Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
Quotes from Jim Schwartz's Monday press conference.
On if not having negative runs is what he means by efficiency: "No, efficiency has to do with yards to go and how you do in those runs to make it real simple. You know, to gain eight on third-and-10 is not an efficient run. On first down it's a very efficient run. So, it's, I don't want to say it's complicated, but I'd rather not get into all the different things but we were close to 60-percent efficient and honestly our last two rushes were efficient too because they did exactly what they were supposed to do. It was burn the remaining points of the clock even though they were lost yardage runs, technically, on the stat sheet. Thought we got good contributions out of the run game. Not just form Mikel in the first half but Joique, particularly, in that last drive I think we only got to one third down in that. We were 100 percent efficient in that drive and took not only a lot of time off the clock but went and scored a touchdown."
On what a good efficiency is: "Whatever it takes to win the game. Honestly whatever it takes to win the game. I mean, we don't go into it thinking, you know, ‘Hey look we need to rush for this many or pass for this many.' We need to score enough points to win the game. However we do that, it's great. I mean, if we're 100-percent run efficient and we don't win the game, wasn't good enough. So, I think you sort of look at it that way."
On WR Calvin Johnson's knee: "He's no worse for wear. He toughed it out in the game and made a big contribution in the game obviously."
On how concerned he is about Johnson: "Yeah, I mean I think that it's life in the NFL. There's going to be a lot of (that). I mean we're in the middle of an NFL season, everybody's going to be dealing with something like that. But the things that he's had, eventually will be put to bed. The only thing is you can't anticipate what else is coming up. I think every player is going to have to deal with injuries over the course of the season. Calvin's no different than any of these other guys."
On if Johnson was on a pitch count: "No. We tried to get him out on some, you know, if he ran deep on one play we sort of pulled him out on another. Most of that last drive he wasn't in there. We were just running the ball just about every down and then also late in the game took him off the hands team just to try to limit. It was three scores but 50 seconds left or something like that there's no sense of exposing him to another hit if at all preventable."
On how impressive T Riley Reiff has been: "Yeah, he's given our run game an incredible boost. The offensive line has blocked very well and he's a big part of that. Our tight ends blocked very well in this game, and our running backs ran well. I think we've seen probably the most consistent and most productive run game since I've been here, and a lot of it has to with attitude up front and Riley's a big part of that. He's contributed in a lot of different ways mainly because he's a good player. But particularly the edge, you know, this game they were trying to clog up the middle and we had to bounce it outside or cut it back and that's hard to do without an edge blocker and Riley's made a big difference for us there. And in addition to his pass blocking. We're not just one dimensional when he goes on the field, it's not always a run. He can protect up and we have ability to take shots down the field."
On if it's an upward progression from Reiff: "Yeah. I mean it has been, but it hasn't been drastic. He's played at a high level from the very beginning. We've sort of expanded his role within that package so he's doing more. He's doing it about the same level but he's doing more."
On the lack of explosive runs: "We always want to get explosive plays. There's a high correlation between scoring and explosive plays whether it's a run or a pass. I think that in this game in particular; not in particular, but similar to what we've seen a lot this year, you see people playing off or trying to limit plays and trying to keep stuff in front of them. When that's the case you might not break long runs. A lot of long runs are broke when there are a lot of guys at the line of scrimmage and you get one crease and all of a sudden you're gone. I thought we had one possibility and Joique lost his feet. But we rushed for over 150 yards. I think that, you know, 35 minutes of ball control and had four rushing touchdowns. I think that sort of overrides. You know, we just did it a little different way. You want to have explosives, but we had three drives of over 80 yards and our run game was productive for us there."
On if RB Joique Bell was trying to hurdle a defender when he was unable to break a big run: "I don't think so. He was trying to cut. The middle of the field was pretty soft. It had been newly sodded, and it was good sod but it was softer than the rest of the field - to be expected. Those guys, our defensive lineman, our running backs most of them had shoe changes within the game trying to find the best shoes to work in that situation."
On DT Ndamukong Suh's lack of stats being an indication of his play: "No, I thought those guys all played well. They were throwing the ball quick from a passing standpoint. We had two interceptions, had another one called back. We weren't around the quarterback, but a lot of that had to do with them throwing it quick. I mean, they had a hard time getting a first down. And we've said it a long time, if you want to negate a pass rush you certainly can do it, it's just how many plays can you make down the field. If your objective is to avoid a sack, you can do it. It's hard to get productive yards, and I think our defense did a good job there for us in punts and when they did try to take some shots down the field getting some interceptions off of those. You know, we're not judged by the stat sheet offensively or defensively. We're just trying to do what we can to win the game, and I thought our defensive line did a good job. We didn't play a whole lot of eight-man front in the game. I thought our defensive line and our linebackers played very well to limit their offense."
