Quotes from the press conference that Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz held on Monday.
On the injury status of S Louis Delmas: "Well, he had some tests today. You know, he's day to day, he's sore. I don't know if I can classify it as a re-injury, but it's his sore knee that's been bothering him through training camp and the season. You know, he's a hard worker, tough guy. We'll try to work through it."
On if his surgery was supposed to prevent another injury like this: "No, I don't want to get too much into that. I never do. But I mean, obviously, the surgery was able to alleviate some of it."
On how the defense has been able to step up despite the amount of injuries: "I don't know if you get any gold stars or pats on the back for 24 points the way we did yesterday, but you know. We gave up a couple big plays, particularly in the first half where I don't think we played well. And then the last drive that we allowed a touchdown we didn't play well. In between that we did, but I mean, you can say that in just about every game. I don't think sucking it up is a 70-something yard touchdown run when nobody touches the guy and a critical penalty, couple critical penalties that, you know, that lead to scores. So, I mean, we are what we are. We've got some injuries. We'll try to find a way to win the game. The object is to give up one less than we score. This game it happened to be four. I thought our offense did a good job of responding when the defense gave up scores. Our offense went in every time and responded with touchdowns and I thought that was the key to the game more than our defensive performance."
On the play of CB Chris Houston so far this season: "Yeah, I mean, he's been a real steady guy for us. He always has been. But he's also been matching receivers. You know, he matched Sidney Rice in this game after the first series and I think he's done a good job of limiting some explosive receivers."
On Houston playing special teams coverage: "He's one of our 46, so we're going to put the guys out there that we think could best stop a kick. Chris is a fast guy. He's got good instincts against the run."
On the strides S Ricardo Silva has made: "He made a big play in the game. I mean, they were in Cover 2, we were in Cover 2 and there were a couple keys to the game. You know, we knew they were going to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch. We had to get that stopped. They ran it in a little different way. They sort of went away from their zone run game. We did a good job of stopping that. We didn't do a good job of responding to the cracked toss that we obviously gave up almost all our rushing yards on. But that combined with the play-action deep shots, I thought our defense did a good job of holding those deep shots off. When he did take a chance on one, Ricardo was in position to make the play. Made a big play for us and recovered a fumble at the end of the game even though that was when the game was over, but it was still being around the ball. He's a young player. He's still working through some things. He had a couple plays that, you know, he can be better on, but he made a very key play in the game and I think that's a very good sign."
On the secondary responding to criticism from earlier in the season: "I mean, responding to criticism really doesn't mean anything. I mean, get coached here and every day. You know, that's the only thing that matters. But, you know, I think certainly our secondary's been a patch work this year. From the very beginning not having (Louis) Delmas and (Chris) Houston early and having a lot of different faces and bringing guys back and plugging them in and stuff like that, but again, the object's to win, not to get a gold start for performance or for effort or for, you know, dealing with injuries or anything else."
On having multiple players contribute in the win over Seattle: "Yeah, we got contributions from a lot of people in the pass game. Pettigrew had a good day, lot of first down catches. You know, Scheffler made a couple big plays for us, you know, that one down the seam and then another one a boot, particularly early in the game. Joique Bell had a huge play. I mean, that's third down and ten in the red zone. Not a lot of air in that defense there and he's able to take a short pass and get the first down, almost get the touchdown. That was a huge play in the game because, you know, if they could've held us there we would have been kicking a field goal and there still would have been a lot more time on the clock for them to come back. So, I wouldn't want to underestimate his contribution there also, but we're at our best when we're that way getting contributions from a lot of different guys. Early in the game Broyles gave us a big lift and obviously throughout the game Titus (Young) did."
On what Pettigrew brings to the offense: "Well, it just depends on which coverages they're playing. You know, that one catch down in the red zone, I mean, I don't know if Matt (Stafford) can hand him the ball any better. I mean, that was just an absolute perfect throw and Pettigrew's a very strong run after the catch guy too. It gives the quarterback a big target and teams try to play some Cover 2. You know, Seattle hadn't played very much two at all this whole season and they gave us some. You know, they've been strictly one-on-one on the outside part of the field kind of a team and they played a lot more Cover 2 than I think they played in all seven games combined coming into our game. And when that happens you've got to rely on your tight ends and running backs in some cases. I think both of those guys did a good job, Scheff and Pettigrew, as did our backs."
On if WR Calvin Johnson's knee is slowing him down: "Same as everybody else on the team. I mean, he's, you know, plowing through it. I mean, he didn't practice a few days last week. It's mid-season in the NFL. It's stuff that you just deal with. He also made the first two catches in not our two-minute drive, but our 16-play scoring drive. You know, we've got a lot of confidence in Calvin and he can find a way to deliver even if he is hobbling a little bit."
On what defenses have done to take Johnson out of the game early: "Yeah, I mean, I thought they did a good job of trying to, you know, they do a lot of different things. Roll to him, do a lot of things like that. You know, the biggest thing is scoring. I think that whether it's Calvin or somebody else, they still count for seven so I think that we were moving the ball around. Matt (Stafford) was sharp. Matt was 70-percent completions. We were scoring touchdowns. That's the only thing that mattered, scoring enough to get the win. You know, we're not playing fantasy football trying to get players certain number of stats or anything else. We're just trying to win."
