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Lions training camp: Jim Caldwell's quotes from Saturday

On Saturday, Jim Caldwell spoke about Gabe Wright, the kick return job, Matt Prater and much more.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Saturday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening Statement: "This has been a good week of work for our guys. I thought they started out the week sharp and really, it's kind of been increasing and looking better and better as the week went on. Today's practice, we gave them a huge segment of blitz and things of that nature and they measured up. Obviously, everything wasn't perfect, but it was good effort. Thank goodness we got a little humidity that they had to deal with, but overall, I think they just continue to kind of inch forward and improve a little bit better, so we are looking forward to the next week's practice, see if we can find a way to get better in almost every phase, which we need to do."

On his policy on players getting in fights: "You know, we talk more about being competitive and not combative. That's kind of how we state it. You know, this game is a heated game. It's a lot of intensity and emotions flare, but it can't happen in a ballgame, so we try and practice like we play. We don't encourage it, but I thought our guys, I think they understand that and they also understood what can happen. You get guys hurt, you know, break a hand or something on a helmet and things of that nature. Every once in a while, you have a little bit of a skirmish, but it's kind of-Al McGuire, the basketball coach at Marquette, just this fall, there's a bar that his father owned and they lived upstairs from the bar and Al McGuire would always say, ‘It's not a fight until the bouncer has to take off his jacket.' So we have had a couple situations where the bouncer didn't have to take off his jacket, but you know, nothing really got intense, but that's kind of how we talk about it, being competitive, not combative."

On what he has seen from DT Gabe Wright: "You know, he's learning and he's improving and he's getting better. He's got all of the attributes that you're looking for in terms of he loves the game, he's got great passion, he's got an infectious enthusiasm. He did some things pretty well in the game, but he also learned a couple lessons as well. There's some pretty big, physical guys in our league, but I think Gabe is a quick study, and I anticipate fully that he'll be better this next game than he was the last game. He's coming along."

On where the team stands at this point in Training Camp: "You know, they're not ahead of where we expect them to be, but they're probably about right where you would anticipate after the number of days that we've practiced, after a group that's been around. They've been efficient. But here's the real thing. Obviously, I think everybody probably feels encouraged by the first preseason game, but the fact of the matter is we were playing against a team that probably hadn't looked at us much like we hadn't looked at them. We go out, we rely on our techniques and our fundamentals, we look at them a little bit, do a brief scouting report. But the next game that comes up, they'll have a chance to look at you a little bit more. They'll know your rookies, they'll know all the young guys, they'll see them on film. Now, a little bit more preparation goes into it, so it raises it up a level. Then the third game, they look at you even a little bit more and they get a real good feel for you. So as these games go on here in these next couple ball games we'll get a real good feel for these guys, so we'll see what happens next game."

On the competition for the kickoff return position: "I think there were a number of them that showed some bright spots. Obviously, TJ (Jones) jumps right out at you because of the fact that he was extremely effective and did a nice job. But it was the first game, we'll see what happens the second game. (Jeremy) Ross had a nice return as well, so we're looking forward to it. At least we have some good competition in there."

On C Darren Keyton's injury status: "I can just tell you it's a significant injury, and he's not going to be back this year. So I think the doctors have him in his last phase of evaluation, but he had a pretty significant knee injury."

On the specifications of Keyton's injury: "To be straightforward, it's the patella tendon issue, so that's what he's dealing with."

On K Matt Prater and his ‘freshness' throughout camp: "In terms of his freshness through camp, this is the first camp I've ever seen him go through. Obviously, we got him mid-year, so I wouldn't be able to judge that, but certainly he would be a great judge of that. But, his leg is long. You can tell that he feels good. The narrow goal post, what they do is they force you to really focus in on a little bit smaller target obviously and it's a challenge. It's not that easy to get it through. So, I think it gives him great confidence and I if he can kick it between the uprights with the smaller one then he certainly can do so in a ballgame."

On LB Brandon Copeland: "In regards to Brandon, he's got speed, he's got power. You can see that in terms of his coverage. Down the field he's running, he's still getting accustomed to the system and all those kinds of things, but he's got ability and I anticipate even this next game coming up that you'll probably see him get a little bit more activity. Not only in terms of the special teams, but also scrimmage time."

On the players' approach to upcoming roster cuts: "In terms of a guy that has been around the league a little bit and realizes that there's some cuts coming up at a certain point in time, they approach this a little bit differently than I think a rookie would because a rookie hasn't been cut yet. Once a guy's been cut and released and he's out there on the street, he has a little bit more sense of urgency, the importance of it. But, I'd like to say that every one of our guys feels that sense of urgency. Even the guys that have been here, they don't sit and feel like they're comfortable where they are. They're striving to try and get better and I think that's healthy."

On if he sees urgency with the veterans: "Oh yes, no question about that. I see it with almost every guy."

On DT Jermelle Cudjo: "You know, he had a very good game the other night. I mean, he played well, tough, hard-nosed, scraps, comes off the ball with some power and he's willing to work at it. He's a hard worker, so those are the kind of things we thought we would get from him and in the first preseason game, he delivered that, but we'll see what happens in the second one."

On K Kyle Brindza: "The other night, you're not going to kick it much better than the kid did. You know, he kicked that thing out of the end zone every time. The first one was a line drive, but still nobody returned it. The others were deep, so he has a strong leg, he's been very, very good and effective for us in the ballgame and you can see, he's very capable."

On how CB Nevin Lawson is different from last year: "He's not because he was scrappy last year, he was tough, he would get after you. The tenacity is still there and all of those things and he's still got them and he's still playing with the confidence that he needs to play that spot, so he's coming along."

On CB Josh Wilson: "He's been around and played a lot of football. He's seen a lot of different things throughout his career, but he also has a great way about himself because he relates to guys very, very well. You can see the camaraderie, but they also kind of look to him for some direction and advice. Now, that mixes in with some guys. He's in there with some great leaders, not good leaders, not average leaders, some great leaders in (Glover) Quin, and Dig (James Ihedigbo) and obviously, (Rashean) Mathis. I mean, those guys have been around the block a little bit and are excellent at what they do, but he's just kind of part of that whole group."