Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Tuesday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
Opening statement: "We are practicing a little bit later than any other time that we practiced this year and we often times we'll get an opportunity to play games at 8:30 at night or somewhere around that area. The times are various, so we get an opportunity to do a little work. The other part that's important to us is the fact that we're playing a west coast game and that game will literally start at 10 o'clock our time. So, the guys get a chance to get a sense of their bodies and their body clocks to feel what that's like. We'll get a little bit of that work, it won't be quite as late, but nevertheless, it'll be later than they're accustomed to. So, it does give them a chance to feel what the warm up will be like, get some work in, in their pads and we have some key situations to work on today. We'll work goal line, what we call ‘coming out,' which are areas that we need some work, particularly with pads on. So I think it's going to be a good night and be pretty interesting. As a matter of fact you all might have a captive audience with the rain and all the issues that are going on around the city with travel and things of that nature. Obviously people are (probably) staying close to home."
On what changes for the players when practice times vary: "No, they came in early but they got a pretty good break in between. Also, one other thing when you're playing a west coast game in particular, you typically get them up in the morning. You don't want them to get sluggish, so we do still get them up. We did our walkthrough this morning, but they have a good amount of time in between. It's scheduled that way because of rest and recovery, to give them a chance to get off their feet and get themselves ready to practice. In the evening it will be a practice with a fairly heavy workload, and so that's basically how we do. Now if we are going to play an actual west coast game, we do a number of different things to affect the circadian rhythm in terms of their sleep mode and things of that nature. So we do some adjustments there, but we're not doing that in this particular case. "
On DE Ezekiel Ansah being taken off of PUP: "He's not going to play this weekend. He'll be able to catch up pretty quickly. One of the things with four guys up front, it's not really too different from what he's been accustomed to, just in terms of knowing games and stunts and things of that nature, which changes rush lengths a little bit. But he's been working and sort of ramping up his activity, as you could see every single week. So he's getting a little bit more work with his pads on, working with the trainers and he'll be ready to go in due time. But we'll take our time and there will be a progression to it, but we'll see how he comes along."
On why they are practicing at different times: "Yes, for me, I think it's very, very important that you give your team as many opportunities as you can to get ready for challenges that they may face and this is the time to do it - during training camp. We don't have that luxury during the season, we usually practice at a set time, and it's typically not at night. So this is the time where you can adjust your schedule and move it around quite a bit. It's not the normal routine, so it makes them adjust. I like the fact that they have to learn to adjust. I also like the fact that it's still raining, not necessarily with the problems that we're having in the community, but we'd like a little adversity with the rain. We've got to be an indoor team with an outdoor mentality, so we're working in those elements to give us a real challenge."
On if footing concerns him with a wet field: It's always an issue if the field is bad. Certainly, our field is in pretty good shape, but it could be that way on a Sunday afternoon, too. I'm not going to be concerned about anything but trying to find a way to win, you know what I mean? So the same thing here, we'll look at it mindfully and responsibly and try to take a look at areas of the field that maybe get chewed up as we go and get off of them. But you can't avoid each and every situation that occurs to you out there from an injury standpoint."
On last night's team unity function: "Yes, it was a team unity function, that's basically what it was. Give the team the opportunity to do something other than (be) out here banging into one another, spend some time together, (build a) little camaraderie."
On the selections for coin toss vs. Cleveland and team captain situation: "We have a leadership council of guys that represent their particular positions. So, during this time of year, we end up rotating guys that are on the leadership council and we'll make a determination of how we deal with captains. More than likely, I'll have to discuss it with them before I discuss it with you, but we have an idea of what we're going to do in that regard."
On FB Montell Owens' battle for a roster spot and his leadership: "It still boils down to production, that's always the key. Like I have mentioned to you before, leadership plays a part because some guys have an inordinate amount of influence on the rest of their teammates, but they also have to be able to produce, that's part of leadership. You don't find many leaders who aren't good at what they do or don't have a prominent role, as well. But we'll look at those things and take all of that into consideration, but it'll work itself out."
On if he has veto choices on captain choices: "I'm not sure why the captains is a big discussion right now, it's going to be a ways before we get to the first game. I'm not sure at this point in time, it's not really an issue. We are not playing a game tonight, so I think you'll see guys in that position throughout the preseason and when we get to the season, we'll determine how we work it. But I can guarantee you this, we will have captains out there. We'll have somebody out there for the coin toss."
On accountability and what it means to players: "Accountability is extremely important because of the fact that we have responsibilities. There are expectations that we have for each and every player at his position and we anticipate and expect him to do those things and live up to them. If not, then obviously it cuts into his playing time or has an effect on whether or not he makes this team. I think that's probably the best way that I could sum it up and you have a lot of different things at your disposal. You can do fines and things of that nature, but I'm not a big fine guy. Like I tell them, ‘I don't want their money,' I just want them to do things that are right in order to help us win. For the most part, we have a team that's compliant, that do the things they're supposed to. We've got a great group of guys that work at it and they do understand accountability and responsibility."
On if there have been instances of guys not living up to expectations: "Certainly, they're human. I haven't lived up to my wife's expectations from time to time. She wants me to do this or that, I'm sure I've fallen a little short in that regard, but most of us do."
On if practice will be moved during the season due to game location and time: "Well, we do some adjustment depending on if it's Mountain Time or whatever it might be, we make some adjustments. Sometimes it's difficult to at exactly the same time you play out there, but we do make adjustments accordingly and make certain our guys get enough rest. Whether we're practicing now or at night accounts for some of those that do let you get a chance to go through prior to that."