Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say during his Monday press conference. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On the status of RB Jahvid Best: "No, you know, I'm pretty much like you guys are too. I mean, I'm really not in the loop when it comes to the actual decision. I'm just on a get-informed basis, and I haven't been informed yet. Still waiting on those guys. We don't practice until Wednesday of this (week) so, you know, we'll wait and see. But as soon as I hear something, soon as we hear something as an organization, we'll pass it along."
On if he's concerned that he hasn't heard anything yet regarding Best: "Not in the loop so, I mean, and rightfully so. I mean, I don't know anything about that stuff. You know, I think just take it as it comes. You know, I've said this time and time again, it's different than any other injury. Any other injury you can try and put some kind of timetable on it, and that you can't. So we'll just listen to people that know what they're talking about and when we get a decision we'll let you know."
On if doctors are talking right now: "Yeah, there was a lot of testing done and different stuff like that. Lot of opinions going back and forth and there's a lot of different people involved."
On how Best has handled the concussion process: "it's been a difficult situation, but he's worked extremely hard. He's done a great job in training camp of lifting, running. He's in outstanding physical condition and mentally he's able to stick with it and, you know, be around his teammates and things like that. It's a difficult situation, but he's handled it very well."
On having to take TE Brandon Pettigrew out of certain packages to include T Riley Reiff: "Well, it's really not giving away a run call. We pass equally as much and just max protect and Riley's a good pass protector. So it's a good combination of run and pass. You know, we played about 80 snaps of offense. You know, we can give Brandon a few plays off also. So I think that helps the situation, but I think more than anything it's a sign of the confidence we have in Riley. He did a really good job of blocking both versus the pass and the run. He finished blocks, as did our whole offensive line. Our offensive line did a really, really good job against a good front four. Zero sacks in 45 pass attempts. Matt (Stafford) didn't get hit very often. I think he only got hit one other time. Matt did a good job of escaping and stuff like that. We averaged five yards a carry. I think it was 5.1 on called runs, you know, and those are the things, you know, a guy like Riley, the rest of our offensive line were able to accomplish. I thought that was key to the game."
On CB Chris Houston's comments about S Louis Delmas being to the Lions what Ray Lewis is to the Baltimore Ravens: "Chris has been around the NFL, and he's seen some different dynamics. Lou has always been a big part of our lifeblood on defense. He had about eight tackles, couple for losses, two pass breakups, an interception. Missed a sack, a good chance to get a sack, but also had a big third-down stop on that shovel pass. We used him as a blitzer, we used him deep in coverage. That other pass he made a great break on that ball and almost intercepted another one. But I think more than that is the emotion that he plays with. You could feel that the week during practice. You could feel that the night before the game. You could feel it in the locker room. You could feel it pre-game warm-ups, and that's just one of the things that Delmas brings to the table."
On the defensive line's dominance against the Eagles: "We didn't have any sacks the previous game, but you know, we had a lot of confidence in those guys. We were able to get back on track. Kyle Vanden Bosch played an outstanding football game. Relentless, made a lot of plays in there. Run and pass pressured the quarterback. We sacked him three times, pressured him another eight where it was an incompletion or a throw away and then hit him on 15 plays. That's a lot for a defensive line, but it wasn't just them. Erik Coleman had a couple hits. Stephen Tulloch had a couple big hits.
"And, you know, there's a fine line there. We had one where we went low. You know, we're being blocked, you know, we're sort of slipping and falling. Nobody's trying to go low but, we got called for it. We didn't have late hits. We didn't have, hits in the helmet and hands to the face and those kind of things that can derail you when you're rushing the quarterback well. It wasn't just that. Ndamukong Suh had one of the biggest plays of the game knocking that ball down. We didn't have real good adjustment to the coverage. We only had two corners left in the game and had some guys playing out of position and they ran a little rub route and had a guy open. If they make that completion, you know, in the fourth quarter we probably don't get a chance to go back and tie that game up and win it in overtime. Ndamukong knocks that ball down. He doesn't get credit for a sack.Yyou know, it might go unnoticed but it was one of the biggest plays of the game if he doesn't make that play.
So it's not just rushing the passer. They did a great job of stopping the run. You know, I mean, it was Philadelphia's lowest rushing output of the year, and our offense had the highest output against them the whole year so both of those scripts were flipped for them, but almost all their rushing yards came from Michael Vick on pass plays, you know? It wasn't a designed run where he was eating up yardage. We did a pretty good job of containing him and keeping those from being 30- and 40-yarders. You know, we knew he was going to scramble for some, but I think we were able to limit that. But stopping the run game, our d- line did a great job. Our linebackers did a great job. Our safeties tackled very well. Corners tackled well. I thought it was a good team effort from the defense in stopping the run which allowed them to rush the passer."
