Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Monday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
Opening statement: "Well, obviously it's a great night to practice. Particularly, the rain shouldn't bother us if there's no thunder or lightning, but it will give us the opportunity to work in it a little bit, which you need. It's going to happen at some point and time during the course of the season, but we thank Edsel Ford High School for allowing us to come over and work. Our guys are looking forward to it and also, the fans that you all see are from the first responders here in Allen Park and Dearborn. EMTs, police, fire department, Sheriff's Department of Wayne County as well, so we're excited about having the opportunity to interact with them for all that they do for our community."
On the benefit of having most of his team back from last year: "When you have good players, the continuity, so obviously, I think the guys have a great rapport with one another and it continues to build. Some guys have been with Matt (Stafford) a lot longer than others, but I think he's got a pretty good feel for the rest of the guys. He's growing in confidence with some others, so that's extremely important."
On if continuity helps the new players: "It does because it's the trickle-down effect. You know, the more that Matt's (Stafford) familiar with it, he talks to those guys, tells them where he wants them to be, those kinds of things, but then also, the receivers that have played with him before have a good sense of the system and they're able to communicate some information as well."
On T Riley Reiff: "He's performed well. He's done a nice job. He's done a nice job in his pass protection, nice job of run blocking and he's playing like you would anticipate him to play. He doesn't make many mistakes and he's a tough competitor."
On C Travis Swanson filling the role at center: "He played a lot for us last year, so he was in and played quite a bit, played a bit when Dom (Raiola) was out, so there's no question about it. He's got the size, got the dimensions, got the intelligence and he will work hard."
On the battles Reiff and DE Ezekiel Ansah have been having in camp: "I think any time you have two guys that are top performers, they challenge one another. You know, the old saying in the Bible says, ‘Iron sharpens iron,' and I think you get that from Ziggy and Riley as well. They look forward to working against one another, they challenge one another and I think obviously it makes them better."
On why it is important to have this practice for the first responders: "Well, you know, obviously the sacrifices they make to serve and protect us is just absolutely outstanding. I think often times, people don't realize until they're in trouble what kind of jobs these folks do, but they make sacrifices for us, not only with their job and putting their lives on the line, but their families as well. A lot of them are away from their families and have odd hours, so we certainly appreciate that."
On if it is an honor to practice in front of the first responders: "It certainly is. To have an opportunity to visit with them, talk with them, share this night with them is pretty special. I don't think until there's some sort of national catastrophe, that they actually get their due in terms of respect and attention they should receive. Obviously, they do it day in and day out."
On if there are any changes to the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP) list: "Nothing has changed."
On how important it is to get injured players reps in the preseason: "They're all different. It just depends on the guy, but obviously you'd like to be able to get some activity before you go into that first week."
On the young offensive linemen earning a lot of playing time in the first preseason game: "Well, you know, part of the thinking was that the offense is moving the ball pretty well, but typically, you don't get that many snaps, so it was great. We benefited from that greatly because usually you have to take about two or three games to get that many snaps under their belt and some of those guys really need it, so hopefully that'll continue. But I doubt very seriously you're going to see 19-play drives and extended drives and those kinds of things from here on out because teams are starting to prepare a little bit more for you, so for us, we got a great jumpstart on getting those young guys some work."
On CB Alex Carter missing reps with his injury: "That's totally different. He missed all of spring for the most part. I can be as eager as I want to be. You know, it just depends on how quickly he heals. You know what I mean? We would like to have him sooner rather than later, but it's going to take him a little while. A guy like that missing out on this work is very difficult."
On WR Jarred Haggins: "You know, we had a pretty good sense of who he is. Obviously, it's Martin's (Mayhew) old school. There's still a number of coaches down there on that staff that he knows and played with, but (Jarred) Haggins has come in and done a nice job. This spring, he didn't drop a ball, all of the balls that were thrown to him, so he's got good hands. He can run and he's learning."
On how much more he needs to see the defense in action: "A lot more. Hopefully we can get them the next couple of games. Typically, you can't get it all in one game. It just doesn't happen that way because you just don't know what's going to happen. You have plans, we have designated how many quarters and all this kind of stuff, but you get extended drives and you get shortened drives, you know, that all has an effect on you, so you have to adjust as you go."
On if practice time can make up for the lack of playing time: "The practice is good, game situation is better, so hopefully within the next three games, we should be able to get enough to evaluate every single guy on our roster."
On RB Ameer Abdullah's decision to fair catch a punt against the Jets: "You know, he kind of felt what he felt and made the decision he wanted to make in that situation, but you know, we live and learn don't we?"