Detroit Lions News




Opening Statement

“That was a tale of two halves for us. For certain facets of our team overall, I think it was a very good team effort. Special teams hung in there and did some important things for us, (Matt) Prater made all his kicks. Converting on the fake punt was good and then we were also able to slow down a very, very talented returner, so I think the guys did a nice job there in that area. In terms of offense, I think throughout the game we were able to put points on the board, which I think was key first and second half. Matthew (Stafford) had another really good day and the guys caught the ball for him and ran with it afterwards, so that was good. Defense, first half, they ran the ball on us quite easily, actually, and second half we were able to shut them out and just in terms of keeping them off the boards and those kinds of things. So our guys stepped up and played better in that second half. Overall, I just think it was a very good team effort and I’m proud of the guys the way they hang in there and fight and keep scratching and keep getting better.”

On the difference in the second half defensively

“It was a little bit of everything, to be honest with you. It wasn’t just one thing. There were a couple gap issues that we had, a couple run fit issues that we had. We had a number of them, so we were able to get them straightened out.”

On holding the 49ers to -1 rushing yards in the second half

“Well, I think they all along have shown the last five weeks or so, teams have not run the ball on us consistently, and that’s kind of what we expect. It should be very difficult to do so with the people that we have in there. They do a good job of fighting and scratching, and it’s just uncharacteristic of us to allow them to run down the field like they did the first half. But they came back and bounced back, and I think they have, certainly, a lot of confidence in what they do, but they also have a lot of character as well.”

On guaranteeing a winning record in the second half of the season

“I think that’s a testament to our guys. I think the reason why it happens is because, number one, you have a lot of intrinsically motivated guys that love to play the game and they don’t need any external motivation. They know what job they have to get done, they do it. Number two, they’re highly competitive. It doesn’t matter what you play in, the guys that play in this league are typically very, very competitive people and number three, they care about one another. They have great pride in what they do, they certainly want to perform well and I think they’ve been getting better every week, so that’s key.”

On if there was a concerted effort to get WR Calvin Johnson the ball

“It’s just, every week is different. I keep telling you that, but if you look at the film you’ll see sometimes they play him a little bit more one-on-one. There were a couple situations, but every week’s a little bit different. But we’re glad he was able to get the ball.”

On what he expects Johnson’s future to be with the Lions

“You know what, I’m looking forward to the next game, alright? I don’t anticipate it’s going to be anything other than what it’s been. That he’s (Johnson) here, he’s a great Lion and does a tremendous job. That’s what I expect and that’s all I’m going to say about that. You guys are expecting me to talk into the future, I don’t even have my boss yet. Who knows what’s going to happen there at this point, so don’t ask me questions that I don’t have answers to. But nevertheless, I’m proud of the way our guys played and what we’re concerned about is next week, getting our guys ready to go and playing well.”

On calling a timeout late in the first half

“There was a lot going on in that series and a lot of stuff happening and we just didn’t have quite the setup that we’d like. When it’s down at that end of the field, you’ve got to find a way to get there in a timely fashion.”

On why there were only 10 players on the field at that time

“Because we did.”

On Johnson struggling to be involved the past couple weeks

“I wouldn’t phrase it that way. He (Johnson) doesn’t struggle to get involved, it’s just a matter of whether or not we get him the ball. We just hadn’t been able to get him the ball in past weeks. This week, we got a little bit better. They changed up some of the little things in what they do, it opens up some opportunities and they worked out.”

On seeing Johnson have a big second half today

“You’re talking about his career and what he’s done, he’s caught all kinds of balls in his career. Different types, crossing routes, underneath routes, deep routes, that’s no different. He (Johnson) didn’t catch a ball out there that he hasn’t caught before, so I’m not certain what you’re talking about in that regard.”

On Johnson having just one catch in the past two games

“That’s different. I think I’ve addressed that about four or five times now in the last couple minutes.”

On the 49ers’ multiple neutral zone infractions

“It’s a little bit of both. I think it was his cadence, in which our guys did a pretty good job. We weren’t perfect, but we did a decent job.”

On RB Theo Riddick’s play today and throughout the season as a whole

“Yeah, he’s been playing extremely well. He’s tough to handle. Every, single time he gets the ball in his hands, he usually makes something happen, comes up with a big play for us. He’s a pretty remarkable player and pretty versatile. So anytime you can set a team record during the course of a season, those things aren’t easily broken. I think it was back in the 80’s when that other one was set, so I think he’s done a nice job for us.”

On the fumble recovery in the second quarter being a turning point

“Yeah, I’m not sure that was a turning point. The turning point might’ve been, who knows? You could look at a number of different things, but that was key. Obviously, we get a one-yard drive and three seconds of elapsed time and get those points on the board, that was key. That was timely, the guys did a nice job there, but I think we had a lot of big plays. The fake punt was big. It might not be big in your eyes, but it’s big in ours. Golden’s (Tate) play on the challenge was huge. It might not be big in yours, but it was big in ours. So there’s a lot of big plays that I think, across the board, you could point to. There were big sacks. Devin (Taylor), we had two, three penalties in a row, they were marching down the field and they weren’t really moving the ball, except for the fact that we were giving it to them and Devin comes up with two big plays. It might not be big to you, but it was big to us. So there were a lot of big plays in that game.’

On if the fake punt is a called play or read by S Isa Abdul-Quddus at the line of scrimmage

“Strategic. I’m not going to talk about strategic things.”

On if the season has been one of ‘What ifs?’ for him

“I spend very little time even thinking about that because, one of the things that I think, when you win consistently, you certainly cannot take on a victim mentality. I learned when I was a kid growing up, my dad would not let me blame something that happened to me on somebody else. A lot of people talk about, ‘Hey, this didn’t happen because of this person or that person,’ it’s you, it’s us. If we play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, we aren’t in those situations where every, single little call is going to make a huge difference in the ball game. If you’re going to win and win consistently, you’ve got to make your own breaks and we just didn’t make our own breaks early on.”



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