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Jim Caldwell's quotes from Day 1 of Lions training camp

Quotes from Jim Caldwell's media session on Day 1 of Detroit Lions training camp.

Leon Halip

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Day 1 of training camp. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "Well, we think it was a good first day. We had a good walk-through session this morning. We had an opportunity to work through some things, in terms of our installation the first day.  I think the guys responded very, very well.  (They were) very attentive this morning and I think we got a lot of work done this afternoon as you could see with practice that we had. Quite a bit of activity, a lot of different drill work, a lot of different sectionalized work to work on different situations and I think they responded well for their first day.  We've got a long way ahead of us, a lot of work to do yet, but obviously we feel good about where they start."

On his feelings about tabling contract negotiations with DT Ndamukong Suh: "Like I said, I'm still optimistic about it, you know, they'll work their way through it and it'll get done, and get done at the appropriate time."

On why he feels optimistic: "Well, because I've been around too many times where I've seen them all get done and obviously, I think in this particular case, I don't think it will be any different."

On LB Kyle Van Noy leaving practice: "We won't know a whole lot until tomorrow. We took a good look at it and it looks like he's got a bit of an injury to his thumb.  But we'll see how he goes the rest of the week."

On the installation of the new system: "I've been really impressed.  A couple things occurred last week when we had the rookies, injured vets, and quarterbacks come back and the retention was amazing.  You could tell guys had worked at it and certainly hadn't forgotten what they had been taught and they functioned pretty well.  Even on the first day, as many things as we got accomplished on the first day out here, just shows you that they've gotten a grasp of it.  We've got a long way to go yet, but I think the understanding and the commitment to learning was there."

On the value of the veterans having played together for some time: "There's no question about it.  I think veterans, because of the fact that they've been in a number of systems throughout their career that they understand how to learn at a pretty rapid pace, they can associate it with so many experiences that they had at different places and those that were here.  The basic concept of football is pretty much the same, it's just trying to re-learn the names of a lot of different plays."

On the energy in camp and the competitiveness of the veterans: "I think naturally with this group that they are highly competitive. I think that's the nature of the beast in this league, and you have to be.  I think the fact that it is so competitive in terms of keeping these jobs, because it just doesn't last that long.  The windows are very short and tight, but there's a lot of energy today and I think that's because of that commitment to competition.  Also, the fans bring a lot of energy, they really do. They do a tremendous job of coming out and supporting us, I think that they enjoy having people come to practice, watching them.  (In the) spring, we didn't have the spectators that we have today, but we certainly are appreciative of it."

On the importance of having WR Golden Tate back: "I think you realize that he's a very important piece to our offense.  He has a lot to just in terms of his ability to catch the ball, run with it, block. He's a high-energy guy. His leadership is extremely important as well, so we're certainly glad to have him back."

On the benefit of having two practice fields: "One of the things that we try and do is try and maximize our opportunities, so while we're out here on the field you'll have maybe two units standing on the sideline, sometimes three waiting for the one that's operating on the field. So we'll split it up and get a number of plays in. It helps us get our younger guys taught, where ordinarily they wouldn't get as many reps and I think it builds our cohesiveness amongst our group so everybody's learning.  Some guys can learn by doing, but when you have an opportunity to get them out on the field and give them a little experience working we try and do so.   We do it in a sort of measured way."

On QB Matthew Stafford adjusting to the new scheme: "He's one of those guys, he's a willing participant and enjoys the game.  I think the challenge of learning the new system has really piqued his interest at the beginning.  Then also, I think that maybe it gives him maybe an array of different plays he can use and then there are things that he's familiar with.  We certainly have kept those in place, maybe the names have changed, but I think he's done well and will continue to do well. I love his attitude. It's one of those things where anytime you have a guy that buys in quickly and gets after it 100-percent, you know you have to be pleased.  We certainly are pleased with his efforts."

On his expectations for CB Darius Slay: "In terms of the first day, he's done well, I mean he did well in the spring. As you can see he came out and made some plays today, broken the ball nicely, his awareness is certainly improving. He's a big part of what we need to do with that position. He has to come along. He has talent. We've got a lot of young guys out there. It's going to be a nice competition."

On RB Mikel Leshoure having a role this year: "He came back in very good shape, he's certainly running well at this stage. We like what we see. It's early yet. If a guy can perform and play well, there's always room for another good back. He's a talented guy."

On the value of pre-snap motion in the complexities of an offense: "One of the things we aren't limited to is just showing one formation and staying in that formation. We think that it does give defenses maybe a little bit of an issue, where they have to adjust to our motions and shifts. Sometimes it gives us a little tip in terms of what coverage they're playing, things of that nature. So we use it for a variety of reasons, sometimes just to gain angles in terms of better blocking on running plays and things of that nature. We think it's a multiplicity of our offense in terms of formation shifts and motions. It's going to give some teams issues."

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