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Lions training camp: Jim Caldwell's quotes from Day 1

On Day 1 of training camp, Jim Caldwell spoke about Eric Ebron, the defensive line, Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, Joique Bell, Taylor Mays, Cornelius Lucas and much more.

via the Lions

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Day 1 of training camp. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "Day one and it resembled day one in some phases. We certainly weren't quite as sharp as we would like to be, but that's what practice is for. I do think the guys hustled and worked extremely hard. They were energetic. They were into it out there. Obviously, the first day is always a lot of excitement. We have a lot of work to do yet, but I'm looking forward to it."

On placing DT Haloti Ngata on the Active/Non-Football Injury list: "Actually, during workouts, Haloti (Ngata) was getting prepared to come back and was certainly doing extremely well, but he ended up straining a hamstring. He's going to be out for a little bit. He's a pretty fast healer, so we will see what happens."

On the injury status of CB Alex Carter: "Alex (Carter) twisted an ankle last week. He has an ankle injury, so hopefully he will be back soon. Everything is weight-bearing now, so we will see."

On Carter missing reps: "Anytime that you miss reps, it doesn't help you. He's a smart guy, he works, he studies and he's one of those guys that can learn without doing. He's still going to have some ground to make up when he does come back."

On the expectations for TE Eric Ebron: "He's a talented guy. He can run, you can see what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands. The big thing that he's been working for, and I think he's heading in the right direction, he's got to get more consistent. That's the key and I think that's coming."

On his initial thoughts about the defensive line: "I like the group. You've seen Caraun Reid, you like Gabe Wright, you like Tyrunn Walker, obviously Haloti isn't out there right now, but he will be back. It's a heck of a group. Our ends, we have some veterans that can get around, some veterans that have played for us and a couple guys that are coming. (Larry) Webster changed his physical presence quite a bit from the time he arrived last year to now, so he's been good about it. We will see when we get those pads on."

On WR Calvin Johnson diving for balls in practice: "It's something that we have to talk about. The ground is not going to lose too many battles. We try to keep him as healthy as we possibly can. With him, he likes to catch everything thrown to him, so sometimes, it's awfully difficult to try to get him to stay up and let a ball go. It is something that we have to do. It's one of those things that we don't need to get hurt. Once we have pads on, all of his areas will be protected and it's not as much of an issue."

On the players buying into ‘Last year is last year': "I think that they bought into that awhile back. You have to understand that we have quite a few veterans on this team. We have some really good guys in each room that set a great tone. They understand that you have to keep working, that you can't be overconfident. Just because we played well last year doesn't mean that it's going to happen this year. We have to work for it."

On Stafford's leadership qualities: "I think he's an outstanding leader. He works, he's committed and he has talent. I think those things all add up to a guy that, in his second year of our offense, will show that. I don't think that there will be any question about him."

On Stafford's leadership in the offense: "Obviously he's one of those guys, just a supreme warrior, and he does a great job of setting the tone for the rest of the team. He has tremendous knowledge, and anytime you have that kind of experience, it certainly does help you with your adjustments."

On RB Joique Bell's health: "Well, obviously he doesn't have pads on, but he's running well, he holds the ball well and he's reacting well, so none of those are issues."

On Bell's desire to get back on the field: "All of these guys are here because they're great competitors. If they weren't, they certainly wouldn't be in the National Football League. So it's very, very difficult at any point in time to take some of the guys who are accustomed to going at full speed and eager to get in there to realizing they can't yet. He understands that we aren't playing tomorrow, but it is indeed difficult."

On Bell's progress in returning to full strength: "I think he's feeling as good as he's felt in a long time. He had a string of injuries there that held him back a little bit, and you can see it out on the field. He's moving better, his reaction times are better, so certainly when we get pads on we're excited to see what he can do."

On what S Taylor Mays brings to the defense: "He's a guy that obviously we know something about. I got a chance to watch him in college at USC. He's a very explosive and fast guy, and when he was at Cincinnati we played him often. He's a very, very sound special teams guy, and a guy that can hit you and can run. So we'll see what happens. He's in the mix, but we have a great competition there."

On OT Cornelius Lucas's comfort level in the offense: "Just from what we've seen on day one, it's tough to judge. But I can tell you just leading up to now, he's much more familiar with his duties and techniques that Jeremiah (Washburn) is teaching him. He and (Terry) Heffernan do a great job with those guys, and you can tell he's extremely comfortable in his position. He's just one of those guys that has a feel for it. He's got length, he's got power, and he's young, so we like what we see."

On LB DeAndre Levy's leadership skills both on and off the field: "Well, one of the things that I think is overrated a lot of times is the guys that make a lot of noise, and the ‘Rah-rah' kind of guys. He's not one of those guys. He leads by example and says very few words. But when he does speak, everybody listens. But nevertheless you can tell from Instagram that he's pretty daring, he lives his life on the edge a little bit, but you can see out there on the football field that he runs, makes plays, is instinctive, and can do it all. He does a great job of setting the tone. The bar is pretty high, but the way he plays his position with the rest of the linebackers, he sets a great example for them."

On G/C Manny Ramirez's health compared to previous years: Yes, he is in very good shape, and collectively the entire offensive line is in great shape. And that's what we need to do, especially when we get into the fourth quarter and want to run the ball. That's why we run the ball out here, to try and develop those good habits. But he came back in great shape, as did the rest of our team.

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