(ALLEN PARK) - They are baby steps.
That's what the Lions are taking now. Forget the two years of Marty Mornhinweg's regime. Detroit is unlearning all the bad habits learned in a loose ship under a rookie head coach. Now that new coach Steve Mariucci is here, Detroit is learning how to practice, how to play situational football, what the "whole-part-whole" philosophy is and hopefully how to win football games.
As the camp wrapped today, coach Mariucci talked about what the team takes away from this first week of organized team activity, the importance of the work his staff is doing with individual groups and the progress of a few specific players.
"Yeah, we got a lot done - we certainly got a lot done. We as coaches and the scouts had a chance to evaluate all of our new players and our current players. That's what we're doing, evaluating every person on that field. The only thing that I wish could have been a little better is more participation. We had more than a dozen guys resting and rehabbing some injuries and we need them battling."
Mariucci feels that although the Lions won't absorb everything that they were taught over the week, that his "whole-part-whole" theory of teaching his offensive system will eventually help the players remember and then execute almost all of the offense.
"It's going to be a gradual thing. We are going to build this team gradually over time. We're tying to do it as quickly as possible obviously - we have a sense of urgency. We've got to do first-things-first and teach the fundamentals and the basics of our system and our drills and our schemes. It's time consuming. We have our pedal to the metal, guys are working like crazy. We have got to go through all these mini-camps and training camp and it's going to be a process."
Mariucci says his assistant coaches are an integral part of getting through to the players. He is very specific and detail-oriented in making sure the assistants teach the scheme properly and then document what they have taught.
"When I hired a coaching staff, and really that was the first order of business: putting a coaching staff together. That's the first and foremost responsibility I have coming in new as a head coach. We've retained many coaches from the previous staff who I think are very, very good coaches, who know the systems that are in place and that's important."
"The coaches that I brought in, obviously have familiarity with me and the system that we're running with our styles and all that sort of thing," Mariucci continued.
"We talk about our drills obviously and we talk about our scheme and what we're going to teach. The drill work is something that I'm very particular about. I want them to chart their drills and record their drills and plan them and describe them and film them. It's important because we have so many new players and the fundamentals of each position need to be taught properly."
So week one may be in the books, but the Lions have two more weeks of their organized team activity and they can be sure of more of the same.