LIONS INSIDER

KEY QUESTIONS: What's the update on Decker?

Posted Jul 29, 2017

Tim Twentyman covers all the key questions from Jim Caldwell's training camp press conference.

Detroit Lions veterans reported to training camp Saturday, and head coach Jim Caldwell held his annual camp kickoff press conference with the media.

Here are the key questions from that media session:

Is there any update on injured left tackle Taylor Decker?

Caldwell didn’t offer any updates on the timetable for Decker’s return, but did say that Decker is out of the sling after undergoing right shoulder surgery, and is on track in his rehab.

“He’s coming along and making really good progress,” Caldwell said of his second-year left tackle. “He’s on track. Beyond that, he’s out of his sling, so he’s working at it.”

Decker has begun training camp on the PUP list after injuring the shoulder in OTAs in early June.

What about punter Sam Martin?

Martin injured an ankle away from the practice facility earlier this month, and will start training camp on the NFI (Active-Non-Football Injury) list.

“We expect him to come back sometime during training camp,” Caldwell said. “We’ll see.”

What will his message be to the team in their first meeting Saturday?

Caldwell has had a pretty consistent message since arriving in Detroit in 2014. He always tries to get his teams to focus in on fundamentals.

“It’s a thought-out process,” Caldwell said of his first message to the team. “Some of it is intertwining some of the things we’ve done previously in the offseason. It all started a new year for us in the spring so a lot of that stuff we cover – where we need to improve and how we need to improve.

“Just in terms of basic thought and principles of what we’re trying to get done, we’re going to try and be the best possible team we can be in terms of our fundamentals and technique. That’s the key. Those are the things that help you win in these ballgames. How good are we at those things?”

Caldwell lives by the philosophy that if you take care of the little things, the big things will usually take care of themselves.

What is his biggest concern on the eve of the team’s first training camp practice Sunday?

This is also something Caldwell has been fairly consistent about entering his fourth training camp in Detroit.

“I’m concerned about everything,” he said.

Caldwell is concerned about every player on the roster at this point, and making sure the team is moving in the right direction in terms of how they’re progressing.

“There’s not an area I don’t have some concern about,” he said. “They can alleviate some of those concerns for me if we practice extremely well, we play extremely well, but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Is Caldwell worried about his contract status?

The quick answer is no. Caldwell is entering the final year of a four-year contract he signed before the 2014 season.

“I am focusing on football,” Caldwell said. “I’ve never worried about those things ... I’m more focused on getting our team ready. That’s my job, that’s my charge and that’s what we’ll do.”

Caldwell even joked that his wife doesn’t ask him about his contract as much as the media do.

How will Caldwell define the 2017 season a success?

The Lions took down their playoff appearance banners in Ford Field this offseason as a sign that the organization has much loftier goals than just making the playoffs.

When it comes to what qualifies as a successful season to Caldwell, the bar is equally set high.

“The same way I’ve defined it every time that I’ve ever stepped in front of this podium,” Caldwell said. “Winning it all is a sign of success, and we’re looking at nothing other than that. We want to be the last team standing. That’s our goal.”