clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jim Caldwell's comments from Day 3 of Lions minicamp

A look at Jim Caldwell's comments from the third and final day of the Detroit Lions' mandatory minicamp.

Leon Halip/Getty Images

Below is a recap of what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Day 3 of his team's mandatory minicamp. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "They've done a really, really nice job of concentrating and focusing on our fundamentals and technique when we couldn't work against one another, and then since that time when we've had an opportunity to work against one another, the work has been good. It's been very competitive, not combative. But I think every guy has improved. Now, how much, we'll have to determine when we get the pads on in the fall, but certainly pleased with the guys' work at this point in time. Got a long summer ahead of us and a break in between. They'll rest a little bit, but I told them to have an enjoyable but productive summer. So, they're going to have to work obviously and come back in great shape."

On if the defensive line has the potential to have any breakout players this season, similar to DE George Johnson last season: "Probably not because everybody's unique. There's not a George Johnson out there, but there's a Daryl Tapp, there's Devin Taylor. They're their own people. They have their own techniques and fundamentals and things that they utilize. But I'm assuming you're talking about someone that may have shown early on that we anticipate this year is going to do well? We hope so. We hope we have a number of them. (Larry) Webster's one of those guys, we hope Devin Taylor's one of those guys that comes through and plays well. The guys that have always played well for us, we hope that they're better. That's the key. I do think that we have the makings of it. It's a tight unit, they work hard together and they got better."

On his message for the players heading into the summer: "That's kind of a daily refrain basically (‘High cost of low living'). We're always looking to make certain that we are doing things right. Not that just appear to be right, but to do things the right way. Within this age group it's difficult, it's tough. I think our guys have done a great job of staying out of trouble, but we're not perfect. Certainly, trouble's going to come, it just depends on how they handle it. We don't need to lose anyone because of an incident. It's tough enough to keep them healthy out on the field."

On his closing message to the team: "It's private. It's a team message and not necessarily a public one. But you could imagine that we've done all of the things that we were anticipating. We talked to them about what we expect from them when they get back. We talked to them about what we expect them to do while they're away. We've given them instructions and directions in that regard, so that's the thing that we normally do."

On DT Caraun Reid's physical development: "It's an undertaking really that we hope that they all take on, trying to improve as much as you possibly can. I think he's taken it to the Nth degree because he's done a great job in terms of tailoring what he eats. He is very conscious of that. But not only that, he's doing all the extra little things to try to get himself where he becomes a better performer. But I think you see a lot of guys from a physical standpoint that have made a leap like that. Kyle Van Noy's healthy, a young guy that's coming along. If you look at what kind of jump that Larry Webster has made physically from the time that he came in as a rookie until now, you'd be amazed. I mean, he's packed on a lot of muscle, he improved in terms of his speed and power. So, there's a lot of guys I think that fit within that category. I can probably go up and down our roster and point out different individuals that fall under that category."

On the offense taking a leap in its second year in the system: "No. 1, let me just say that we have to take that leap all across the board. We have to be better in terms of our special teams, we have to be a better defensive team, we have to be a better offensive team. That's the nature of our business, right? But I do think that anytime that you improve or are more familiar with your system where you don't have to think about it really as much, you can start to think about some of the little things. You can start to play a few games here and there just in terms of the little nuances, whether it's the snap count or whether it's teasing a defender to move him in a direction of your eyes and then be able to adjust accordingly. So, there are a lot of little things. I can see some of those things starting to happen, not only at the quarterback position, but the running backs, within our offensive line with those schemes, the tight ends, all across the board. That's what you're seeing, and then also defensively."

On if he sees that same leap with QB Matthew Stafford: "Yes, there's no question about it. He works at it. I mean, he came in somewhere last year going into the fall with a grasp of things unlike I would anticipate a guy in his first year, so I would anticipate he'll probably put in more work. Even coming up in between now and when we start in the fall. He'll probably be even that much better. He's moving along."

On where he has seen Stafford make strides this offseason: "Well, I think I've kind of hit on it a bit, but when he's more comfortable with the system, which he is, you can see without question that he's operating at a faster pace. There's not a whole lot of time when he's standing in the huddle before he makes the call and he's got to think about it a little bit, which they'd often do because we have an offense that has some verbiage to it. So, it takes a little getting used to. I've seen him develop in that area. You can see he can reel it off as quickly as anyone, but not only that, you can see he also has a real good feel what's going to happen in terms of the pattern developing. What happens with quarterbacks is they get a chance to see it in their mind's eye before the ball is snapped. They can anticipate where it's going to be, where it's going to develop. He's getting to that stage. You can see with the completions that he has on the field that that's all going up. You can see just in terms of us hitting guys in their stride as opposed to balls behind them, hitting a good runners' ball, those are improving. All across the board. Also, he's grown as a leader. I think he's done a tremendous job just in terms of his leadership, so he's on track."

