Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Day 6 of training camp. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
Opening statement: "Today, as you can see, is what we call a mock game, so we go through basically all of the substitutions that we'd have to do in a ballgame. There's so many new guys, so many young guys, it's a great way for us to kind of get a head start on what we're going to have to do on Thursday. We typically don't like to wait until the day before to go through it, so we try to re-enact a game as much as possible. There's some good things, but we were a little sloppy. Obviously, I think that's when they learn how penalties hurt you in drives and things of that nature which we certainly understand, but we were a little off-keel today with a couple, but there were some good things out there as well."
On if it's necessary to practice the kneel-down play: "We practice everything."
On why practicing the kneel-down is necessary: "Time on the clock, make certain that they have so many timeouts left and we go through the whole game. We try to treat it just like we would a normal game."
On the way the first-team offense practiced today: "You know, I think the guy that was back there, the official who's in charge of calling sacks and where the ball was tagged, he was doing a great job back there, but that's just me. Nonetheless, I think overall, there were some good things. That's why I look at the film. They're very tough for me because I wasn't standing there just simply observing. I was kind of running around doing a few things, but we looked pretty good. Some guys caught the ball decently. Protection was decent, so there were some things we did well."
On QB Matthew Stafford flying under the radar with his progression: "Well, I think he's getting better. You know, I think that's the thing that oftentimes goes unnoticed. The fact that he's got a better command of what he's doing, you can see, he's a lot more comfortable. You know, he's not giving the ball away in key situations, so I like where he's headed and not only that, he has talent, so he will be fine."
On Stafford's comfort level: "You know, one of the things that we try and stress is that we try to stress cooperation in that area. We always want to listen to them and find out what they like. Certainly we don't want to put him in situations where he's not able to function because it's not something he's not capable of doing or something that he doesn't have a great sense of it in terms of the progression, the vision of it and all of those kinds of things. We are always inquiring with him just asking him, ‘Hey, how do you feel about this particular play? How does it fit the guy,' you know, so on and so forth because everybody is different. So, we certainly are well aware of it. I think you'll see as time goes on that he will become more comfortable. He never seemed uncomfortable doing it and I certainly understand that he will probably do a little bit more of that in the future."
On the chemistry between TE Eric Ebron and Stafford: "You know, I think that when you look at us overall, most teams when they scout us are going to look at Golden (Tate) and obviously Calvin (Johnson), and they have different ways of trying to take those two guys away from you. So your passing game ends up being more one on one. So I think you see some of that out there even during camp. Ebron is getting a little better, and we're still working with him and seeing if he can gain that consistency that we need. But he's certainly making progress, and I think Matthew feels that comfort level with him."
On if he is focusing on limiting Stafford's turnovers to make him a better quarterback: "You know, coming in, first of all, it's a little bit different how I look at him according to how you guys look at him since he's been here a number of years. I always thought from the day he came out of college and also watching him in this league that he's a very, very good quarterback. He has talent and ability, and I was really excited to be able to work with him. Every quarterback goes through an evolution when they start to get better. I think I told you about how when they get to around the fifth, sixth, seventh year. As they get into that realm they start to just get better and better and better, and start to climb. So they all need to improve, he needs to improve, and I think he's working extremely hard at that."
On WR Lance Moore's value: "Lance is very, very consistent. A real pro from start to finish, just in terms of how he handles himself here within the organization, in the locker room, in the meeting rooms, the way in which he goes about his approach to study, and his preparation. Obviously he's familiar with the system, so that gives him a little bit of an edge. He's not like most guys who come in from outside that they have to learn and grapple with it a little bit. He, in a number of cases, has been able to share some of his insight on some of the routes and where he's going to be and how it works after being in it so many years. So he's a great addition to our group."
On Moore's lack of fear going over the middle: "He has excellent hands, and he has great spatial awareness so he can find the little crevices that you need to be able to get into. And he doesn't blink when he's in that traffic, which is important."
On how much he expects teams to adjust to S Glover Quin: "It's pretty difficult unless we're in a scheme where he's on one half of the field to throw away from him and maybe that's one way. But, you can't tell when we're going to be there for the most part. We change it up enough quite a bit and hopefully where he plays he's got enough freedom to roam a little bit. He had a great year last year. We anticipate that he's going to have an equally great year this year because he is one of those guys. In every single thing that we do he's absolutely trying to get better. From our meetings you can see that he wants to be out in front. Does a great job of leadership, but then also even in our walk-throughs he's as intense in our walk-throughs as anybody that we have. So, when you have that kind of intensity along with that kind of talent, along with the approach that he has to the game, the sky's the limit for him."
On his memories with Hall of Fame Inductees Bill Polian and Jerome Bettis: "With Bill, having spent 10 years with him, had a chance to work with one of the all-time greats. Obviously, with his well-deserved selection to the Hall of Fame, he is an extremely, extremely bright guy. He does a great job I think of analyzing every situation. He can argue both sides of the situation equally as well. Often times some of our conversations that we have about a number of different topics he's able to take one side and talk in detail about it, then go to the other side. Often times he's very, very methodical in his approach in that way and we certainly were able to come to some great decisions along the way, but enjoyed working with him and obviously, look at the teams that he took to Super Bowls. Four times with Buffalo and Carolina, every place he's been and obviously in Indy. I'm happy for him, he'll do a great job. Bettis on the other hand, has been a nemesis from start to finish. When he was in college at Notre Dame and then also obviously with the Steelers. I can tell you this, he's one of the most versatile big men in terms of the ball carriers that you'll see. He's one of those nimble backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, but yet he's as big as a fullback, but probably as nimble as a tailback. So he created a lot of problems for people. Very, very versatile guy and a good tough competitor. "