On CB Jonte Green stepping up after struggling earlier this season: "Yeah, I thought he played very well. I don't think he struggled at all. I think Jonte, he's a rookie, but I wouldn't say he's struggled. I think he's done a pretty good job for a rookie. He stepped into this game and did a very good job. Like I said, we played a lot of the fourth quarter and our overtime series with Jonte and then Amari Spievey stepping into the nickel spot and Erik Coleman moving into the safety spot. So it wasn't just one guy going down and one guy replacing him. It was, you know-they were going to some four-wide receiver packages. They knew we were injured. They were in pursuit to try and take advantage of it. The touchdown they scored as a four wide receiver package. It was going to be difficult to hold up in those matchups, but I thought Gunther (Cunningham) did a good job play-calling. I thought our defense did a good job executing."
On the injuries to CB Bill Bentley and Jacob Lacey: "Well, you know, Lacey was a concussion. So we'll just see how that goes, see how he bounces back from that and he'll be on the protocol to evaluate him. Bentley was a shoulder and he's had a shoulder this year, you know, a couple different times he's had to leave with shoulders. That's another we'll just wait and see."
On the decision to challenge the lateral pass: "Yeah, it was at least a little bit close. We had clear recovery and they had made a good drive to that point, and I was talking to the guys upstairs and I said ‘Do you have a replay?' and they didn't. And I said ‘Well, what did it look like?' and they said ‘Well it's close.' And I said ‘If it's close I'm going to throw it,' because the risk, or the reward is so great, I mean, if we're able to get a turnover. Imagine this, imagine if it had been the other way and it had been slightly backwards and we didn't get a replay and we didn't challenge it and we were sick to our stomachs after the game saying ‘Jeez, we could have gotten a turnover in the red zone, taken points off the board and everything else.' And literally part of the thought process there was ‘Hey, look, we could use a timeout now anyway,' and a challenge is always a long time out. You know, they go under the hood and give everybody a chance to regroup and things like that. You can sort of, you know, catch your breath and think about your next call and things like that. So, more of looking at it as an extended timeout. Might not have done it if that was our last challenge but it was our first challenge, we still had another one that we could handle it."
On being able to use the lost time out at the end of regulation: "Yeah, but hindsight could have been the other way and said ‘Hey, look, you know, after the fact all of a sudden the replay shows that it was backwards. Then, you know, you're looking at it the other way."
On how much QB Matthew Stafford's leg is bothering him: "I don't think at all. We called a boot for a touchdown. And he did a great job moving around in this game. I think that's off his radar."
On how Stafford has played through five weeks: "It's hard to lead comebacks when you're down 10 points, but he can do it. He didn't start off great in this game. Had a couple throws that he could have put a little better. But he also made a couple big-time throws. The play that might go a little bit unnoticed was the third-down conversion to Burleson. Burleson runs a little return route and he's getting held by the nickel, he's covering him real hard, and Nate has a little bit of separation but Matt put it right in the mailbox. I don't know if he could have placed it in there any better. And then Nate's able to stretch and get a first down there. That's a tight throw. There wasn't an easy throws in this game. Every throw was going to be challenged. We knew going into it our completion percentage wasn't going to be 80 percent like it was against the Titans. It was a different scheme. We were going to have to battle. But there were big plays that we could make. Unfortunately didn't make a couple of them. Had a couple balls that location could have been a little better. Couple balls that were dropped. I think the game looks a lot different if we make a couple of those. He threw an interception but that was an aggressive play trying to get the ball to Calvin. We're never going to fault trying to get Calvin the ball in the end zone. You know, he had a touchdown pass to Calvin that gets a penalty."
On Stafford starting out 6-20 passing: "Yeah, I mean he had a couple throw-aways on screen passes. You know, I mean they tackled our screen guy on the very first play of the game, and he threw it away. That counts as an incompletion for him, but it's second and 10. He doesn't take a sack, he doesn't make a bad play worse. There's some that he tried to go down the seam to [TE Tony Scheffler] and just a little bit off. One time on the outside of the field. You're not going to complete 100 percent of your passes and the other thing is you're not going to ever get out of it if you get conservative and don't throw those balls. I mean, if your objective is to complete a high percentage of passes, you can do it. You're not going to win very many games, you're not going to get very many first downs, but you can complete about 100 percent of your balls if that's the way you want. Take a lot of sacks and never throw a ball away and also always take the safe play. But you're never going to make enough plays. Matt has a good balance there, does a good job of staying aggressive, making plays. Like I said, even the interception, had a chance to put it up there and give Calvin a chance to make it. They made the play and we didn't but it's still a good thought process and he knew exactly what he was doing on the play."