On the defense being able to fill roles with recent injuries: "Yeah, I mean, after the end of the season we'll try to figure out how deep we were and how well we were able to adjust short-term. You know, we've plugged some holes, but that's what you have to do in the NFL. You know, a lot of those guys have stepped up and made plays for us. I thought Erik Coleman played very well in this last game. He had an interception negated and made another really good play. Had a couple pass breakups, tackled very well. Our whole defense tackled well. You know, we've had games where we miss some tackles and other guys are there to clean up. We only had two missed tackles in this game. So, I think that went a long way to limiting the Jaguars and, you know, their touchdowns came where, I don't want to say we were, but we were playing prevent."
On the play of the linebackers this season: "I think they've been consistent for us. We can still play better defensively. There's certainly some things that we can do, but the whole idea is to keep scoring down and for three quarters or whatever it was, they had a hard time getting points. You know, that comes from your linebackers. I think that (Stephen) Tulloch, when Lawrence Jackson got his sack, that was a coverage sack. He was going to where Tulloch was-Tulloch jumped the route. We had another one where Erik Coleman did a really good job in the coverage that we had called of taking the pass away. I think our linebackers and underneath covers all did a pretty good job that way. I mean, Ashlee Palmer's played well for us when (DeAndre) Levy's been out. He's stepped in and done a nice job there too."
On having only a small point margin in all of their losses this season: "I don't know. You know, a loss is a loss, a win's a win. No style points or anything else, but I think there is something to being battle tested. I think there is something to, you know, having the confidence that you're always in games or you can do whatever's necessary to catch up. I think there is some confidence that goes on there, but I don't know.
On if he starts looking at standings and playoff picture at this point in the season: "We're middle of the season when it comes to stuff like that. I mean, we need to go out and concentrate on this next game. That's the only thing that we can control right now. I think when you get late in the season, the final quarter of the season, maybe you start paying attention a little bit more. But even then the most important thing is the way you play. You can't control anything else. You know, if you play well, then that's all you can do. Work hard and come out with a win. This is another game for us, a NFC game. You know, it's a very, very important game for us. It starts the second half of the year."
On what the team's progress this season has shown him so far: "Proven that we're 4-4 right now and, you know, need to win this week against a tough Minnesota team. You know, we're not trying to prove anything else other than go out and get a win. This is an important game for us. It's a tough game. It's on the road. But we're not defined by what we do in the first eight games of the year anymore as we're defined by what we do in the first four or what we do the last, you know, whatever. It's 16 games and when we get done with those 16, we'll go a long way with how we're defined this year."
On facing a team in the same position as you: "I always think that's important particularly with division opponents. I think that whether it's the first game of the year or the ninth game of the year, whatever it is, when you're playing a division opponent it becomes more important because a win for you also puts a loss on them. The way they started the season, they put themselves in the picture. We can't worry about that. We need to worry about just this game."
On how much confidence does the offensive game give them: "We've done some good things. Our third downs have been very good the last couple games. Our red zone has been very good. I think we're 4-4 in the red zone. Those are important things for us on offense when we're scoring touchdowns, when we're keeping drives alive on third down, when we're making long drives. We did it last week. We did it the week before that. It hasn't just been single plays. It hasn't been big plays. We've sort of adjusted to the ways teams have played us. We've been able to keep drives alive.
On the evaluation of the 2011 and 2012 draft classes: "We had high expectations for everybody that we draft and we have a role in mind for all those guys. It's hard to say if we are getting more out of them than we expected. I think that all those guys at some point or another stepped in and done well in the role that we've asked. It's also been other guys. We talked earlier about Joique Bell. It goes back (to) when we played the opener, I think people were surprised to see us put him in on the goal line and get that touchdown. We sort of had a laugh about that, but the reason is we had confidence in him even in the first game. He's done nothing but reward that confidence that we've had in him. He's had a fumble that hurt us, but he's also made a lot of plays that's helped us, including this last game. He's been very, very productive particularly in the passing game. He's been tough to handle in the open field. So it hasn't just been the draft class. We've gotten contributions out of a lot of guys that had been picked up all along the way; defensively with some of the holes that we've been filling due to injuries also."
On seeing improvement in CB Jonté Green each week: "I thought that he tackled very well in this week. Stopped a couple third downs that way. We forced them to throw balls in front and that doesn't do a whole lot of good if you don't step up and make a tackle. Yeah, he made his first interception but it was a tipped ball. But he has improved from week-to-week and he's playing with some confidence and that comes from experience."
On if Joique Bell's emergence in the passing game alleviating the loss of Best: "You know I think it's certainly picked up some of that slack. He's averaging 11 yards a reception. I'd have to go back and look what some of the stats that Jahvid had but 11 yards a reception for a running back is pretty significant. He's made a lot of plays for us and it hasn't just been as a ball carrier from a rushing standpoint."
On the skill sets Bell possesses is the reason that he's able to do that or if it's the defense he faces: "I think it's a combination of both. He's a talented guy, and he has very good run instincts and it's difficult for the first guy to bring him down. He's a heavy runner. But I think he also benefits from some of the defense that we've seen. There's some air underneath. If teams choose to try to take deeper stuff away then it opens some stuff up for our running backs and he's done a good job of taking advantage of that both."