New Pride: Lions' Mariucci Likes What He Sees

Lions head coach Steve Mariucci has a sense of urgency and so does his team. Over his professional history, Mariucci has had back-to-back losing seasons twice. Both times his teams responded with 10-plus win seasons the next year. More post-camp material inside, including comments from head coach Steve Mariucci.

ALLEN PARK - Lions head coach Steve Mariucci has a sense of urgency and so does his team. Over his professional history, Mariucci has had back-to-back losing seasons twice. Both times his teams responded with 10-plus win seasons the next year.

That means Mariucci and his crew are due for a double-digit win total in 2005. Mariucci felt the squad got off to a great start with this weekend's mini-camp that wrapped on Sunday.

"Well, it was kind of an interesting weekend in the meetings and in the lunch room," said Mariucci. "There's a certain hunger, or eagerness, with this bunch that, not only do they want to be good, because that is always the case, but I think they think they really can be good."

Mariucci said that Detroit has acquired players who can make a difference on both offense and defense including draft picks Mike Williams and Shaun Cody.

"We've got some playmakers. We're growing up in certain spots, and everybody is playing and the camaraderie is good. I don't see any selfish guys out there at all; I think everybody is keeping the team in mind. So I think there is certain optimism in the hallway right now," he said.

All eyes were on the three number one draft picks lining up at wide receiver for Detroit, Charles Rogers, Roy Williams and Mike Williams, but it was Roy who had everyone buzzing after a highlight reel catch, that Mariucci jokingly called "lucky."

"Okay, so I was watching the film, and he caught it from behind, and then the camera followed him all the way into the end-zone. And then Roy, you could see through his Darth Vader visor, he was smiling, and the camera started shaking, because even the cameraman started laughing," joked the coach. "Everybody in the building started laughing, because it was such an awesome catch. The cameraman was laughing, because (the camera) was shaking like old Washington stadium. He does that, he makes lucky catches like that a lot."

Mariucci said the enthusiasm that was generated in the building made everyone want to step up their games and compete and that he had to be cautious not to allow players to get carried away - especially those returning from injuries. He indicated that injured returning receiver Charles Rogers wanted to get more into the act, but he will still hold Rogers back.

"Charles asked me, he said 'When am I getting rid of this?' I said 'When you start practicing a lot and feeling good about it, then the red thing can come off.' Until then, it's staying on. I think he's got to go through a process of getting confident. We counted (his reps), and you know how many he had on the first day? Six. And then the next day 28, and then today more. I think it's a gradual thing for him coming back, being more confident that he can hold up."

The coach also continued to keep the reigns on Boss Bailey and Jared DeVries, both returning from substantial injuries. [Boss] looked fast, he looked fresh, he didn't appear to be favoring the knee at all, and we need to keep it that way. We need to keep it fresh and healthy."

Mariucci said DeVries and Bailey will continue to be limited in their work going forward.

The Lions' head coach appeared to be more aggressive in pointing out and correcting mental mistakes. On a situational 2nd-and-nine, receiver Scotty Vines appeared to round off his route which saw Mariucci run and immediately point out to Vines where he went out of bounds.

Veteran Jeff Garcia appeared to end this camp ahead of Joey Harrington in his command of the offense. While Garcia missed a few throws, he executed play fakes and bootleg throws crisply looking every bit like a player who understands this offense.

"[Jeff] had a good camp. Our quarterback situation is as good as it's been in a long time here."

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