On explaining what led to the interceptions of the game and if they supply confidence in takeaways going forward against the Chicago Bears: "Honestly on defense, you're never scheming turnovers. It's guys playing physical football, being in the right spots. Delmas was right where he needed to be on his interception. Chris Houston was where he needed to be. We picked up a fumble. I thought we had a great chance...I thought the game was going to end when Cliff Avril had the sack on the first play of overtime because that's a play that...Cliff I think led the NFL last year in forced fumbles. On the field it just smelled like that was going to be a sack and a strip. Blind side, tomahawk the ball and (QB Michael) Vick did a great job of holding on to that ball. But I think you can get off track if your objective defensively is to get turnovers. Your objective should be to play good team defense. Play fast, play physical. You do that the turnovers will come. Same thing on offense; you can be conservative and protect the ball and you're never going to make any plays there. So there's a good balance there. Turnover ratio is well-documented as being part of success but I think we need to worry about executing schemes, making plays, those kind of things. And when you do, you'll take care of the football and also you'll have a chance to get the football. We have good players. Put players in positions they'll eventually make plays. (You) try not to overact a game or two of not getting any."
On T Riley Reiff getting more snaps because of what he brings or because of what opponent systems bring: "We had that in our package last year, but I think it's more a reflection of Riley and his talent level and what he's done to earn his way on the field. And then once he has his confidence in the coaches to keep calling him. Each week it's become a little bit more of a part of our package."
On how to balance the positive (like resiliency and the ability to comeback) with the negative (16 penalties) as a staff: "I think I said this in preseason: I'd much rather try to explain 16 penalties and a win than point to a loss but we only had three penalties. It's a tough game - we played on the road. Philadelphia is a tough place to play, everybody knows that. The officials also called the line of scrimmage very tight. One of the points of emphasis in the offseason was the center and movement and things like that. It sort of got lost a little bit in the whole replacement officials thing and everything else, well now the regular officials are back. This was the week that that got enforced a lot and it was difficult for us because we were the ones on the road. But I think the penalties...we had false starts, including veteran players. Jeff Backus had a couple, Calvin Johnson had a couple. They called Dominic (Raiola) on one. I mean those are veteran players. It's difficult when you play on the road. It's one of the reasons it's tough to play on the road in the NFL. The stuff that happens inside the play, OPI, both of our DPIs, one of our holding calls, you all have seen those. Sometimes they go for you, sometimes they go against you. You can't let that affect you. You have to just keep on playing. Just stay in that same thing with Carlos, if your objective is not to get any penalties, you can probably do it but you're not going to be playing aggressively and you're probably not going to have much of a chance to score or hold teams down."
On Reiff pushing for a starting job: "Everybody is pushing for a starting job. That being said, I think our offensive line probably played their best game of the year against a tough group. That goes across the board from Jeff Backus to (Rob) Sims to Raiola to (Stephen) Peterman, to Goz, to our tight ends. I thought those guys played at a high level. That's the whole goal offensively, particularly the offensive line, is how your group is operating as a group. It's not an individual form, it's the whole group and Riley is helping that right now."
On your classic fist pump at the end of the game: "I don't know if I was classic. It was a big game. I don't know. I don't think about it to tell you the truth."
On if the team had not been having enough fun during the previous three games: "It's hard to have a whole lot of fun when you're losing, but yeah I think it is a game meant to be played with emotion. That was one of the things going in when we were 1-3, it's like look: we're a top 10 offense; we're a top 10 defense. Let's start acting like it a little bit."
On RB McCoy being limited by run defense: "Good players playing hard, playing as a team. I said after the game it was a team victory. If one of the defensive linemen got blocked, our linebackers did a really good job of filling. Our safeties went and tackled. I think that was just the way it was. When the offense was struggling, the defense was getting turnovers and getting stops. When the defense gave up a big play, the offense got It right back. It was a team game. Those are some of the things when you lose those two games the way that we did, you look and you say that any one play could have turned that game around and got a win. We had half-a-dozen plays in this game that you said hey, without that play we don't win the game. And that's team football."
