August 3, 2022Opening Statement: “Today will be a little bit lighter. We’ve gone two really good days, full pads, and so we’re backing down a little bit. More mental work today, jog-through, we will get some full speed in, but it’ll be light and crisp.”On Lions WR Quintez Cephus’ injury in practice yesterday: “Yeah, I think he’ll be OK. It was much more optimistic once we got him in, got an image, and looks like he’ll just – he’ll be down for, we feel like a short period of time. But I think he’s going to be OK which is good.”On how Lions DL Levi Onwuzurike and Lions TE T.J. Hockenson are looking after getting banged up in practice the other day: “Yeah, they both had – they both got into a couple of a little – banged up a little bit on the previous day. And so, we’re trying to be smart with both of those guys, just to see how they recover.”On if Lions WR Quintez Cephus injury in practice yesterday was to his knee: “It wasn’t a knee. It was not a knee.”On his comfort level having the starting offensive line together in practice: “Yeah, it feels great. We felt like that was going to be one of our strengths last year. And so, to have all of those guys together, working together, it does give you a lot of confidence. I thought they went out yesterday – yesterday was the first day we started with the ones. We’re trying to change it twos, ones, threes because some of those guys are having to take twos and threes. So, you’re trying to give them a blow, but then you start the drill a certain way, so we’re not doing that anymore. So, the ones started all the drills yesterday and it really showed up. Particularly, early in practice with the ones, those guys up front, man, they can move some people and they can do some things, and they can pass protect, and they work well together. And so, yes, it’s a good feeling. Now, that being said, you never know what can happen. It happened last year, so we’ve got to be ready to go and have the next guy up and find out who that sixth, seventh guy – those guys are behind them.”On if Lions C Frank Ragnow is playing like his old self and how he is looking overall since his injury last season: “Yeah, he hasn’t missed a beat. I think that’s an accurate portrayal, he’s just back to good old Frank. I mean, he just goes out there and he’s as steady as can be, smart, strong, powerful, can do everything for us. And I’ll tell you what, what I love is the fact that he’s having to go against (Lions DL) Alim (McNeill) again, who is a year older and a little bit better, and those guys just duking it out. So, I think – it’s not like, to me Frank – it’s not like Frank’s tapped out. Frank’s got room to grow too which is great.”On how much the coaching staff has been able to evaluate the new offensive and defensive schemes early in camp: “I’d say quite a bit, really. You’re right, with only two days of pads, working through some of the run game is – but I think the pass game stuff has been – I guess if there is a benefit with a ‘pajama party,’ is that you can do those things in spring and you can get it still here. And so, yeah, I would say, man, the evaluation of where we’re at in that department and the punch and counterpunch versus our defense, and what we’re able to do and putting this player in the slot, putting this player outside. Yeah, I feel like we’re getting a pretty good look at that right now and I – I’m telling you I love where it’s going right now, I do. I just think – I think both units offensively and defensively are doing a good job of challenging each other and we’ve just got to keep going.”On the progress the team is making at linebacker: “Listen, it’s great. I mean look, I just – I throw this out there – I think (Lions LB) Alex (Anzalone) looks great, he just does, and we’ve been in pads these last two days. Look, he’s smart, he runs the defense, he – and then, you watch him these last two days, we made a point of emphasis, man, coming downhill, hitting, striking, we’re working these tackling drills, all this, and he has. He’s been all over it and he’s come back from the injury he had, and he looks good. And – but then – and that’s one side of it. Then, on the other side of it, is we’ve got a rookie linebacker in (Lions LB Malcolm) Rodriguez who – man, he – with the pads on, he showed up. His key and diagnose, and coming downhill, and hitting the way that (Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG and (Lions Linebackers Coach Kelvin Sheppard) Shep want those guys to hit it and playing an aggressive style. But yet, he can play in coverage as well. So, listen I love the battle that’s going on there, it’s early but it’s – I still I like what we got in that room.”On Lions LB Derrick Barnes’ progression: “Barnes is another one. Listen man, Barnes – I’ll tell you this, two guys from last year that I think really had made some – to this point, made some of the biggest progress to this point is Barnes and (Lions RB Jermar) Jefferson. Both of those guys just attitude-wise and their demeanor, and the way they – just all the little stuff. It never had anything to do with the way they worked. I mean, they just didn’t know what they didn’t know, and they were young, and a little bit of deer in the headlights. And this year, both of those guys have really come out with a different attitude, or a different demeanor, more confidence, and it’s good to see. Barnes, I love where Barnes is at because I can feel Barnes on special teams right now, and I see his growth as a linebacker. He’s very much in play in there. So, he’s right where he needs to be, he’s growing.”On what he attributes Lions LB Alex Anzalone missing tackles to and how he can clean up that part of his game: “Well, look I think that’s something – he knows – it’s been addressed. I think you make a point of it. We know this, he’s a good enough athlete and he’s smart, and he practices his ass off, and he finishes. And so, it’s a matter of, ‘Hey man, we’ve got to acknowledge it,’ and he does acknowledge it. He knows that’s – if there’s an area for him to improve in a little bit, that’s where he’s got to improve because once that happens, he can be one of these – I think