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Lions training camp: Quotes from Martin Mayhew's Tuesday press conference

Check out what Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew had to say about DeAndre Levy, Haloti Ngata and much more during his press conference on Tuesday.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew had to say during his Tuesday press conference. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On negotiations with LB DeAndre Levy: "We're in discussion with DeAndre at this time."

On if those discussions will continue through training camp and into the season: "I don't know that for sure. I think we decide as we go. If we continue to make progress then we'll continue to talk."

On how important it is to get Levy back along with the expectations for the defense: "Yeah, he's a heck of a football player. Just a play-maker on our defense, versus the run and the pass, the guys an impact player. We definitely want to keep him on our defense. He's very important to our football team. His leadership is also excellent and professional. He adds a lot of value to us. He's one of our own guys so we want to definitely keep him here."

On DT Haloti Ngata and if there's been talks to keep him here long term: "We have and we'll continue those talks."

On what he has to see from Ngata to encourage an extension: "I've seen a lot from him watching him play. He's a phenomenal player. He can be an impact player for us as well on the defensive line. We need to see a whole lot more from him. It would be great if he was practicing right now, but he's got an injury he's dealing with. I've seen enough from him to know that I want to have him around."

On being concerned about any of the players' injuries: "Old guys, young guys, if they're hurt, I'm concerned. I think injuries happen. That's part of the game no matter what your age is or what position you end up playing, guys get hurt. You deal with that."

On how Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner's deal affects negotiations with Levy: "I think every deal affects that position. It will get brought up. We have some deals that we bring up. That's part of the process."

On if there's a difference in contracts for 3-4 linebackers and 4-3 linebackers: "Those agents are a lot smarter than what you guys think. That doesn't help us a whole lot. We know what kind of player that he is. He knows that we know what kind of player that he is and his agent knows what kind of player that he is. He was a Second Team All-Pro guy last year, so I think he will get those accolades as they come. He's a phenomenal talent. We're not trying to get him on the cheap."

On the trade involving CB Mohammed Seisay: "Seattle reached out last Friday I believe. I talked to their director of pro personnel and Saturday, I talked to John Schneider. John and I have done a lot of deals together. We had some great dialogue. We slept on it and Sunday morning, it kind of came together. I think it's a win-win for everybody. They want some young guys in the secondary to develop and Mo (Seisay) fits that mold. It's a great fit for him. He will have a lot of success with that kind of build. Byron Maxwell was a sixth-round pick, I believe. Sherman was a fifth-round pick. They've had a lot of success with big body guys who were chosen later. Obviously for us, we weren't 100-percent sure that he was going to make our team. Having that little bit of doubt that he would or he wouldn't, being able to get that draft pick for him was the right move for us."

On if players were discussed in the Seisay trade: "We talked about players, but I preferred the draft pick."

On WR Calvin Johnson's age:  "Offensive and defensive linemen play a little bit longer than corners and receivers. I think that those guys have the ability to play at a higher level for a longer period of time. We have a number of guys here that are playing at a very high level, so I don't think that's going to be a concern. He's been in the Pro Bowl five times in a row, been All-Pro five times in a row. Last year, he only played 12 games, he's still playing at that same level."

On being better than last season: "I don't think that there's any particular move that we made that says we are going to be better, but being around this team for the entire season and seeing the way that these guys work and the way that they prepare, I think being in the second year of our offense will be of tremendous value for us. We've added some young guys that I think will make an immediate impact for us, so I'm excited about this football team and I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out this year."

On what he needs to see from QB Matthew Stafford: "Nothing. He's the fastest guy to 20,000 yards in the history of the NFL. Name some of those other guys, (Dan) Marino, (Joe) Montana, whoever. He has had 4,000 yards four years in a row. He's playing some great football for us. I need him to keep doing that and we can get some other guys doing what he's doing."

On expectations for this season: "I expect that we are going to play smart, play fast and play physical."

