Mini-Camp Day One Report

Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci was much more impressed in the first day of the Lions voluntary mini-camp then by anything he saw in last week's passing camp. More from Lions' insider Mike Fowler on the first day, including comments from head coach Steve Mariucci.

(ALLEN PARK) - Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci was much more impressed in the first day of the Lions voluntary minicamp then by anything he saw in last week's passing camp.

Mariucci said the Lions seemed to be getting his system.

"It was a good practice. That was our best practice on the grass so far. I wasn't real pleased with last week's practicing. We were missing a lot of players and we got a few of them back. Better execution today, better communication, a little more zip and I think part of that is everybody coming out together. The lineman weren't on a different program like we were last week. It was just simply a better day. We need to have that kind of a week and then wrap it up next week."

Mariucci said he was looking for certain things out of his players in this week's practice and he got what he was looking for.

"I think you can gauge if we have some of the fundamental things: as far as zip in practice; communication on defense; our snap count; coming out of the huddle together and lining up in formation - those sorts of things you can tell. We added red-zone today, which is all new offense. Joey Harrington threw one today that he has never thrown before in his life, he hit it too which was pretty good."

Despite the semi-glowing report, Mariucci said the team still has work to do.

"We still have a ways to go. We need to be better than what we are and I anticipate us doing that. I think we're going to get better each week. It's going to be like that for the next couple of years - we're not going to peak tomorrow. We're going to meet better - all of the things that we do are going to be better. They're going to lift weights better than they were; individual drills are going to be better; our tempo (at practice) is going to be better. It's not taught over night, it's a process. Sometimes breaking habits can be tedious."

The mood of practice was brightened somewhat by the presence of receiver Scotty Anderson. Anderson, who had missed the Lions entire passing camp after being involved in an altercation out side of a Houston, TX nightclub, returned to the Lions practice facility and although he did not take part in drills, the team seemed happy to have him back in the fold.

"It's good to have him back," said Mariucci. "He was here this morning - we hope to get a little work out of him this week. He's going to see if he'll be able to go a little bit tomorrow, catching the ball and running around. We've got to check his shoulder out a little bit, take the bandage off and see what it looks like. He's got a little catching up to do but primarily its things that he had last year."

Anderson will have his injured shoulder examined by the Lions medical staff prior to participating in drills and if all goes well, he could run in day two of camp.

Mariucci indicated that Anderson was concerned about how the missed time would affect his status on the team.

"When I spoke to him, two days after the incident, he expressed a concern about missing (time) and that sort of thing but obviously, he and we were all concerned about the health of his brother, the health of himself and his parents. He needed to be with them. It was important for him to be there. Now it's important for him to be here, to blend back in with the rest of the team and do a little bit of catching up."

Player Report: Mariucci talked about a number of specific players when asked to give an update on their progress.

On Anderson's state of mind: "His brother told him, 'hey, get to camp,' which was comforting in his mind, to know that his brother felt well enough to say that and feel that way. I think he feels pretty good about being here. Obviously he'll continue to be concerned and follow the health status of his brother on an hourly basis - I think it's a good little diversion for him to be here and get busy with football."

On Luke Staley being injured again: "He tweaked his hamstring a little bit early in practice."

On David Kircus: "It's good for him to be out here everyday. He pulled his groin in the first mini-camp and missed some time but he's been here everyday and he's getting a little better each (practice). He's a little bit more comfortable with what we're doing. There aren't many things that are repeated, there's a lot of newness to the things that we do each day. That's going to be the trick: if these guys can practice everyday, everyday, everyday then they'll at some point get it. It's going to be a process though."

On Joey Harrington tucking the ball and running with it: "We're going to do escape drills. We're going to emphasize progressions, one, two, three... run, decision making. If the quarterback should make a decision to run then he's obligated to do that. It doesn't matter what kind of speed the quarterback has, if one, two and three aren't there, then he's got to (run). He'll throw the ball on the run or tuck it away and get it out of bounds or throw it away. Those are decision-making things that the quarterback has to be very good at."

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