On DE Darryl Tapp's enthusiasm at practice: "His enthusiasm is unmatched because he does it every single day, every minute of the day. In the classroom or on the field he's always just got kind of a personality. That's one of the things that we talk about in this game that makes it special is authenticity. He's a very, very authentic person and you need guys like him. Matter of fact, before he came in Jim Washburn said to us, ‘Hey, if we sign this guy, let me just tell you something. This guy is a force multiplier.' Nobody quite knew exactly what he meant. Certainly we understand the term, but it came to fruition when he walked into the building. Guys gravitate toward him, he's a leader, great family man, has his life in order and he's a great example for the young guys as well. But he loves the game. That's what you see and you hear is the passion that he has for this game. We've got a few guys out there like that, but maybe none quite as vocal as Darryl Tapp."

On CB Rashean Mathis' leadership on defense: "He's tireless. He's a very effective teacher, outstanding performer, but there's probably not a time where you see him standing over there and he's not talking to one of those other defensive backs, whether it's a safety and talking about a call back there, working out between the split of a receiver, or just talking to some of the younger corners and just talking to them about work habits and body position and technique and fundamentals. Yes, he's one of those guys. He's one of those guys that you certainly can see what he does in terms of the impact on the field, but he has a tremendous impact in our classrooms, in the building, outside of the building. He's a competitive guy at every phase. He takes a few guys' money too on the golf course from what I understand, but really a quality, quality guy."

On Mathis' ability to make plays at his age: "It's uncommon. That's why you don't see a number of guys his age that are still able to perform in this league. He's an unusual guy, but I think that's certainly a testament to the fact that he stays in tremendous shape. He takes care of his body and not only that, you know, God's gift to him with a little bit more staying power than the next guy."

On Mathis' strong relationships with the entire secondary: "I spoke a little bit about that the other day, someone asked a similar question. I think that's imperative. I think that's one of the most important things that you'll see within teams that consistently are right in the thick of things. Good teams do it that way. Two things have to happen. No. 1, you have to have veterans that are knowledgeable, veterans that can communicate properly, veterans that understand your system. That's more than two I guess, but then the other thing is that you have to have guys that are willing to do it too. There are some veterans that are so afraid of keeping their position that they don't talk to the younger guys, they don't give them any ways because obviously it's competitive. But our guys are more interested in winning and more interested in the greater mission than they are in their own personal accomplishments."

On what stood out about DT Tyrunn Walker when the team signed him: "One of the things that you saw with him right away is that he's extremely versatile. He played inside, he played outside and you can see as you watch him on the field he can run to the ball. He's a big guy that can move. He loves to play the game, he's got some tenacity involved. But the thing that also jumps out is the fact that he played all those different positions - We inquired, you know, obviously you can make a quick assumption and understanding that he's extremely bright, but the coaches that he's worked with before said he knows every single defense, every position, where everybody's going. I think that happens because of the fact that he has a pretty good insight into defensive football itself. He doesn't just learn his position, he learns everything around him. When you have a guy like that, he understands where he's supposed to be, when he's supposed to be there and hopefully it helps him do his job a little bit better."

On DE Jason Jones' absence from mini-camp: "He's out for the last couple days, but he should be back with us in the fall. He had a little bit of an injury that got taken care, so he should be back."

On the development of QB Kellen Moore: "What we've seen from him is kind of what we anticipate when you have a guy that has the talent, anticipation and work habits that he does. He's improved, he's gotten better, so it will be a nice battle I think in the fall to kind of see what happens. But I think he'll be right in the thick of things. You know, he has a good understanding of our offense as well. He has some unusual traits and he's getting better all the time."

On attending Judge Damon Keith's documentary screening last night: "I certainly was aware of a number of things that he had done from the judicial platform, his standing just in terms of this community, this state and in our country. So, I had a chance to go to his chambers when I first arrived, not long after I arrived. I had a chance to sit down and talk with him. He's an incredible person. Last night, I think most of you know and realize, that there's a documentary that was released that talked about his life and the impact that he's had on our community, on our country. Tremendous person. Very rarely do you get an opportunity to stand in the midst of greatness. He has integrity, he's bright, he has courage and he's certainly had a tremendous impact on his fellow man."

On the offense complementing the defense: "Well, what I said a little bit earlier is that our offense has got to improve, our defense has got to improve and our special teams has got to improve. Those three areas, so that's all across the board. We expect them to be good, that's what our standards are. We expect all those areas to improve as well."

On the depth and versatility of the defensive line: "We do have some flexibility. We do have a number of guys that have some unique traits that can bounce around inside and outside, but typically we package those things together. We try to put them in the roles that best suit them from a physical standpoint. Some of those roles, we won't clearly be able to identify until we get pads on. I'm not sure what these guys can play and if some of the new guys can play with leverage, you know what I mean? Out here we play high because we don't have any contact or anything of that nature. Let's see, let's wait a little while. Let's get ourselves rolling through preseason and let's see what we have. I'm excited about it."

On how Stafford sets his goals for the season: "It's kind of a combination of both. You have team goals, you have offensive goals, obviously, and guys have personal goals. They set their own personal goals. They may get a little help from Jim Bob (Cooter) and Joe (Lombardi) in those areas and understand what the criteria is, but the offensive goals that we set for the positions by the coaches are ones that we set. Sometimes they take a little bit of everything and blend it into their own. But nevertheless, I know one thing, he does have good, high standards and that's good. I think that's going to help us overall."