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LIONS AUGUST 1 2018 PRESSER – MATT PATRICIA

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LIONS AUGUST 1 2018 PRESSER – LIONS HEAD COACH MATT PATRICIA

August 1, 2018 – The Detroit Lions completed their fifth training camp practice today with a workout in full pads at the team’s headquarters and practice facility in Allen Park.

On the process to draft OL Tyrell Crosby and how he’s doing now that he’s here: “As you go through the Draft and you take a look at the board and as names are coming off, certainly there are two different things that happen. There are guys that you target that you know you really like and that could help fill a need or a position of depth that would be really good, or guys that maybe you could take later that down the road can develop and help your team. And then there are the situations where guys either, however the Draft goes, that are up on the board are still there when you come up to pick and you have a very high grade on them and evaluate them as a really good player. And even though the initial need may not be there, it’s just too hard to pass up. He was definitely one of those guys that we really liked. We brought him in, we interviewed him, we spent a lot of time with him. Really, very smart guy. He’s big, he’s long, he’s got really long arms and he’s athletic and he just loves the game of football. So, we had the opportunity to get him and work with him. It was great, and the spring was kind of—it’s like every rookie. You’re kind of thrown in the deep end to see if you can swim. So, trying to figure out a lot. What’s been great so far with camp, when the pads have come on, we’ve really been able to see kind of the physical side of him and his length and his ability to kind of keep the pass rushers away from him and hold the pocket. He’s still obviously got a lot to learn from that aspect of it and we’re moving him around, but that’s been great.”

On the value of having consistency in the kicking game: “Absolutely, and I’ll say all three spots. Fundamental philosophy is you can’t really be good on special teams unless your specialists are good. And we have three outstanding specialists and that’s from all avenues. Truly professional guys, guys that really understand their body. Kickers are a little bit different because during practice they may be kind of out working on their individual techniques or their—the snaps, or the kicks or their situations, kind of on their own, and then they’re thrust into the action where it’s going to be a critical play. Mentioning some of those names that you did (Adam Vinatieri, Stephen Gostkowski), those are some of the biggest plays in the history of the games that I’ve been involved with, is that last play. And you’re relying on entire seasons to come down to that one play and all the pressure that comes along with it. So, it’s been great, those guys have been outstanding. And I think for them, trying to get used to, I would say, probably a little bit of a different sort of practice than they’ve been used to, where maybe they can just get warmed up and kind of get their kicks but now trying to work the transition part of it into practice more like a game, where now they have to go out and execute. Hopefully we’re kind of simulating some of that one play pressure that we get. But, they’ve done a great job. Those guys have been awesome.”

On how DE Kerry Hyder Jr. is recovering from injury and progressing: “I would say, having that injury that he did, those are real difficult injuries to come back from. It’s actually an injury that you feel pain with that injury for a long time even though your body’s working and you’re moving in the right direction. I thought he did an outstanding job coming back through the spring. You talk about a guy that did everything possible through his rehabilitation and working with our trainers and our strength staff to make sure he was ready to go for training camp. I think he just willed himself ready to go to be honest with you. I mean, most of those injuries take a little bit longer. He’s obviously a tough guy, he loves the game, it’s real important to him, and I would say that the way he’s approached training camp and just—he doesn’t want to be out. You kind of have to protect him from himself here a little bit. So, we had two days of pads, two without. We’ll have another stretch here where we’ll be in pads for a lengthy bit so we’ll keep an eye on that certainly from that standpoint but he’s done everything we’ve asked. He’s really—it’s been outstanding.”

On LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin’s growth and the physicality he adds to the defense: “As a player, he’s really grown quite a bit. He’s a very smart guy, really a very instinctual football player. Size is something that through the course of the spring and then into training camp always fluctuates a little bit. The consecutive days in a row, and we finally got a little bit of heat out there—the other days—where we can work and kind of—your weight’s going to drop a little bit, but that’s a maintenance program. But as far as just him as a player, very smart, instinctual, really grasping what we’re trying to do from a defensive scheme standpoint. And the thing about him that’s surprising is he is a very explosive player. Like you can get that short space quickness, but when he gets near you he just has that ability to unload his hips, unlock and hit with really good power. But we’ll see. It’s been good.”

