The education process moves forward swiftly for the Lions' rookie class of 2012.
Three days of on-field drills in a rookie camp that served as an introductory orientation ended with a 70-minute workout on Sunday. On Monday, they graduate one grade to begin working with the veterans in the offseason workout program.
Coach Jim Schwartz wasn't especially excited by what he saw in the three days of drills in helmets without pads, but that should not be construed as a bad thing. The draft picks and undrafted rookies who participated in camp lived up to expectations.
"It's way too early to tell, but I think everybody showed why we drafted them," Schwartz said. "We're certainly excited about every one of them. I think we felt the same way when we drafted them. "I don't want to sound like I'm not excited about them, because they did what we expected them to do. We were already excited about them. "We were expecting a lot. We drafted them for a reason. They all showed in these three days what they got drafted for."
The Lions had a draft picks and 17 undrafted rookies who were signed as free agents after the draft in the camp. In addition, 20 undrafted rookies were invited as "tryout players." Some tryout players might be signed as free agents after their performance in mini-camp has been fully evaluated.
They all got a solid base of work, Schwartz said.
"We started this with this group just having a couple goals," Schwartz said. "One was to make a good impression. They all made a good impression. "Number two, we got a base of knowledge so if they're coming back, they have a good place to start. Every single guy here gained that base of knowledge. "Number three, be a better football player today than they were on Thursday. I think that's mission accomplished for these guys, some of which may have played (for) the last time – the last time they step on the field. "Some of them are just starting their careers. Everybody's in a different spot."
Schwartz warned the players that it is counterproductive to count noses to rate where they stand in making the final roster.
"So many of them start looking, and their goal is to try to make a team," Schwartz said. "I try to let them know, 'You've got the wrong thing if you're trying to make a team.' Just worry about improving.
"Just keep on making improvement, getting better. If you do that, then you'll make the team. If you start worrying about 'They're going to keep this many defensive linemen, this many defensive backs,' you're chasing the wrong rabbit."
Contract comment: The status of negotiations on a contract extension for Schwartz – if, in fact, there are any negotiations – remains unknown.
Schwartz isn't talking, and neither is anyone else in the Lions' organization. Schwartz signed a four-year contract when he was hired before the 2009 season. The 2012 season will be his last - assuming his deal hasn't already been extended. Schwartz was asked after Sunday's practice why there hasn't been any talk about his contract.
"I don't talk about my contract," Schwartz replied. "That's why."