June 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm

'Ladder cam' among changes in Lions' drills under Jim Caldwell

During the team drills portion of a mandatory minicamp last Thursday, the Lions ran a few plays in slow motion, which coach Jim Caldwell says helps players understand every detail of the call. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)

Allen Park Lions coach Jim Caldwell added a "ladder cam" at practice to watch the quarterbacks, has an offensive drill in which every receiver simultaneously catches a pass, and he has other ways of ensuring his new team will be fundamentally sound.

During the team drills portion of a mandatory minicamp last Thursday, the Lions ran a few plays in slow motion, which Caldwell said helps players understand every detail of the call.

"Those are mock situations that we cover, things that we talk about during the course of our meetings," Caldwell said. "Also, we sort of back that up with film from different situations that have happened in ballgames in our league. So we try and walk through them, give them a good feel for it, understand what we're trying to get done.

"We have a myriad of different situations that we have to cover, and that's just one way to do it."

The majority of drills were in full speed during the offseason, but the slow-motion plays are just one of the differences between Caldwell's practices and Jim Schwartz's.

Caldwell also doesn't have the players repeat plays until they're correct, pressuring them to execute correctly the first time as they would in a game.

The Lions also had many situational drills this offseason in addition to the typical 2-minute drill.

The idea is to emulate things that happen in games and give players more to think about than just passing, catching or tackling.

"We try to put them in those situations as often as we can because those are the things that are going to make the difference for you in the ballgame," Caldwell said. "The more knowledge they have, how well they execute in those situations are going to make a difference."

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