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Lions OTAs: Jim Caldwell's comments from Wednesday

A look at what Jim Caldwell had to say after the Detroit Lions' organized team activity on Wednesday.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a recap of what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say following Wednesday's organized team activity. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "Day two for us in terms of the OTAs and it looks like day two. You have a lot of ups and downs in practice and things of that nature, but the great thing is the guys are willing. We have a lot of guys who understand how we do things, but yet we're still trying to teach a lot of new, young guys. But it's a willing group, so we've certainly been pleased with their efforts."

On S James Ihedigbo participating in OTAs: "Well, I think it's always good when we can get all of our guys back. I think that's important. It gives us an opportunity to get better. There have been certainly situations where you had to do it otherwise, but it's always great when you've got them out here. It's great to have him back."

On the players understanding Ihedigbo's situation: "Yeah, you know, it's part of the business. These guys, most of them have been around and understand. Some of them have been in a similar situation themselves, so it's just something you have to work through."

On how some of the players undergoing injury rehabilitation are coming along: "They're coming along well. All of them are progressing. They're all making good, positive progress. No one is behind schedule at this point, so it looks good."

On if RB Ameer Abdullah is participating in the NFL Rookie Premiere: "That's correct. Yes."

On CB Alex Carter's absence: "He's in school."

On some players sitting out certain portions of practice: "Some guys that we have, you know, they have little nagging injuries here and there that we're kind of holding them out. Some of them aren't full. We've got a number of guys that are limited."

On the biggest surprise of OTAs for him so far: "There hasn't been one yet, to be honest with you. Probably, I'm not certain that you'll ever hear that from me this time of year. It's tough to really make a determination without pads on, really. I've learned over the years, there's been a couple guys I remember back in the early days that you look at - ‘Well, he's out here running around in shorts.' You may think, ‘Ah, he doesn't look that great.' He gets pads on, then he's one of your best players. So, that's where we play the game. We play in pads, but I'm pleased with the way these young guys are working, how they've picked up the system thus far. They're only into it two days. Things start to mount here the next couple weeks, so we'll see how they handle all the information."

On G/C Manny Ramirez: "You know, what I've seen from him, obviously we kind of know his body of work because we had an opportunity to watch him on film. You can see the things that he's done previously, so you know he's a guy that's certainly going to add some girth and power and experience in the center. But also, you can just tell from a leadership standpoint, I mean, he's tremendous. Real solid guy, just a person that's well-rounded, has a good sense of what being a real pro is and I think you'll see some of that wear off on some of our younger guys."

On what he hopes to accomplish in OTAs in regards to competition on the interior line: "I know often times you guys look at it as a competition, but it's really not. I mean, for me, what I tell them is this. We're training, we're making certain that we're in the best shape we possibly can be in. We're learning in terms of the information that extends to you, see if you can get it, ingest it and then get out there and perform it to a certain extent. But you can't tell anything about a guy on the interior or whether or not he can play for you until you get pads on. So, right now we're just trying to learn what to do, make certain they know where to go, understand how we practice. We're trying to build winning habits. I think we can do that. There's a lot of work to be done in that area. That's what those guys have to learn. There will come a time when they'll try to win a job. Tough to be winning any jobs out here right now."

On TE Eric Ebron's development: "Yeah, just like a lot of young guys, some days they have great days and some had days that are not so good. They're just ups and downs until we get that kind of consistency. That's what they're working for all across the board. We have a lot of guys that are in his situation, first- and second-year guys that are still developing. Typically, you'll start to see some progress. You have to see some progress. I think that's certainly going to be the case for all our young guys."

On what he has seen from CB Quandre Diggs: "Quick, learns well. You can just tell that he has natural intensity, which is all good."

On if Carter's learning curve will be slowed by his absence: "We try and do everything that the League allows. Not to go into any detail, but we try and work to make certain that when he does come in - I think he'll probably be in next week or so - that he's somewhat up to speed. He was here, obviously, during the rookie mini-camp, so we'll get him back here shortly. It's a good thing he's finishing up school. (He is) a smart guy, but also can multi-task. He's working at that."

On RB Joique Bell emerging as the veteran running back on the team: "Yeah, and that happens all the time. That's just kind of the way it is. If a guy is able to play well for an extended period of time, he'll be an elder statesmen and you'll have several young guys there behind you. That's the case with Joique right now, but he's not able to do a whole out here now. But he's out there, he's trying to help coach the young guys, he's doing all the things that he possibly can do to stay involved in it."

On if he prefers having a go-to running back or having a running-back-by-committee approach: "Typically, now in this day and age, you generally don't have just one guy at that position because it requires teamwork. It requires more than one or two, so there's a role for all of those guys. The thing about it, we don't have two guys the same for the most part. They all have a little different sort of strength and we can utilize that. You know, Joique is a power back who also can get on the edge and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Theo (Riddick) is probably a little bit more of an edge guy. I'm not saying he can't run inside, but he's along the edge a little bit more. So, you know, those are different players. I think when you get a chance to see Ameer (Abdullah), you'll kind of see what his style is as well. He's pretty versatile."

On what changes he can see in Ebron's game so far: "What I can see right now is the fact that he's in better shape than he was last year at this time just in terms of his approach. He's learning. I think they all kind of learn and develop as a pro. He's learned that aspect of it, now there's so many other things for him to learn as well and to try and create a level of consistency, which is key."

On how close Defensive Line Coach Jim Washburn is to returning to the staff: "Hopefully, he comes next week. So, we'll see."

On the development of DT Caraun Reid: "When you talk about two guys that came back different physically this time of year than last year, Caraun's one of those. Eric's (Ebron) one, obviously, and Caraun's the other. I think he's done a tremendous job just in terms of his approach to it. He looks good, increased his strength, his lean muscle has gone up, I mean, the whole gamut. So, hopefully we'll see that translate when we get an opportunity to go out there and go after it."

On the changes he has seen in QB Kellen Moore: "I think any time that you get guys that are smart, that are hard workers, they continue to improve. With him, he's got a better grasp of the offense, he's got a better feel for the guys that he's playing with. I think the receivers in which he's throwing to, he's getting an opportunity to throw it to them a little bit more often, so there's a bit of an uptake there. I think you see that in guys that have his kind of characteristics and makeup."

On the physical differences he sees in Ebron: "Well, he's in better shape. I mean, obviously, he's running better. Even though he always could run, but in terms of his endurance. You look at his lean weight, it's different. His muscle's gone up in terms of his lean weight, fat weight's gone down. That's a real good indicator of it. Those are the things that I'm talking about from a physical standpoint. He's worked. You can see him even working on his hands and those kinds of things. He's been constantly working and catching, but consistency is the thing that's key. So, he's working on that."