he can be one of these better linebackers that are in this League. He’s too good of an athlete and I know this, he calms our defense down because they all know he’s going to know exactly what’s up, he communicates well, all of those things, so. But that’s been addressed and that’s on him and some of that is like the box tackles, some of these tackling drills we do in there, man, it’s a point of emphasis. And so, look (Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG’s addressed it, (Lions Linebackers Coach Kelvin Sheppard) Shep’s addressed it, he’s acknowledged it and he knows that’s where he’s got to get better.”On if his confidence in the linebackers is from the mix of players they have in the room: “Yeah, I just – I like the mix that’s in there and I think the players that are in that room, I think there’s enough talent that’s in that room and in those players, that the competition is going to pull out the most of that group and whoever comes out of it, the two or three – hell, it could be these two or the starters in base, and these two are the starters in sub-defense or nickel-defense, I mean that could happen. Because we know that players two-through-four, two-through-five are really good special teams players. And so, we’re not afraid to – I mean, if you’re worthy of playing, we’ll play you. If we’ve got four linebackers that we feel like are starters and can produce and help us, they’re going to play. That’s the bottom line. If we feel like it’s two players, then those two will play. But I just do – I think because I think it’s a pretty crafty group, it’s a mix of veterans, I mean (Lions LB Chris) Board’s another guy that we’ve got in there that’s competing. I mean, (Lions LB) Shaun Dion Hamilton, I just think it’s got the right mix of guys. And so, I think when – I think these guys are good enough to play in this League, and so when you have all those guys in a room and you’re asking them to compete, I think what comes out of the ashes here is going to be pretty good, I just do.”On if Lions S Tracy Walker has taken on a leadership role this season: “Absolutely, and I could feel it in spring. I mean, he’s been a man on a mission. I’d say (Lions DL) Charles (Harris) has too. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to re-sign those. And so, yeah, I’ve told them, ‘This is your defense. This is – you’ve got to take the onus on. Man, this is my defense, man, this is what I’m about.’ Same deal with Charles, man. Same thing with any of these guys, ‘This is your defense, and so what do you want to do about it? Because we’re not out there. (Lions Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn) AG’s not out there. We don’t go out there on Sundays, we’re not in the huddle, so what do you want to do about it?’ And so, I love where he’s at, I love where he’s taken his leadership to. You can tell he’s taken it serious, and it’s not just lip service. He puts the work in. He does take it serious.”On what he has seen from Lions LB James Houston: “Yeah, there’s a physical nature to him. Listen, I think he’s got – here’s what – this is just my initial impression, I think he’s got a ways to go, but man, I’m glad he’s in this building because he’s got some ability, and he can bend, and he can strike, and he’s physical and I think he’s got some versatility. He’s just got a little ways to go, that’s all. This is a little bit new to him, and finding the perfect niche for him as well. That doesn’t mean it won’t come on fast, but yeah, he’s – you can really feel him in pads.”On if they will go back to pads for tomorrow’s practice: “Yes, we are.” LIONS SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR DAVE FIPP TRAINING CAMP DAY SEVEN QUOTE SHEETAugust 3, 2022Opening Statement: “I’ll say this just real quick, I’m not huge on the opening statement thing and all that, but a few things – number one, it’s good to be here. This is my 15th year in the National Football League, 25th in coaching and I would say every day that I’ve been able to step into one of these buildings has truly been a pleasure. Working for this organization has been incredible and to have the opportunity to be around these players is a humbling experience, especially during training camp when these guys are fighting for roster spots. It’s really hard, and the reality of it is a 90-man roster is going to get cut down. I have a lot of respect for these guys playing. I will also say that it’s a big day in the Fipp household, my oldest daughter is going off to college. She’s headed to the University of Alabama. So, I had to say goodbye to her this morning. That’s never easy, it was good, and I really appreciate my wife for driving her down there and doing that. I don’t know where this country would be without mothers, they’re incredible and do a great job. A lot of respect for them. Anyways, I love being here and love football and I’m blessed.”On if he was able to take college visits with his daughter: “Yeah, I did in the offseason. Why Bama? Big football, big parties. Lower academic standards, and I’ve got no idea where she got it from. Did she take after my wife? No, I did, I actually got to take her. Last year we went to Alabama, Auburn and that was great. My wife got to take her down to Tennessee. She was all SEC. But, anyway, we’re excited for her.”On if football was the reason his daughter wanted to attend an SEC school: “All football. She wanted the biggest football. I said, ‘Yeah, the University of Arizona,’ and she said, ‘Not big enough.’ It was all football for sure and the biggest question I had when I got home last night and got a chance to see her also – the only question she had was how she was going to get the remaining season tickets for the home games. I guess they get them in two packages. She gets one and there are like three games and she’s like, ‘How do I get to the other ones?’ She’s trying to figure that out right now. Now I’m sure onto the linebackers and the kickers.”On what goes into the evaluation of the placekicker position competition: “Like I tell those players, everything goes into it. I’m watching everything – how they warmup, how they kick in practice warming up, how they kick in the live periods, how they kick when we go into the stadium, how they kick on gamedays. What they have done in the past also counts. I would say everything. I hate to use the line, ‘The total body of work,’ but I mean it really is true. I think that kickers are going to have good days and not as good days. Guys are going to miss. It’s ultimately not going to come down to the numbers of the makes and the misses in any one training camp or anything like that. For me, it would be – I think there’s some level of talent. Do they have enough talent? Can they do the things we need them to do effectively from a kickoff standpoint and a field goal standpoint? Are they going to be consistent enough? Maybe upside factors into it at some point, but I wouldn’t say a lot. The one thing I would say is I do feel really fortunate because a year ago we were in a totally different spot looking for guys. I feel like we have two guys who can definitely play in the National Football League right now here in this building. I think they had a great offseason. They’re really committed players. Football is really important to both of them. They have great work ethic, they’re great people, and teammates really like them, both of them. I feel really good with where we’re at, and ultimately now it kind of makes our job easy. We just sit back and watch and kind of see where they go from here.”On the level of talent at the linebacker position and the top-notch special team players in that mix: “I feel like when I look at that group, I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m not worried.’ Sometimes you look at a position group from my shoes and you’re like, ‘If we keep that guy over this guy, it could be hard on special teams. It may be good for defense, but hard for us.’ Sometimes it’s vice versa, it’s like, ‘Hey, this is going to be great for special teams.’ I feel really good about this group overall, certainly from my standpoint on special teams with all these guys. We have a bunch of guys competing for the job. I feel like all of them can do it. They all have different pluses and minuses, strengths and weaknesses which will factor into kind of once we cut down the roster and how we’re going to play a game and positions we’ll put guys in and scheme and all that kind of stuff. At the end of the day, we’ll be in a good position with the linebacker group for sure on special teams.”On if any rookies or newly signed veteran free agents have surprised him so far in training camp: “I would say at this point, it’s probably still hard to tell if you’re being fair to the players because I think ultimately, there’s a handful of things going on. Number one is we really haven’t played a game yet. We have put pads on, but really haven’t played. We do try to make drills competitive, and I do think some of the drills that we do show a lot, at least historically they have. I feel like that will continue. I also feel like, at the end of the day we are trying to keep these guys safe and keep them in a safe environment and you really want to see what they do once these preseason games start. From my position, I try not to have too much of an opinion right now because history tells me that in a couple weeks our opinion is going to change. Just be patient, watch these guys and put them in a situation where they can compete and they can show their skillset, and then believe what the tape says and what the film says.”On the value of joint practices during training camp for special teams: “The joint practices are huge from my perspective. One thing for us on special teams, I know every special teams coach would say the same thing, when we practice punt against the Colts this year, we’ll get a real live rush in a safe environment where the punter’s protected, but the rush is going to be full speed. In the preseason games, we might see one rush the whole preseason. People are working on return game, hold up, they want to see guys match up one-on-one in the return phase. So, they’re trying to get an evaluation on players from a return perspective and not so much a rush perspective. When you go into that first regular season game of the year, for us against Philly, those guys are going to rush us. So, I’d say from a punt protection standpoint that’s the biggest thing, but it’s also a great opportunity because we see some different players who have different strengths and weaknesses. You don’t necessarily know those guys as well, so it really helps.”On Lions RB Godwin Igwebuike’s progress as a kick returner from year one to year two: “I know you guys remember it didn’t start out great. We had a lot of questions after the opener there. He let the one go between his legs and all that. Godwin is incredible because it wasn’t really what he was doing when he got here a year ago. He changed positions, we asked him to be a returner, he went back there and did it, and by the end of the year he was pretty good at it. I feel really good about Godwin. He’s just an impressive person. He’s got an incredible work ethic, he loves the game, he has overcome a million obstacles, and he is really a great example for all of us. The guy just doesn’t take no for an answer. You give him a job and he finds a way to get better and better at it. Before it’s all said and done, you’re like, ‘Golly, this guy is a really good football player.’ He has done great for us. I think just like anybody, I think we’re always trying to improve on a daily basis. There’s always room for improvement. I think he feels that way, but I feel really good with where he’s at and we’re super fortunate to have him here.”On Lions RB Jermar Jefferson’s progression from his rookie season a year ago to now: “Jermar has taken a nice jump from year one to year two, which he really needed to make because obviously last year wasn’t really good enough. But he has taken a very sizable jump. I’ve told him that. I know he knows that. He has done a great job. Now, it’s just going to come down to how he plays in those preseason games and these things. But I would say, based on how he is practicing I feel really good about it.”