On the amount of coverage Johnson draws: "Oh, there's no question. You know, and when he's not on the field, the one interception he didn't throw he had to come off the field for a play. The interception that Matt (Stafford) threw, and generally that's a play that gets a lot of attention to where Calvin is on that play. When he wasn't there, it clogged up the rest of the play and we ended up getting intercepted on it. So, he has a tremendous impact on the game and it's always positive. You know, whether or not he's making catches or not, sometimes you can try to force it and end up making mistakes. So, I think, you know, particularly Matt did a good job balancing those and getting the ball to the guy that was open and getting us moved. I mean, that's a very, very tough defense. I mean, there's not that many people that move the ball on those guys. There's not many people that were able to score touchdowns the way that we did, throwing the ball the way that we did. I thought we had our best offensive performance of the year against, again, a very, very good defense. Straight across the board in everything, they were good at it. So, it was going to be a challenge for us and our guys were up to the challenge."
On if Johnson usually lines up opposite of TE Tony Scheffler on the intercepted pass play: "He's a lot of places. I don't want to get too far into the X's and O's of it. We move Calvin around a lot, but he gets attention on that play, I'll just leave it there."
On Johnson's mindset when not catching as many passes as he usually does: "I don't think it has anything to do with how many balls he could get or anything else. I mean, he knows football. He knows, you know, there's a difference between trying to get you the ball and forcing balls in. He just wants a win. I don't speak for him but any player in our locker room would sacrifice a personal performance for a win any day of the week. I think Calvin's no different than anybody else."
On Johnson's preseason comments about wanting to repeat last season's statistical performance: "Well, and again, you have to ask him those questions. In my mind when I heard that, he was saying ‘I want to have another great year.' Not ‘I want to get a certain amount of yards or touchdowns or anything else.' I mean, guess what, touchdowns help our team. Touchdowns are...they count. So, I don't hold anything like that against a player, but again that's our objective in any game. We have good players, we have good schemes, try to do what's best against certain opponents. We can't call defenses. We have to just, we have to call our plays and react to what they do and make good decisions. When we do that we move the ball like we did. We had three 80-yard drives against, again, it wasn't a Pee-Wee team out there. That's a really good football team, particularly on defense. So, I don't want to minimize what we do or make any apologies for not having, you know, Calvin had 25 catches for 500 yards in a game."
On what more they need out of Johnson: "Just keep doing what he does. I mean, we need the same out of him as everybody. You know, work hard during the week, do their best on Sunday."
On getting what they wanted against cover-two defenses: "Well, they didn't, I don't want to skew things, they didn't play exclusively cover-two, they played a lot of single-high but they played a lot more than they had against their other seven games that they'd played. But, yeah, you need to make good decisions. There's certain places that defenses design to take away and you need to make smart decisions in those cases. No different than any other defense. When you're getting a lot of contributions out of your tight ends and running backs are getting yards and things like that, I think you're doing a good job against those coverages."
On what more he needs out of the return game: "You know, I think kickoff returns, and you could see it the other way. Seattle got real aggressive in a couple cases, including bringing one from nine yards deep and they got pinned down on the 12 or 13-yard line. So I think that smart decision there, particularly the way the game has been affected by moving the ball up to the 35, that's as important as being aggressive. You need to be smart and you can also hurt yourself on special teams. We did that last week against Chicago. So, I don't necessarily, I think it's all about making good decisions. We make good decisions, do a good job blocking, the returns will happen. If you try to make something when it's not there, you end up with lost yardage plays. You end up with getting hit when you're catching the ball and fumbling or doing stuff like that. I think you need to balance. I think that as long as we make good decisions, we'll be happy."
On if the reputation special teams currently has because of kick return touchdowns makes opponents take more chances like returning from deep in the end zone: "I don't know. I don't want to speak for them. The odds are in our favor when somebody brings it from nine yards deep, so we have to make those plays. We haven't always proved that we can. This game I thought we did a very good job on coverage. I thought that was a big factor."
On why the defense was jittery early in the game: "Just trying to get a jump and trying to get an edge in the first series particularly. We didn't do it. That had nothing to do with Willie's. Willie Young got called for a penalty."
On if the penalty on Young was the right call: "It got called. He has to be a yard off the ball and he was a yard off the ball so they called it. There's a lot of judgment calls. The officials are in a tough spot to be able to call that because they don't have a great angle to be able to call that. There's plenty of calls in the game that are judgment calls and we have to live with them. That one ended up hurting us because our defense had gotten a stop and defense went right back on the field. Ended up getting a red zone stop and held them to a field goal, but that was three points. You saw the way that three points in this game, three points was obviously a big deal."
