Lions Wrap Camp A Day Early

Lions' head coach Steve Mariucci decides to "pull back" after hard work by his squad. "We had a good practice. I brought them up, we had a little Easter egg hunt, and then I asked them if they wanted to have tomorrow's practice right now or come back tomorrow."

Lions coach Steve Mariucci gave his team an unexpected present; an early exit from minicamp.

Mariucci decided to "pull back" on his team because of the hard work they had put in and the fact the Lions had their annual charity golf outing at Indianwood Country Club.

"We had a good practice. I brought them up, we had a little Easter egg hunt, and then I asked them if they wanted to have tomorrow's practice right now or come back tomorrow." "Well, it was unanimous, so we knocked it out right now. We did a little more kicking game, a little more 7-on-7 and red-zone. We sort of had a double practice, all wrapped up in one. They'll have meetings and their off-season program continues - we've got a couple more weeks of that. It was a good camp."

While allowing the team an early exit, the coach made it clear that this was just a start and the real work would take place in workouts and in July's training camp sessions.

"It was a good start. I thought we got a lot done. We had a lot of mini-camps, we had the early camp, we started earlier than anybody in the NFL and we're finishing up this week."

"A lot of camps are out of business already, so we've been working a long time - 12 weeks actually and the quarterbacks (have been working) much longer than that. We won't practice together like this (until training camp)."

"They'll be in here training like they've been, sometimes with a coach, and certainly with our strength and conditioning people. We've got to get in better shape; we've got to get stronger; we've got seven weeks to do it, 43 days for the rookies, and 46 days for the veterans, to be exact."

While praising his team's effort over the past three weeks, Mariucci was not happy with the pre-camp conditioning of some of his squad and their lingering injuries.

"I think we've got seven weeks to healthy up, to get stronger and get in better shape. I think many of those hamstrings were fellas who had not been in our off-season program and so their conditioning level isn't like the rest of the guys, so they found out they need to be in better shape."

"It's different then just running a fast 40 or testing at the combine and then having the muscular endurance that you need to practice against pros for a couple hours. When we get into two-a-days, it's certainly going to be a factor. We've got to increase our muscular endurance and our fitness level, but we need to be a stronger team, too. We're not as strong as we need to be, but boy, we're working at it."

"Seven weeks gives us a lot of time to clean some of that (injuries) up. Some of the guys who have had hamstrings are getting better, some of them are practicing. We only have a handful that are still nursing some pulls but feeling a little better. They'll be better in a week or two."

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