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Kaaya adjusting to life as an NFL quarterback
June 20, 2017 11:10 AM | Tim Twentyman
Brad Kaaya knows he's going to have good days and bad days at his new job. That's just the nature of being a rookie quarterback in the NFL.

Things move about 100 miles per minute for the NFL's rookie quarterbacks, and there's not enough time in the offseason training program for teams to bring their young signal callers along at a slow pace.

"It's a difficult position to play," Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said. "It's not one where you come in and you're going to be lights out. Not in our system because of the fact that we haven't necessarily dumbed it down and it's complex. There's a lot of growth to it.

"There's a lot of ground to cover within it, but I do think that (Kaaya) has all of the things that you're looking for. He has the temperament. He has the intellect. He has the drive and desire. He has the personality for it. He also has the arm talent and so, he has all those things in place."

Kaaya was asked by a reporter after a mandatory minicamp practice last week to choose one thing that he's most proud of after his first couple months on the job. His response was a perfect glimpse into the rookie mentality.

"I haven't had much time to reflect, to be honest, man," Kaaya said with a small laugh. "I've just been trying to get through each day and learn each install.

"So far, for me, my biggest thing is to be able to look back at the end of each day and say that I corrected one thing or got better at one thing each day."

Kaaya has a system in which he goes over film after each day and takes notes on aspects of his performance he believes he needs to correct. It gives him a point of emphasis for the following workday. He did the same thing through college.

"Hopefully, by the end of that day, my list is shorter and shorter of things I have to work on," Kaaya said.

When that list does start to become a little shorter, Kaaya will be in a better position than he is now to push Jake Rudock for the backup quarterback spot behind starter Matthew Stafford.

Rudock went through the exact same thing as a rookie last year trying to learn the offense and be in a position to push veteran Dan Orlovsky. Orlovsky ended up winning the job out of training camp.

"He's just trying to learn," Rudock said of Kaaya. "Just talking with him, he's like, 'Hey, I'm just trying to learn the plays, that's it.'"

It's not easy learning a complex NFL offense. Not to mention getting down the protections, deciphering coverages and all the other things quarterbacks in this league have to do to play on Sunday.

Kaaya was a three-year starter at Miami where he completed 62 percent of his passes this past season for 3,532 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has a good base of experience to work off of.

Now, it's simply a matter of him getting enough reps in training camp to work on those points of emphasis he'll create for himself and get more comfortable within Jim Bob Cooter's scheme.

"He's still got a ways to go yet," Caldwell said of Kaaya. "We like what we see, that's for sure."

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