way for some of the guys that had not. He's been doing it for five weeks now, I guess, so he's a good bell cow for us. He set the stage for us in that regard, but he was absolutely outstanding."

On what has impressed him so far about the draft picks: "There are a lot of things. I think one of the things that Martin (Mayhew) has done, just in terms of setting the stage for the kind of young men that we bring in to this organization, you know, we're looking for people that certainly are passionate about what they do, they're engaged, they love the game, they're a pleasure to work with and coach. Not only that, they have talent, obviously, which is important as well. Overall, I think how hard they work, how much information they were able to consume. They were productive over the weekend."

On T Cornelius Lucas: "He didn't get a chance to do much this weekend because he was injured, so we really didn't get a great opportunity to look at him. We've seen film on him. We know what he's capable of doing. We know that, obviously, he's got a great upside because of his length and size. He's a smart guy, he's a willing worker and he's really one of those guys that over the years you're going to see some development and positive development."

On the competition at kicker: "I think Coach Bono (John Bonamego) does a great job in terms of getting all those guys ready. We were able to, this weekend particularly, we were able to get through so much, just in terms of implementing a lot of our special teams schemes - Punt, punt return, you know, all of them. A lot of it was fundamentals and techniques, but we had an opportunity to expose every guy to it, so that was helpful. I think, obviously, we are making progress in those areas. We were a good team last year in that area, so we are certainly looking for some improvement. Now, in terms of going with a young kicker, I've been there before. A couple years ago with Baltimore we had a young guy that kicked pretty well as a first-year kicker. We anticipate that Nate's (Freese) going to just continue to develop and be very, very good at what he's doing."

On what he expects for the upcoming OTAs: "Our expectations, how about what we would like to see? Our expectations may be a little bit different because the rules don't dictate that everybody has to be here. But we anticipate, much like the rest of our OTAs, we've had unbelievable participation. We are anticipating it's going to be the same. I think you'll see that we'll have a great group here ready to work and we'll find a way to get better."

On if he expects DT Ndamukong Suh to be at OTAs: "Do I know that he'll be here? I would anticipate that he would be here."

On having Suh at OTAs: "Obviously, he's a great player and he's also got great leadership ability as well. So, to have him back in here working amongst the group is going to be a great time for everybody."

On Suh's leadership ability: "I've been a few places in my time and I can cite you so many different examples of guys that maybe weren't here during the time period that did a tremendous job, just in terms of their leadership and those kinds of things. I don't expect him to be any different. I think he'll fit into that category as opposed to any other category you'd like to slide him into."

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