On how much thought was put into maybe doing an onside kick: "None. We gave up four special teams scores in two weeks. We weren't going to get cute right there. They have one of the best returners, a pro bowl returner in WR DeSean Jackson. We knew we'd see him in the game. They put him back there in the second half....second quarter end of the half...the other one was in the second half. It was fourth quarter, I'm trying to think of which way they were going. Our punt coverage team stepped up and did a great job on him. We had a tackle inside the 20 on kickoff. We certainly have a lot of confidence. We can play better on special teams. But in that case, we were going to get that ball out of the endzone. "
On S Erik Coleman, S John Wendling and LB Travis Lewis on special teams: "Are you talking about kickoff coverage? (Both right?) The difference is that RB Stefan Logan is not on our punt team. I thought our gunners did a very good job. WR Kassim Osgood and Wendling did an outstanding job in this game. They were down the field and forced a lot of fair catches. It sort of goes unnoticed when they're not returning balls, but there's a reason they aren't returning them because our gunners are down the field. We can still do a lot better on special teams. We have some young players that are still improving and still have work to do. Getting guys like Wendling and Coleman, Coleman did some really good things. Those games go a lot of different ways. The view that I had on our kickoff in overtime, I was sure that S Amari Spievey was going to pop that ball loose. He put a shoulder right on the football. They did a great job of holding on to that. I thought he had a great chance to get a turnover right there and give us a chance."
On CB Chris Greenwood: "His was a groin sports hernia. He's been working with our trainers. I would expect him to get back to practice."
On Greenwood coming back to practice but not the 53-man roster right away: "Yeah. You see how he is in practice before you do that. You have a certain window once you activate him, you have a couple weeks before you have to activate him to the 53. We'll just see what he looks like and how he's doing. I would expect him to be on the practice field."
On how he felt when he saw Logan put the ball down in overtime: "Yeah. You have to take one cut. When you're the returner, one cut, because it gets that guy back in the play. The ball bounced right back to him, but also he fought for that ball in the bottom of that pile. It's an adage in football, when you see the other team has the ball you want to pile on as many guys as you can to give your guys time to try and steal it away. And if you see that your guy has the ball, you want to peel guys off of the pile to make sure that nobody steals it away. But they threw about four or five guys on that pile and Logan hung on to it."
On how often the ball gets stolen away: "A couple times. It happens for sure."
On the defensive line performing late in the game and the run game being effective late in the game: "You always want to do that. Whether it's the way we did it in this game, defense goes out there in overtime and gets the ball back for the offense quickly because of a couple sacks and pressures. Or running it to set yourself up for a game-winning field goal. Our defense did a great job in that overtime. If we had won the toss, no question we would have taken the football. But after you get a stop on defense, there's such a tremendous shift to the team that actually had to kickoff. Because now a field goal ends the game, where if they got the ball as long as they don't score a touchdown, that game's not over. A lot of things can go wrong. If you get a holding penalty in the end zone, the game is over right there. A safety, game's over. If we tomahawk that ball out and get a fumble, they have a really short field goal, game's over. If you can get a stop defensively, there's a big, big advantage. And our defense was able to go out and get that done for us. Not just get a stop, but set us up right at the 50-yard-line for a chance to be able to go and get a field goal. "
On LB DeAndre Levy playing a lot better this year: "I think he played at a pretty high level last year. He's been a good consistent player, strong. He's in the right spots. I think, particularly this game, all three of our linebackers played well. LB Stephen Tulloch had double digit tackles. He played a very consistent game. Levy's played very consistent. LB Justin Durant, same thing. We're getting outstanding production out of our linebackers."
On why Stafford is so good in late game situations: "I think it's a combination of a couple things. He has good players around him. And he has confidence in that. He's a good player. He's a tough guy. There are a lot of things you need to do when you're a quarterback. Being able to bounce back from a bad play, having a short memory, all those different things. They're all very important. That being said, I thought Michael Vick showed a lot of toughness in this game. He got hit a bunch of times. There were a couple times, I didn't think he was going to get back up and he kept on getting back up. We have a lot of respect for him. The one ball that he fumbled was sort of a miscommunication with a snap. Everybody's making a big deal about his fumble, but that game could have been over quickly if he had fumbled that ball on the sack in overtime. He was able to hold on to it. Matt just needed to move a little bit, doesn't usually have to move a little bit to get rid of the ball, but took zero sacks in 45 attempts. A lot of that's the quarterback. We gave credit to the offensive line, rightfully so. That's a good front four and they were trying to make sure that the quarterback didn't have any easy answers to be able to go to."
On DT Nick Fairley's first start: "I thought he played well. He had good penetration, was around the quarterback. He had half the sack with DE Kyle Vanden Bosch. They stayed after the quarterback at the end. I thought he made his presence felt in the game. It was good to see from Nick. Nick's as healthy as he's ever been. He's into the swing of things. He's a good player. It was good to see."
On if the QB draw was a called play: "That was called, yeah. The coverage was going to be there. We knew that. Their defensive line did a good job of defending that play."