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Lions training camp: Jim Caldwell's quotes from Tuesday

On Tuesday, Jim Caldwell spoke about Darius Slay, Zach Zenner, James Ihedigbo and much more.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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

Opening statement: "Well, obviously today's our last open practice, so it's sad to kind of see the fans go because of the fact that they add a lot to practice. I think most people understand that we have guys that aren't too bashful about playing in front of people, but nevertheless, our practice probably was kind of middle of the road. Wasn't as crisp as we'd like to see. Just a few too many miscues, but that's why we practice, so hopefully we can get this thing straightened out and be able to sort of climb the ladder in the game on Thursday."

On his overview of Training Camp: "The practices I thought went well. I thought overall we had a very, very good camp. I thought we learned and developed, I thought we grew. Indication by the first preseason game, we functioned pretty well. So, now we're in the next phase and we'll see how we do at this point in time. But I do think camp went well for the last couple weeks."

On CB Darius Slay's maturation: "Haven't had an opportunity to kind of watch him a bit from afar as well before getting here and you can see Darius had a lot of talent and ability and he's just been maturing and functioning better all the time. I think a lot of it is obviously confidence. He always had the physical skill, but now he's putting the head knowledge together with it. Along with Rashean Mathis and the safeties helping along with that process, he's really coming along. You can see him making plays, he's got the quickness and ability, so we're pleased with his progress."

On Slay's exuberance on the field: "Well, at the position he plays, you better have some confidence. You have to be a riverboat gambler with a short memory. So I think he's got that kind of attitude."

On the specialists' unique relationship: "I think the camaraderie is good. They spend so much time with one another. It's a very small, close, tight-knit group, but then they're also very good teammates as well. They aren't an isolated group at all, but they work so much together, they spend so much time together, the group is so small that you can anticipate and expect there will be quite a bit of cohesion going on in that meeting room."

On RB Zach Zenner's drive to finish every play: "It's probably pretty innate, you know, and it's probably something I would assume he's been doing for quite some time. He's one of those guys that doesn't make very many mistakes. You tell him you want him to run 40 yards down the field, he's going to run 40. But he also is a guy that has ability as well, so we've been really pleased with what he's been doing thus far."

On the multitude of players making the most of their opportunities in Training Camp: "Yeah, I think they're wise men obviously, because you have to be able to maximize your effort and opportunity. Because typically in some cases it may not come around again. So these guys understand that, they understand the importance of doing well and functioning well and I think they concentrate and they focus on doing just that. Younger guys understand it, the older guys certainly understand it, particularly some that have been around a while and are competing for a spot. So they understand the importance and the gravity of it. There's only so many of these jobs that go around and these jobs are pretty good gigs actually."

On S James Ihedigbo's impact: "You know, one of the things that you have to look at is their entire body of work. (Ihedigbo) is a very, very important part of what we do back there. He's smart, tough, a very, very fine team leader, and I just see every single week within our scheme he gets better and better and better and he functions better. To anticipate that he may play every game perfectly, that's not going to happen. But is he going to be a very, very powerful impact on our team? I think so."

On Ihedigbo's physical health: "Physically, I told him today he looks as good as I've seen him look since I've been around him. So he's really taking care of his body. He's got himself in great shape, great condition. He's always in great condition, but some of these guys have kind of taken it to another level and he's one of them."

On what he wants to see improve from Week 1 to Week 2: "Just to function, better you know, and the thing is that you get a new test every single week. This week, there are no surprises. Nobody is going to be surprised at how quick Ameer (Abdullah) is, nobody is going to be surprised at Laken's (Tomlinson) strength and size. He's a young guy that they all have seen and looked at him. They'll all have made some kind of prep as well in this particular game, so it stiffens a little bit. So we are going to see how they progress and see how they match up and measure up to the competition in this league, so it's going to be a great opportunity for us. What we're looking for is to get a little bit better in every single area."

On what he wants to see from TE Joseph Fauria: "Fine tight end play is what we are looking for really and not just limited to one particular area, runs and passes."

On visitors from the Prep Kickoff Classic at practice today: "You know, I'm sure that probably their coaches have given them great instruction. Just watching us, I think they may get an idea, a sense of size and speed, you know, compared to the guys they play against. But then also, more than anything else, it's an aspiration. I hope a lot of them aspire to be these guys and what it takes to be one of these guys is extra effort, know your craft and try to maximize your opportunities and I think that in itself will carry a long way."

On if RB Ameer Abdullah is battling an injury: "No."

On the kicking game: "You know, my mind is never at peace. Not in coaching. You know, you don't have any of those days, but I can tell you, our guys have been working. Last year, we thought we were in good shape as well. We had a young kicker and then obviously once we got into the competition, you know, some things changed a little bit, so we'll wait and see how that goes. I wouldn't be sleeping  comfortably in that area for quite some time, but I do think we have guys that have experience and have done well, so I feel good about that."

On why Abdullah's reps were scaled back today in practice: "No reason."

On WR Ryan Broyles and where he stands in the WR position battle: "You know, now, obviously we're looking at more competition and reps and see where everybody is, you know? Nothing will fluctuate in terms of our depth chart, how we look at guys, who gets reps, those kinds of things. It's all part of the process. He's right in the thick of things with how he's progressing, so he's coming along. We got a lot of guys performing well."

On going on the road to play Washington: "You know, yeah, that's kind of great for us to have an opportunity to leave and leave town and travel. Some of the young guys have not traveled with us. That's a learning process, keeping their focus through the travel, meetings in a different location, those kinds of things. We've gotten a little bit of that because of the fact that we move around town and play ballgames, so some of that, they've gotten accustomed to. We've tried to get them uncomfortable in that regard, and so hopefully, they'll learn something on this trip as well. But it's great to be able to travel, you know, to go play a very, very good football team in a packed stadium that's loud, so it will be a great opportunity for us."

On who has stood out at WR: "A lot of guys, you know. I mean obviously Greg (Salas) has caught a lot of balls and done well, Lance (Moore) is doing well, Golden (Tate) is doing well, Calvin (Johnson) is Calvin, you know. I mean there's a lot of guys that are doing well in that department."

On the practice equipment that the assistant coaches use: "You know, there's always an evolution in teaching and instruction and we want to try to stay on the cutting edge of it. To utilize anything that we possibly can to find an edge, to try to get our guys better, there's a number of different things guys use in terms of apparatus that are a bit different than the old school, just the sleds and that's it, but I think that's healthy."

On why the team has been successful in avoiding fights at practice: "I'm not sure. I know one thing, I'm not going to be talking about what we don't do in it because we could have a fight at any time. You know what I mean, and then I will stand up here as if we've done something miraculous. We haven't. We just do what we do. We try to teach and we try to instruct. We don't want to waste time out there on the field with fights, but fights happen sometimes. We don't encourage it, but they do happen. You heard me tell a story the other day about the Al McGuire story, but you know, sometimes you got a little scuffle or something of that nature. It's high emotions, but they got to be able to keep those emotions in check and if they can't do it in practice, they can't do it in a game. If they can't do it in a game, they're not going to be playing, so we try and preach that message."

On DE Devin Taylor: "Progressing, you know, getting better. He's getting more opportunities and I think he's taking advantage of that, so we'll see how he goes throughout the preseason, but he's coming along."

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