On retired WR Randy Moss’ upcoming Hall of Fame induction and his best Moss story: “You’re definitely not going to get my best story. But I love Randy Moss, he’s probably one of my all-time favorites that I’ve had a chance to be around. Congratulations to him, I want nothing but the best. He definitely taught me a lot about the game, just unbelievable work ethic that he had towards it. The thing about Randy I’ll just say is this—as many of the unbelievable, most amazing catches you saw him make in games, he probably had twice that many in practice. It was just really, it was a thing to watch. It was pretty great. So, it’s awesome for him, I’m super excited. I’m really close with him and very excited for him for this weekend.”

On what piece of technology he is most excited to incorporate into practice and teaching: “There is a lot of it. The technology part of the game has rapidly changed, and it just keeps adding from that standpoint. As I got into coaching, that was kind of my niche—as far as making sure they didn’t fire me—was that I sort of had that engineering background and a little bit of that. So, we were kind of transferring into the different computer systems and some of the data analysis stuff at the time. For me, that was really easy to kind of understand as I was trying to understand the game as a coach. I would say as you move up in the coaching ranks, you kind of get away from a lot of that cutting-edge technology. You kind of get behind and really what I have tried to do is get back into it as much as I can and see that there are different ways out there that other coaches are coaching and teaching the players. I think the biggest thing for us right now is that we are trying to get the players’ immediate feedback. It’s like anything when you teach somebody and they try to go execute it or learn and they make a mistake, I think that immediate correction has been proven to be the most effective. You can educate them at a higher level. It’s just the way the brain works, and it connects all those things together, the immediate impact is felt. So, there’s some things out there on the practice field, I’m sure you guys have seen, that’s really what the purpose of those are is to educate those guys and be able to see it on film immediately. But, other than that, we are trying to use as much of the technology as we can right now as far as that is concerned, but that’s really the new stuff out on the field.”

On how OL Frank Ragnow is fitting in and what gave him confidence that left guard was somewhere to start him at: “I think with Frank, it’s been a couple days in pads and really through the spring he’s been pretty consistent in everything that he has done. I think he’s a guy that works extremely hard, loves the game, he’s physical, he’s strong, but still has a lot to learn. There are so many different things in there from an offensive line standpoint that you have to learn and see it from a different perspective. The hardest thing about the offensive line, I think I have said this before, five guys have to see the play through the same set of eyes so there’s a lot of different things that happen with 11 guys moving across from you. So, trying to put him in there and let him compete, but Kenny Wiggins, (and) all those guys that have been in there have really done—Joe Dahl has done a great job coming back so it’s a wide open competition we are pushing. And again, as far as the Draft, I think we addressed that when we took him and thought he was just a great player and guy that was on the board that probably we didn’t think was going to be on the board when we had the opportunity to pick and you’re obviously not going to pass up on that opportunity.“

On having the opportunity to show a player on an iPad or some kind of screen what they are doing wrong in practice: “Yeah, I would say this, it’s not really perfect. You try, but sometimes it just doesn’t really line up because you’re trying to keep the pace of practice going. You can’t stop every single play, so it may not hit 100 percent every time, but there is a little bit of a way out there to see the play right after it happens. Some of the guys are better at it, and part of that really is very similar to the game. A lot of times guys will have a play or make a play and they might be in between the next play out on the field without a coach around and they just look up at the video board and they watch a replay. They may not know exactly what had happened on that play and they will look up and go, ‘OK, now I got it,’ and it kind of triggers in their head. So, you are just trying to give that availability to them so that they kind of maybe train themselves to start doing that during the game too.”

On what he has seen from QB Matthew Stafford in the first few days of practice: “It’s been great, just his determination and drive to try to get to the next level as far as the understanding. I think different shifts as far as what we have been doing from overall meetings and practice and all of that. His leadership has been outstanding–all the stuff we talk about all the time. He’s an extremely tough guy, he’s smart, understands situational football, which has been great. I really think he has also done an outstanding job of trying to teach the other players around him. We are trying to mix some of those groups that are out there, like we mentioned before. We have young linemen that may be mixed in there or different guys, receivers, skill players, running backs, and as a quarterback, you are responsible for all that. That’s kind of important for you to understand the big picture concepts so that you can help those guys. You might have a guy that has a question, so you have 10 other guys around you, you are trying to coordinate all that. He’s done a phenomenal job, it’s been great as far as that is concerned. And, really, with Jake (Rudock) and Matt (Cassel) also, just stepping in, we have been able to kind of mix those guys through and keep it very much fluid from that standpoint of practice and repetition. It’s been great. It’s all been working in the right direction for somebody that is very determined, which is what you need. It’s been good.”

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