Below is a recap of what Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin had to say following Wednesday's organized team activity. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On his early impressions of the defense: "It's good. I like the guys' focus. The guys focus really well, pay attention to details. Obviously, there are some things that we have to continue to work on, continue to improve, but I like our mindset."
On if he sees a positive difference in the defense with the addition of the new players: "It's different every year. I think what's different this year, obviously with the new people, is the fact that our guys are more familiar with our scheme, so we're actually a little bit more ahead than we were last year."
On DT Caraun Reid's development: "He's trained really hard, he's in really good shape. He looks good right now. Obviously, we'll have to wait and see once we get to pads where we are, but I like what he's done so far."
On what he has seen from CB Quandre Diggs: "I like that guy. He's scrappy, he's tough, he's got good ball skills, he's got good football sense that I've seen so far. So, we'll just see how once we get into pads, once we get him in game situations, but I think he's got a great background. Obviously, he's got a great resource in his brother in terms of how this game is played -What you do, what you need to do to be successful, so it looks like he's used that. I'm pleased with where he is right now."
On if Diggs is a player that really stands out once he gets on the field: "Correct. He's not going to have the measurables that we like. He doesn't have the length, he doesn't have the height, but what he does have is a good understanding of football. He makes quick reactions, he has good eyes, good hands, good feet. That's what you need as a defensive back."
On the development of the young defensive linemen on the team: "I think that both of those guys (DE Devin Taylor and DE Larry Webster) - Devin looks really good so far. He looks more explosive than he was last year. He looks stronger, so we're pleased with where he is. We just have to get him to continue to develop and take that into the games so we can get more out of him, so he can get more out of himself, really. I think when you look at Larry Webster, he put on a lot of great weight. Last year when he came in, he was about 250, maybe. But he's a 265-, 270-pound man and he looks like a defensive end at this point. So, we're anticipating that he'll grow by leaps and bounds and we won't see the proof until we get into the preseason and the contact. We like where he is so far."
On if DE Ezekiel Ansah looks thicker than he did last year: "No, he's just a freak. He just looks like he's heavy but he's not. He's probably 275, 280 pounds where he plays at and he's explosive. He can run, he's athletic, he's got all the things you need."
On his excitement for Ansah's development: "Absolutely, we think that he has a chance to be an outstanding defensive end in this league, one of the top-tier guys. If he continues to develop and progress, he'll get there."
On how much LB Tahir Whitehead's increased role last season has helped him heading into 2015: "I think it was an unbelievable experience. You can't recreate game reps in practice. By him having an opportunity to play as many snaps as he did, even though it wasn't his primary, normal position, it helped him tremendously. He got into stressful game situations, he played well all year, he made calls, so I think that helped him immensely. He'll be a better football player for us for it."
On if S James Ihedigbo returned in good shape: "Yes, James is in good shape. He always keeps himself in good shape. I knew that wouldn't be an issue when he decided to come back."
On S Isaiah Johnson: "I think we have a big, strong kid that can run and he's a good tackler. I think that's something that we look for in our safeties, so that's why he became a priority for us. He's a smart young man. He's going to have his work cut out to try to make our team like they all do, but I think he's got the ability to do it."
On if he is pleased with the depth on defense: "We like our depth. We're always looking to make sure that we have the best players available, so I think Martin (Mayhew) and the front office, those guys did a great job of getting us players. I think if we have better competition and better depth, it's going to make the starters better. I think that's where we are right now. I think we've got enough depth that we're going to push. There are going to be some tough decisions that are going to have to be made on our football team, and that's good. You don't come in and everybody's clear-cut and you already know who your 53 (players) are. I don't think that's going to happen this year."
On if the players have adopted the mentality that this defense can stop the run: "That's what we talk about. Our No. 1 thing is to stop the run. I know everybody wants to talk about the passing game and all that. We go into every game and our No. 1 goal is to shut down the running game of the other team and make them one-dimensional. So, that's our mindset and that's the mindset our guys are going to go into with. They're going to go into every game, every season as long as I'm coaching here, that's what will be our deal."