On why the defensive line wasn't able to get the same pressure seen in the past two weeks: "Well, they came out and they were either going to throw quick and they threw quick. I mean like, real fast to get the ball out and work the outside part of the field. Or boot and try to get away from those guys or max-protect and their deep shoots mainly came off of max-protect situation. They went deep on one and we intercepted it. They went deep on another, you know it was a long foul ball, it was incomplete. Went deep on another and we had a defensive pass interference. So it was a mixed bag there but we held our own there I guess you'd say. I mean a 41 yard DPI, an interception, incomplete pass. That probably favors us a little bit. But they made a lot of big plays down the field doing those same kind of things. The quarterback is mobile. We had them in our hands a couple times. He's strong and he's mobile. He did a good job of getting away and either throwing an incompletion or even got a completion on one of them. They weren't able to consistently move the ball making those kinds of plays. That was maybe out of deference to our defensive line."
On putting a return man back on long field goals like the 61 yard attempt: "Yeah we could, yeah. We'll just try to make them make a 61-yarder right there. Keep all our guys up. To make a 61-yarder you're probably going to have to drive a ball, hit it fairly low. When you put a guy back to return you also limit your ability to get an extra guy in a field goal rush. We blocked one the week before and almost blocked another one so we have confidence in those guys. Certainly don't want to just concede and let a guy have a lot of time to try a 61-yarder."
On updates about S Amari Spievey and CB Jacob Lacey: "I think we'll get Lacey back on the practice field this week. We'll see how he progresses through that. It's a little too early to tell with Spievey. He's still got some hurdles to clear. But both of those guys are doing well and they're on their way back. It's just how long that will be and whether or not it will be this week. We'll get a better feel for it later in the week."
On if he expects CB Drayton Florence back at practice this week: "Yeah, he should be back at practice. He's moving around well and his arm's healed up. He's not eligible to be back on the active roster for a couple weeks."
On the trade deadline being this week and fielding phone calls from teams interested: "It's probably maybe a little bit more this year than years past just because it got moved back. But there's not a day that goes by that we don't think about a different way to improve our team. I think that Martin (Mayhew) has been very strong in what he said consistently over time is that there is no finish line when it comes to personnel. Any path that we can take to improve our team we are certainly willing to look at."
On the extension of the trade deadline: "I don't know. I guess it would be hypothetical. The only thing when it's on a Tuesday, generally when you're going to trade for a guy you get him in for the week preparation. If it's later in the week, it's a little harder to get a guy up for Sunday. That would probably be the only thing."
On if there's any more urgency because of injury in secondary: "We talked about getting some guys back potentially. CB Drayton Florence is on a good path even though it won't be this week. We talked about CB Jacob Lacey and some of those guys. Whether we get those guys back, I think those guys can give us a good boost still."
On what the key to being so good with third downs yesterday: "You can't keep drives alive. We had three drives that were over 80 yards. You can't keep drives alive if you don't convert third downs and we converted 12 yesterday. That's a lot on third down. 12/16 - you need those. On that last drive we had a couple really critical ones including that last one to RB Joique Bell. Technically the touchdown to WR Titus Young was a third down conversion also. If you're going to keep drives alive, you're going to have to go long distances and you're going to have to convert some third downs. I thought we did a good job doing that. That's a combination of guys getting open and the quarterback throwing accurate passes, making good decisions and also having enough time. We got sacked a couple of times but that was a very, very good rush group coming in and had done a really good job of putting some pressure on the quarterback. I think our offensive line did a pretty good job of handling that."
On red zone success: "Yeah, we've had too many non-scores down there. We did a good job of getting those in and even when we got across mid-field like with Titus. That was in scoring range. We were able to come back with a touchdown, even though it wasn't technically the red zone."
On if they had hypothetically gotten the fourth down: "I don't know. What would you have done? We had a lot of confidence that we would score. We were even in a situation that we talked about this yesterday that because of the time that we had that we could have run the ball also. When we had done that against Philly, we really didn't have that opportunity. We had to put the ball in the end zone and couldn't afford a play that was in the field like a sack or a completion that didn't score because the game would have been over. We needed to preserve the field goal. We had our field goal team ready and no matter what had happened - if we had gotten sacked or if we had a bad result or something like that, we could have run the field goal team out there. It would have been a little bit of hurry at the end. We had time that we could do it. It gave us a lot of options at the end of the game. Titus had a good one-on-one, beat the guy inside. We did a good job of clearing out over top of that. That made a difference there. And it didn't hurt that half their team was on the other side, on WR Calvin Johnson's side too. QB Matthew Stafford made a really nice throw. In that situation, you want to make a throw and complete the touchdown, but you certainly don't want to get a ball tipped or intercepted in that case. I think Matt did a good job of balancing both of those. We were certainly in field goal range. And you see how it ended up biting us when we played Tennessee. We're in field goal range to extend the game. We end up making a mistake and don't even get the field goal. Well in this case, Matt did a good job of balancing being aggressive and then also putting the ball where Titus could make the play. There wasn't a whole lot of risk of that ball being intercepted. If somebody was going to make the play, it was going to be Titus. He put it right on him and Titus was able to finish it and hold on."
On if there's a time limit to which you can get your field goal unit out there on fourth down situations: "Yeah, you do, but a couple preseasons ago last year the 2011 season we did it in like 13 seconds which is ridiculously fast. You don't count on that. Some people have different times. 18 seconds, 17 seconds. It's usually around there.