After Wednesday's practice, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz met with the media.
On if the WR Mike Thomas trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars is official yet: "No, we're still waiting on the physical. Until every T is crossed and every I is dotted, I'm going to reserve judgment."
On why the Lions are so much more active and aggressive than other teams at the trade deadline: "We've always had the philosophy that our roster is a work in progress, and there's not finish line when it comes to a 53 man roster. We've done the same with our practice squad. We've tried to keep on improving that and move guys around. I think that we've had some success doing it. Bringing guys up, developing some players, making some trades for other players during the season, during the offseason. We embrace it and any way we can improve the 53 we're willing to do."
On if the organization gets more calls than others because it is willing to trade: "I think that if somebody's going to call somebody, they're going to call everybody that think makes sense. We're probably not fielding any calls on quarterbacks right now (laughter). Other than that, the fact that it got moved back, it changes the dynamic a little bit."
On being done trading: "You never know."
On identifying needs or players or both to trade: "It's got to be a combination. Talent sort of rules the board, but you have to have a need for them."
On how hard it is to fit a player into a system at this point in the season: "I think particularly the veteran players you can get them up to speed pretty quickly. Go back and look when we signed (CB) Drayton Florence before the season. He's a veteran player. He's been in a lot of systems. He was able to get up to speed pretty quickly. So I don't know why it would be any different if it was during the season. Everybody's a little bit different. Every player's a little bit different, every scheme's a little bit different, but experienced players can usually adapt pretty quickly."
Oh how he and GM Martin Mayhew work together during these times: "There's always different opinions and different points of view when it comes to stuff like that. It's not just the head coach and general manager. There are coordinators, there are assistant coaches, there's pro scouting. A lot of different people involved. Even going back to college scouting reports, we have a lot of respect for those too. There are a lot of different people that have input into those decisions. If it's right for the team, if it's right what for we have to do with short term combined with long term, then we'll certainly willing to do it."
On if there is any change in the long term status of CB Bill Bentley and S Louis Delmas: "Both of them are probably the same. Both of them are day-to-day and they're battling through some things that they're working. Bentley's shoulders and Louis' knees."
On what changed between now and Sunday regarding RB Mikel Leshoure not being an injury situation: "Nothing."
On if Leshoure sat out today for injury purposes: "No. He has a personal day today."
On how Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert compares with the other young quarterbacks in the League: "He's still a young player. It's difficult for any young player to come in and have success right away. He certainly has a good arm. He threw for 300 yards last week. They've been building talent around him in his first two years. He's had a different head coach and coordinator in both of those years also. So I think we've seen some of those situations where it can be hard to really get a good base to start. But he had a couple rookie receivers make some big plays for him. (WR) Cecil Shorts and (WR Justin) Blackmon last week really made some good plays for him. He's certainly got the arm, he's got the size. Just an experience thing. It doesn't take very long to look and see the talent; see the reasons that they drafted him."
On if Leshoure will be back tomorrow: "Yeah."
On the Jacksonville Jaguars being close to their turnaround and if he sees similarities to the 2012 Jaguars at the 2009 Lions: "I hope it's not this week (laughter). Honestly, I don't know if our turn was when we were 2-10. That's when we started winning some games but you have to have a good plan and have to stick with it. You have to be able to make minor adjustments here and there and you have to have confidence and there wherewithal to stick with it when you're not experiencing success. A couple games ago they were 6-3 late in the third quarter against Chicago. Now that game didn't finish well for them (Jacksonville), but we have a lot of respect for Chicago. They went to Green Bay and gave those guys all they could handle -held them under 180 yards passing and kept the score down and stayed in that game. We know how difficult it is to play in Green Bay. They played Minnesota to three points in the opener. That's our division so we certainly respect the teams that are in our division, respect the way that they (Jacksonville) played against them. The most important thing is how you're playing. I think that you can look past some of their things. They're 1-6 but you can look past some of those and say, ‘hey they're a play here, they're a here from breaking through.' Every team is that way, but the worst thing that you can do when you're trying to develop a team is change course too often."
On having to have talent to turn a team around: "I think that they drafted some good players. Already talked about those wide receivers, I mean their running back is hurt right now, but he's as a good a running back there is in the NFL. They have a high first round draft pick at left tackle. Their defense has always played well. They're in a situation a lot of teams are, including us, and they played in Green Bay last week without three of their starting players in the secondary. It's difficult to do but you have to be able to withstand stuff like that. They went and had a very good day playing defense. Particularly against an explosive offense like Green Bay. They have two very talented specialists: a really good and an outstanding punter, guy that can really pound the ball. The thing with them, they're dealing with, just like everybody else is they're dealing with some injuries - running back and secondary. It's a little bit harder when you don't have the depth that other people have."
On plugging the holes in return coverage: "For a while it was just getting some players back early in the season. We didn't have (CB) Chris Houston and we didn't have Delmas and two of our better special teams players were starting on defense. I think that chipped away at some of our coverage units. We've been able to get some of those guys back and our younger players have gotten experience. Again, a lot of people don't understand how difficult it is to cover kicks in the NFL and the adjustment that's there and how much of a learning curve there is for younger players. But we were covering with a lot of younger players. As the year has gone on, they've learned from some of their mistakes. It's a hard way to learn but they learned from some of them and made some adjustments."
On WR Titus Young having to deal with success: "I think that he was there last year. He made some big plays for us last year as the season went on, towards the end. Had some ups and downs like a lot of rookies do, but I don't think this is a new thing for him. He made some big plays for us last year; scored a bunch of touchdowns for us last year. He's already sort of gotten past that."
On adjusting to having an injury-prone season: "You know, you're always going to have 46 on your active roster. They might not all be healthy, but you've got 53 on your regular roster and 46 on game day. So, you know, you have a lot of things to come up. That's why we always stress multi-dimensional players, players that can go back and forth. I mean, a couple weeks ago we played Philly on the road and lost two corners and had to have a safety go in and play nickel. I think that's the way that you can, I don't want to say withstand injuries, but the way you can build yourself to be able to adjust to different situations. Get guys on the offensive line that can play different positions. We've been pretty healthy there. You saw what happened with our wide receivers. A lot of people were shocked when we drafted a wide receiver in the second round, but then you see what happens. Last year our wide receivers were healthy the whole year. We got very lucky last year. This year, we had a season-ending injury for one of our better players. You know, somebody else needs to step up. You know, multi-dimensional players can help and you can never quit acquiring talent. You know, I think that philosophy can help you get through it."