Marinelli: "It's winning each play"

Call him ambitious, but Detroit Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli isn't content with his team just winning Friday's exhibition opener against Denver at Ford Field. He wants to win every play. Marinelli's comments, injury report and more inside.

Call him ambitious, but Detroit Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli isn't content with his team just winning Friday's exhibition opener against Denver at Ford Field.

He wants to win every play.

Following Thursday's practice in Allen Park, Marinelli preached improvement and the importance of not just winning his first game as an NFL head coach, but the significance of every snap.

"I've been saying: it's winning each play," he said. "I want to see a team develop. Anytime you line up, you want to win. You're preparing these guys, especially our seconds and thirds, to get ready to go and have a real good day. It's important, but the most important thing is to win each snap so that every guy is improving. I want the improvement in how we do things.

"Today was a hard, long practice. Yesterday was a hard, long practice. We're in camp, and this is camp mode. This is another part of the process tomorrow night - its camp and we're going to work."

Marinelli and his coaching staff have already begun reviewing film on the Broncos and their tendencies. But they also haven't taken a break from evaluating their own team -- nor their own strategy. While Marinelli will evaluate game film on his own players, it is also used to perfect how he manages the game as a head coach.

In his world, everything counts.

"I get continuous game film and it's just (deciding): here we may call a timeout or here we might go for a field goal or punt here," explained Marinelli. "You just watch the game in its entirety, instead of watching offense or defense. Then a few hours after the game I'll get a DVD of the game so you'll get the feel of commercials, timeouts and all of those things - the length of it all. There are certain times where you'll have more time to think and sometimes you don't."

Marinelli also reiterated that it isn't just the team he wants to adopt his winning attitude, it's the entire organization. And although it won't count toward regular season play, even winning in the preseason is important in Detroit.

With a franchise defined by losing, that isn't a bad idea.

"I think the bigger picture is trying to unify an entire building," said Marinelli. "The janitor sees winning the same as I do. The grounds crew sees the importance of doing the simple things right. When everything gets used to doing things right, the simple things, then winning starts. But doing the simple things right like doing a good job in the cafeteria cleaning up, I'm on it. I'm actually more of a patrolman. I want to create a good environment for our coaches and that's part of my responsibility. I just want to make sure that things are done right - from trash cans to how we conduct ourselves in the meeting.

"That's part of my role, as I view it."

NOTES: Marinelli said he is likely to play most of his starters in the first quarter of the game, before turning to his reserves. The only offensive starters unlikely to see significant time include quarterback Jon Kitna, running back Kevin Jones and wide receiver Roy Williams.  Most of Detroit's first-team defense will play the entire first quarter and a series or two into the second.

Players that will note play include TE Dan Campbell, LB Teddy Lehman and WR Scottie Vines. All three remain on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. Other players that won't dress are DT Cory Redding, DT Shaun Rogers, RT Barry Stokes, RT Rex Tucker, RG Damien Woody and OLB Boss Bailey. DT Shaun Cody is a game-time decision.

The Lions will also face an old nemesis in former receiver David Kircus, who is vying for the third receiver spot on the Broncos. Kircus, a former Grand Valley State University standout and Imlay City, MI native, signed with the Broncos during the off-season after an unfruitful career in Detroit.

RUMOR MILL: Lions' running back Artose Pinner might be advertising for other teams on Friday. Pinner is unlikely to garner a roster spot in Detroit because of the competition at the position, but the New York Jets are rumored to have an interest in acquiring Pinner. Aware of the situation in Detroit, it's likely that the Jets would take their chances and claim the former fourth-round draft choice on waivers later in the month.

 


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