ALLEN PARK — Lions coach Jim Caldwell is pretty clear on what he wants from his players. One thing is he would like all the time allowed to work with each one.
Ndamukong Suh, who was a defensive captain last season, has been absent for the first four days of the voluntary offseason workout program.
“It certainly didn’t blind-side me, we certainly knew,’’ Caldwell said on Thursday. “He and I have had more discussions than any player we’ve had on the team. He was here a couple days when I came to visit. We knew exactly what was going on.
“From a coaching standpoint, it’s just like anything else. My business is to get in the position to win and win consistently. So we want every single minute of every single hour with every single player. That’s the way we want it. The rules don’t always lend that type of attitude but nevertheless that’s the way it is. We’re working, we have a great group that are here, they’re focused and we’re making progress,’’ Caldwell said.
He was asked if Suh specifically told him he would not be in attendance.
“I’m not going to draw into all those ramifications,’’ Caldwell said. “We had several discussions. Like I said, and I told you my feelings on it, what I would like to have done. It’s just kind of the way it is at this point in time.’’
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was also asked about Suh’s absence.
“He’s a guy who has trainers he likes to work with and he’s done it sometimes in the past, we understand it,’’ Stafford said. “The one thing we know is when he shows up he’ll be in great shape, he’s going to be playing great football and we’ll be happy to have him.’’
This week and next week the Lions are limited to strength and conditioning work along with meetings. A voluntary minicamp is set for April 22-24.