clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jim Caldwell rookie minicamp press conference transcript

The Detroit Lions coach talks about how the draft picks were made and where each player fits into the team's plans.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell spoke with the media on Friday afternoon just before rookie minicamp started. Here's a transcript of what he had to say (transcript provided by the Detroit Lions):

Opening statement: "Pretty exciting time for us around here, obviously, any time you get some new blood in the building, young guys with a lot of energy and excitement. So, to have an opportunity to kind of acclimate them to what we do, how we do things, etc. is going to be a lot of fun. A lot of good people. You could tell really from the first couple of things they were assigned to do as a group, they did a tremendous job working their way through it. Not as if that’s the test in itself, but certainly part of it.

What we’re going to do here the next couple days is really get them acclimated. We get them acclimated to our system in a number of different ways, from procedural matters, obviously, here in the building, but then also just in terms of how we go about our meetings, what we do in our meetings. Getting them acclimated to life in the National Football League, and that’s an undertaking that takes quite some time, so player development, coaches and everyone else gets involved in that aspect of it. Then, obviously, the football part of it is extremely important as well, so we concentrate on fundamentals, we concentrate on technique and we also are getting a feel for one another. They’re getting a feel for the system, we’re getting a feel for them within our system. Certainly, we’ve evaluated them closely outside of it, but now we get a chance to see these guys function in our element here. So, that’s going to be a lot of fun. It always is and we’re excited about this group that we have, a talented group of guys that are looking forward to a great challenge."

On integrating T Taylor Decker, C Graham Glasgow and OL Joe Dahl into the system: "Well, like most positions that we have, we want to really find out what they’re all about from a physical standpoint within our system. We certainly know outside of it, so we’ll work fundamentals, techniques. Most of those guys are guys that have some flexibility involved in what they do and how they do it, and you have to at that position. So, we want to see. You know, it’s kind of an opportunity for us to get a real good feel for these guys and that’s going to take us a little while."

On what position Decker will play today: "He’ll do a number of things today, and so, all across the board in terms of anything beyond that, it’s probably too early to talk about. But in terms of his work and what we’ll have him do, we really want to concentrate on his techniques and fundamentals."

On if Decker or T Riley Reiff will play left tackle this season: "My expectations right now is the fact that I’m going out today and work with the guys that we’re working with and get our guys ready to go. We’re not making any pronouncement at this particular point in time."

On the draft process with Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Quinn: "Obviously, I think you certainly had a chance to talk with Bob a bit about those things. I thought it went smoothly. I thought it was – there was a lot of work done by, obviously the guys in our scouting department, personnel, also our coaching staff as well. I do believe there was a lot of good synergy. Lot of work involved and I think it was a great exchange of information."

On his assistant coaches traveling for multiple draft prospects’ pro days: "You know, it’s not any different. I mean, it’s not the first time that it’s ever been done, so they’ve all gone out and worked guys out and things of that nature. There may be a couple spots where we had a few more guys go out a little bit more than usual, but for the most part it’s kind of part of their job. There’s very few staffs in the National Football League that do not require assistant coaches to go out on the road and evaluate and work guys out."

On if the assistant coaches did more traveling this year than in years past: "Here? Yeah, no question about that. Yeah, we were in some positions. There were some positions, you know, (Brian) Callahan didn’t go out any more than he typically does or that position typically would. But nevertheless, yeah, it was a bit of an uptake in that regard."

On what undrafted rookie free agent players have to do this weekend to stand out: "You know, for the most part, we have a pretty good idea of who they are and what they’re all about. The thing that’s a misconception is the fact that anybody’s going to come out here and win a job in these next three days. Not going to happen. It’s just, you don’t have pads on. We’re still in shorts and there’s a lot of things that you cannot tell. You don’t want to make, I don’t think, any snap judgments on guys, unless it’s something that’s extremely obvious. I remember a few years back, we had Pat Angerer, who was an old Iowa guy, that in shorts he might not have looked like one of the better guys, but once he put pads on, you could tell he was instinctive, could tackle, reckless, quick-trigger, all of the things that you look for. So, I just think that you have to kind of be patient about that, you know? Also, you’ve got to be patient with the evaluation process as well to make certain that we get things right."

On the importance of Quinn’s first draft class meeting the team’s expectations: "Probably the best way for me to answer that is to tell you that this year’s not any different than any other year, that we look to be successful in that area. Adding guys to our team that create a lot of competition, that adds some depth and gets some starters along the way as well. So, I’m not so certain that that’s any different. Obviously, the real key is for us to put together a team that wins ball games. That’s the key and I think those guys have done a great job."

On how this year’s draft class addressed the team’s depth: "I think, when you look at them and see the guys that are part of the draft class, you can tell, obviously, the areas in which it certainly does bolster it. We’ll see how the competition goes in terms of what it does from that point on, but we do think there’s some really fine football players within that group. Obviously, the offensive line, where we got three guys that are there that we certainly anticipate giving us some help there one way or another. We got a defensive lineman that’s a big, strong, young guy, a safety, I mean, I can go across the board. Every guy that we drafted, there was a place for him, there’s a need. So, I think that kind of speaks for itself in that regard."

On how the roster is stronger after the conclusion of last season: "Well, to be honest with you, the fact of the matter is you don’t really know. On paper, I mean, the paper you can see the obvious things. It’s kind of the exact same thing that he asked me. On paper, you can see it, but I think more so than anything else, I mean, you’re going to have some guys come from that free agent class that are probably going to do some great things for you, you know what I mean? You’re going to have some guys that help you in a number of different ways that maybe you didn’t anticipate. We’ve got to start playing football. Matter of fact, we haven’t even practiced yet with this group. We’ll get started here in about a few minutes, but nevertheless, it’s going to take a little time."

On if his offseason planning has changed at all following last season’s slow start: "Sure. I mean, there’s a few (changes). We looked at everything. You know, right now we’re working. Obviously, this particular phase there’s carry-over into the training camp and we’ve looked at training camp. We’ve gone through our schedules there to make the adjustments that we think are needed. I think some of them will jump out at you when we get to that point. We’re not there yet."

On LB Stephen Tulloch: "I think Bob (Quinn) has talked to you at length about that one. Know him and love him, but I think Bob’s answered that question."

On if he had any knowledge of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State during his time as a coach: "Zero. Nothing."

On the need for drafting a long snapper: "Well, one of the things that’s extremely important to us, I think your best teams are developed when you have a lot of competition at each and every position. That certainly is going to be the case there at that spot."

On Lions Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter’s carry-over in experience after taking over last season: "I think, you know, No. 1, they have a good feel for him and what he expects. No. 2, there’s some verbiage that changed that wasn’t complete because of the fact that when we had to put it in that now we can get the whole package in. So, that certainly gave us kind of an opportunity to get a chance to see it in action, where most of the time if you start this time of year, you really don’t know exactly how they’re going to be able to execute it. In some cases you can find out what didn’t work, which we were able to do also the last half of the season. We could find out the things that really kind of fit with the personnel we have, etc. Now, our personnel’s changed a little bit, so you’re going to see maybe some things with Marvin Jones just a little bit different than we’ve seen previously depending upon the individuals’ talents and abilities. So, there are going to be some adjustments there, but it does give us a little bit of an opportunity, it gave us a little bit of an opportunity to kind of see a lot of things at work and kind of get a feel for, you know, the technical aspect of it, what they can handle and can’t and we were able to build upon that this spring as opposed to installing it from start."