Quotes from Jim Schwartz's Wednesday media session.
On WR Titus Young coming back today: "Well he's always been a member of the team. Last week he was inactive, and like I said yesterday we needed some time apart to get some stuff straight. Came out today and worked hard. Did his job and that's what we expect of him."
On if Young will be active this weekend: "Too soon to tell. We'll see as get later in the week and who we think the best 46 to play the Colts are. If he's one of them, he will and if not then he'll go back to work and work the next week."
On what would make Young not one of the best 46: "It just depends on what his contribution is on offense; what his role would be and what contribution that he can make to our offense same as any other player."
On getting to the point where he may shut S Louis Delmas down for the year: "If he can't make it to Sunday, if he can't be effective on Sunday that certainly would be a consideration of any player and if you reach the point where it was doing more harm than good. Louis is a competitor that wants to be out there and he's found a way to be able to get out there. It's a tough time practicing on a daily basis for him just because of his knee situation but we'll take that week-by-week."
On how impressed he is with Colts' QB Andrew Luck: "That's a tough time. Anytime you go into a franchise that's had a great player for a long period of time that's tough shoes to fill certainly. But he was prepared well in college. He had a lot of success in college. He was a first pick overall. The attention and the spotlight wasn't new to him so that made it a little bit easier. He's done a good job of battling every single week. They haven't had a whole lot of big wins. There have been a couple games that have gotten away from them but they've won a lot of close games, a lot of three point games, seven point games and stuff like that.
"If you look at his numbers they don't look especially impressive from a numbers standpoint: 57 percent completion, same number of touchdowns as interceptions, that kind of stuff. But he has made a lot of big plays. He's done a really good job of moving in the pocket. The thing that's very difficult to coach is he has very good pocket-awareness. Does a great job of stepping up in the pocket, keeps plays alive. When they came back and beat Green Bay, a lot of those plays were off-schedule plays that he scrambled and kept the play alive and they were able to make it down the field. As much as you can coach the offense, what you're doing and what defenses are doing, there's a little bit of innate ability that goes to pocket-awareness and also being able to make plays on the run. He's certainly done that for him, particularly in their wins."
On if he knows Colts' Head Coach Chuck Pagano and how impressed he is with the way the team has handled that situation: "Yeah, again, there are a lot of distractions in the NFL from a team standpoint, but they've turned that not into a distraction but a rallying point. I think that shows a lot about how much they respect Chuck. A lot of us have known him for a while. A couple of coaches on our staff have worked with him in colleges. I got to know him a little bit more this year just from the League meetings and stuff like that. It just goes to show its one thing when your coach has been around for a few years or a long period of time but that was pretty sudden for them and it shows that they used it as a rallying point and they've won five out of the last six games. I think that there are a lot of things that people work to overcome and things like that, and they've done a good job of keeping the focus on the field. And know that he's going to eventually get back for them."
On if Luck is an example of what his on-field performance surpassing the stat sheet: "Yeah, I mean for quarterbacks it's about putting the team in a position to win, scoring one more point than the opponent, all those kind of things. He's won seven games so that's job enough well done regardless of other than looking at stats and different things like that. Their offense is pushing the ball down the field. So his completion percentage is not going as high as some other people. There are not a lot of real high percentage completions when you're putting the ball 20 yards down the field. They're near the top in the NFL in plus 20-yard passes so I think that's as important a stat when you look at it as completion percentage and stuff like that."
On WR Reggie Wayne moving around out of the slot: "It's a new scheme. Bruce Arians came from Pittsburgh where he was there for a long time. Then the Colts were there for a long time with Peyton Manning and wide receivers lined up left and right. They didn't even have an X and a Z. It was left and right. There was very little motion, there was very little formation. There's been a change. They're doing a lot more formation stuff, a lot more motion, moving guys around. He's working out of the slot and also working right and left. Even using him as a blocker in a lot of their back-side run stuff and he's opened that up. A veteran wide receiver that has been to Pro Bowls and stuff like that, it shows how unselfish he is that he's No. 1 willing to do that but he does a good job in doing it. He's got 84 catches so he's remained a big part of their passing offense. He's always been productive. He's been a productive guy since the day he came into the League and it didn't matter just because of the scheme or Peyton Manning. He's found a way to be productive even last year when they had all of their quarterback issues and the team wasn't doing so well, he maintained his production."
On Wayne easing a young quarterback's transition: "Having guys that you can rely on to be in the right spot, I don't know if having guys that can move around means as much, but he's a pro and he can make a play for the quarterback. The quarterback's completed 84 passes to him this year. There's certainly a confidence level there."
On if QB Matthew Stafford has been throwing off his back foot too much this year: "No, I don' think so. I think he reacts to what's around him and what's in front of him. I think that the one touchdown he threw to Mike Thomas, that was a side arm play. That first 3rd down and 12 that he got to (Ryan) Broyles, he had to step up and move in the pocket. Sort of step one way and then had to come across his body to throw and he's got a quick release. He flips it out there and the name of the game is put the ball in a good position and, you know, make an accurate throw. He's still been able to do that."
On coaching Stafford's mechanics: "Yeah, you know, you see it probably a lot more in the passing offense, particularly spread stuff. You know, it's not always deep, drop-back play-action where you're coming over the top on everything. You have to be able to adjust to a lot of different things. You know, we got, I think it was two passes knocked down in this last game, but the Texans keep their hands up a lot. Some of those windows weren't going to be over the top. Some of the windows were going to be in between and stuff like that. I think the definition of what a quarterback pass is has really changed quite a bit from, you know, drop back and very traditional in the pocket play-action-type stuff, to moving around a lot more and throwing a lot quicker. You know, throwing on the run and all those different things. Brett Favre is probably a guy that made most of his career doing stuff like that. The key is, can you make good decisions and can you make accurate throws? There's been a lot of guys who have thrown wobbly passes. Some guys have thrown side arm, some guys have had a lot of different mechanics. I remember when Philip Rivers was coming out people were saying that his motion wasn't traditional and he wasn't going to be able to effective in the NFL and he'd have to change stuff like that. He's had a great career and he's a great quarterback. So, it's about making good decisions, making accurate throws and I think Matt's done that."
On how much help former Lions QB Drew Stanton can give to the Colts: "Well, he was obviously here with our offense. So, he knows our offense inside out and a lot of our calls. Now, a lot of that they changed back in training camp and we have more than one call for different things and we can use dummy calls. I mean, it's no different than any other play. But as a quarterback and a guy who was here three years in the same offense, there's certainly some insight that he has. Just his insight of defense, you know, he worked against our defense on the scout team. You know, he can talk to them about certain players, you know, strengths and weaknesses and things like that. It's all part of having a scouting report and getting ready to play. It's part of the NFL, but you deal with it every week. It's really not unusual that there's a player that's one another team on almost a weekly basis."
On if he thinks the Lions can get back into the playoff race: "Yeah, we can't think about stuff like that. We need to think about the Colts, and I think we've said that even going back to training camp. It's something that as a team we've had to deal with on, you know, with just where we were last year. But we have to have a focus individually on each opponent. You know, I don't think as a team we've looked ahead. We've come out every week, we haven't won enough games here. I mean, we're 4-7 so we obviously haven't won enough. But I think week in and week out we've been a prepared team and we've been a team that's focused on that opponent. We haven't had a game where we've come out and haven't been able to be respond or have a good game plan or something like that. The only thing we can worry about is the Colts. I think we can get as hot as anybody in the NFL, but the whole idea is to do enough to win a game. That's what I think we've got to be concerned with. If we play well then we can do that."