On how the coaching staff develops players: "Last year gives me a lot of confidence. Seeing the strides that Theo Riddick made as a football player, Corey Fuller was a guy that came a long way for us, Darius Slay, obviously. These guys do a heck of a job developing talent. As a GM, that's what you want to see. All of these guys need work when they get here, nobody is a finished product no matter what round you got drafted in. You need to develop and improve. To see the improvement that we had on the players last year really encourages me. To have a guy like Ameer Abdullah coming in here, I think they're going to get him improved even though he's already pretty good. Laken Tomlinson, same thing,  Gabe Wright, our entire draft class, I am excited about, as well as guys from the previous draft class who were injured last year. Those guys have an opportunity to improve this year."

On what he has seen from RB Ameer Abdullah: "He's really an outstanding talent. He's solid running the ball, he catches the ball a lot better than what I thought. They didn't use him a lot in the passing game in college, so we were unsure of how he would be in the passing game and he's going to be really good as you can see. The guy has great body control. He's always in control, you never see him off-balance or out of control moving down the field. He's a talented kid and he has a lot of upside."

On TE Eric Ebron: "I see a lot more disciplined, professional, motivated and realistic guy than what I saw last year. He knows what's at stake, he knows what he has to do to be a great pro and I see him doing everything that he has to do to be a great pro. He has been working his butt off to be better than what he was last year."

On what Ebron being ‘realistic' means: "The whole thing about the rookie wall and that he wasn't going to hit it, some of those kind of comments were unrealistic. Now, he has a serious focus and is a serious pro. He's come a long way in terms of those kinds of things."

On the defensive tackle position: "We need to get better everywhere, not just the defensive tackle position. I've been in contact with several GMs this week about acquiring players on their teams and we will keep trying to keep getting better across the board at every position. We're not done trying to make our team better, but it's not just defensive tackle that we are looking at."

On adding a veteran offensive tackle to supplement the youth at the position: "I like our youth. We've got some young guys that have actually played, so LaAdrian Waddle is still a young guy, he's played a lot of football for us, Cornelius Lucas is a young guy that started some games for us last year, I think Mike Williams is coming a long way and I like Corey Robinson, so we have some talented guys at right tackle competing for that spot. If a good vet comes along, we will sign him."

On stockpiling draft picks: "I think it's more of an evolution of where we are as a football team. When I first got here, we had to give some picks up to get some talented players. Now, we are in a situation where we have some talented players, so we can acquire some draft picks and keep some young players coming in that can help us down the road. The philosophy has kind of shifted as to where we are as a football team."

On easing young players into a starting role: "I think the best players should play. I think day one, when Laken got here, Manny got here the same day and Manny was obviously ahead of him as a professional football player. I think he will stay ahead of him until Laken passes him."

On expectations for DE Ezekiel Ansah: "I think he will continue to grow. He had a big jump from year one to year two. Hopefully it's the same type of jump this year. Ziggy (Ansah) is another really talented athlete. I'm expecting good production from him this year and also, more leadership. He has to take on more of a leadership role. I expect big things from him."

On players on the team having a leadership mentality: "I think there are a lot of different ways to lead. I think anybody can lead. You can lead by example, but Ziggy (Ansah) can be a leader."

On players leading by example: "Any leadership that you can get is good leadership. I like the guys that we have. I like the leadership that we have in each individual group. Guys like Rashean Mathis in the secondary, we have (DeAndre) Levy with the linebackers and Stephen Tulloch. We have Haloti (Ngata) up front on the defensive line. On the offensive line, we have a number of guys that can take on that role. Matthew (Stafford) at quarterback is starting to become that guy. We have guys at each position that can lead and that helps us."

On how close the team is to reaching his goal: "I think we have the right mix of young guys and good mix of older veterans and a solid group of guys who are in their prime. I think it's a quality football team and our goals are all in front of us. We're not an old team, but we're not a young team either, so I'm excited about where we are. I'm never going to be finished. I'm always going to try to improve the football team. Coach Jim Caldwell has done a phenomenal job leading this group and our assistant coaches have done a great job as well."

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