NEWS

Post-Practice Quote Sheet: Jim Schwartz, 08-02-10

Posted Aug 2, 2010

LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ

On T Jon Jansen and T Gosder Cherilus taking reps with the first team
“Any time you try to read anything into a rotation in training camp, you’re probably reading a little too much. There is a lot of stuff done from a competition standpoint. Other stuff is done from a rest standpoint or someone may have a small nagging injury that you want to try and limit his reps. They’re just out there practicing, but you want to try and foster as much competition as we can. I said before, we don’t have an official depth chart, it’s not posted anywhere. I don’t have one in my office. We don’t have an official depth chart. Some of our positions are more settled than others. It doesn’t take a genius to see who our starting quarterback is going to be and some other of our positions. But, we want to try and foster as much competition as we can and when you’re in a situation where you have to compete everyday as well as a situation where you have to earn your job, I think that’s the best situation in the National Football League. “
On any standouts in camp on the third day
“I don’t know. I think all the players are working hard. I think we practiced better today than we did yesterday afternoon. Yesterday afternoon was the first time in pads. I try to temper getting to high and getting too low. We’re practicing. It’s not what you do in one day, it’s your whole body of work through training camp and things like that. Let me just reserve some judgment on that or comment on that until later in camp when we start building up a lot of practice. It’s one thing to have one good practice and it’s another thing to go and do it again and again and again.”
On the offseason work between WR Calvin Johnson and QB Matthew Stafford
“It’s much different than it was last year. They speak the same language. They have a lot of experience together, even though it’s only been one year, where they can say, ‘Hey that’s just like that game.’ There’s only one way to get that and it’s to come out to practice every day and it’s to come out to play all of the games. Last year, Matt and Calvin hardly practiced at all (together). Calvin hurt his thumb in training camp and Matt was splitting reps. They hardly had that situation arise at all. It’s good to see, not only in the offseason, but here in training camp.”
On whether he’s concerned that DT Ndamkong Suh is not signed and in camp
“We have six practices in shoulder pad and six full padded practices and we’ve already finished two of those shoulder pad practice. Those are opportunities. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever; you’re not getting them back. I’m not going to change the schedule and put everybody back in pads or things like that. That’s the disappointing thing from his standpoint. That’s work you can’t get back. Like I said, his teammate want him out here, I’m sure he wants to be out here. There comes some times, particularly lineman, you need shoulder pads and you need to go there and do it. It’s a good hard practice. “We had a two-a-day yesterday and we’re having a two-a-day today. That’s hard to replicate in your own training, away from the competition, and for your teammates here.”
On the battles between WR Calvin Johnson and CB Chris Houston
“Typically on your teams, you’re going to have some guys that are going to want to work together. They always sort of rotate up to each other on one-on-ones and things like that. You like guys that don’t want to save their spot in line to go against a rookie or a player like that. The competition, like I said before when we were talking about the tackle position, the competition is going to bring out the best in a player. It’s not just competing for your job, it’s competiting against other players. Both of those guys are competitive. They don’t take a play off. They’re trying to make every single play and that’s good at this time.”
On rookie CB Aaron Berry
“Berry gets his hand on the football just about every single period. You know, he’s small but he has a lot of confidence. He goes out, he plays all the coverage’s, he competes, and he has a short memory. He’s been beat a couple times but that doesn’t force him to play less aggressive. He’s had a good start to camp – he’s in the same place a lot of rookies are – but he’s had a good start to camp.”
On S Louis Delmas’ absence
“I think Louis is a known quantity for us. He played very well as a rookie last year and he continued that through the season. He started mini-camp, in the very beginning, and was that guy. I think what it does is it lets us get a really good look at the other players in the secondary, it gives them more opportunities, it gives us more opportunity to try and find that other safety, and it also allows us to take it reasonably slow with him and not push him back too soon. Louis’s conditioning is behind, but before he was hurt he was really highly conditioned. You get it back pretty quickly. The rest of us, it’d take us six months to get back in shape. You know, it might take him six hours. He walks through the weight room and all of a sudden looks good again and runs and his conditioning – it’s amazing – professional athletes, as world class as these guys are, how quickly their bodies can adjust and Louis is like that. But, from our standpoint, he needs work. He’s been great in the meetings; he’s been following everything; he’s been helping his teammates and he didn’t miss anything in the offseason program, so he’s in a good spot.”
On Delmas taking on an active role from the sidelines
“Well, they all are supposed to know the call on every single play. It’s easier when you’re going in to practice on the next rep and you’re staying up but it’s a lot more difficult when you know that you’re not practicing at all that day. But Louis wants to know the call not only for himself but he wants to watch the other players and be able to help those guys out. That’s an important part of what he does. He’s an emotional player, has a lot of good leadership qualities and we need to play with his personality on defense.”
On the chances of seeing Delmas play this week
“We’re just going to take it day-by-day and see where he is. I think when he’s ready we’ll still probably wait another day and make sure. Like I said – he’s in a little different position and it’s not so much – he doesn’t need a set-back. He was set-back in mini-camp and thank goodness that was the month we were gone and now he’s behind these guys a little bit, but he’ll catch up quickly and when he does we’ll get him back out. The urgency is a little bit different with him. The urgency is to get him healthy and back, not to get him back right away.
On whether LB Zack Follett showed signs of being capable of starting throughout the offseason
“If we hadn’t seen signs, he wouldn’t be in the position that he is. He’s done nothing to disappoint us there. We’ve still got a long way to go, all those clichés, everything you want to say, but the signs – I sort of talked to his lineage before – last year he had a poor camp. He was switching positions, he was switching from a 3-4 outside linebacker to a behind the ball 4-3 outside linebacker. His head was swimming and he didn’t respond very well to it. He got banged up a little bit and had a really poor camp and was released. We brought him back on the practice squad and a light went on for him. He realized this was not a scholarship situation, you’re not guaranteed anything, and he outworked everybody on the practice field. It got to the point where we said, ‘We’ve got to have this guy on the field on special teams.’ Once he was on the field on special teams all of a sudden it was, ‘Hey, let’s get this guy involved in some defensive schemes and some defensive packages’. So that was all on him, it was all in his hands and he did it and he’s done a good job in this offseason program. So the signs were there. He’s still a second year player; he didn’t play very much defense last year, but he’s continuing to improve and it’s good.”
On Follett’s personality
“Honestly, when you’re on the practice field here, you hardly ever hear from him. He goes out and practices hard and really doesn’t say a whole lot. It’s all you people checking out his website and seeing all kind of things that gives him that sort of, whatever persona, but he’s a worker out on the practice field. You generally don’t hear from him a whole lot. He’s very serious about what he does out here and he does a nice job drawing the line – leaving that sort of stuff in his personal life and off-the-field. When he comes here he’s all business.”

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