USA TODAY Sports
Quotes from Friday's media session with Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham.
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET:
On how he measures S Louis Delmas' playing time: "What we try to do when he's been out there ... he wasn't able to go last week, but the weeks before that ... I think it was the Houston game that he went and played every snap and then had to come out I think midway through the fourth quarter. So we changed it around a little bit and tried to spot him. He still played three quarters or 80-percent of our snaps but just tried to limit him a little bit early and try to keep his availability throughout the game. It's really not necessarily a pitch count as much as it is just trying to conserve his reps. There's not a specific number in there, but if we can keep him particularly for the fourth quarter, then that's beneficial for us."
On CB Jonté Green's development as a player: "I don't know if I've ever seen a player come as far as he has in that short of time. When we started rookie mini-camp he was well behind (in) just everything he needed to do to be a professional football player. Each step along the way he improved. He improved in OTAs, he improved in training camp and he's improved over the course of the season. As the season's gone on he's just recognized things quicker. He's done a better job within the scheme. He was never assignment challenged I guess you'd say, but just little things within the assignments that you just need recognition, you need time. He got it pretty quickly. He's gone out there; he's played well for us."
On if DT Andre Fluellen is ready to go: "Yeah, I mean that's why we brought him in. We brought him in with the anticipation that he would be ready. For all those reasons; he's been here before, we'd worked
him out a little bit before just to keep our eye on him to make sure he was in great shape. He is. If he's called upon on Sunday I'm sure he'll be ready."
LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR GUNTHER CUNNINGHAM QUOTE SHEET:
On CB Chris Houston's strong play against top receivers this season: "Chris is playing really well for us, he has all year. You know, I'm not going to say that I believed he could do what he's doing and match up against all the receivers in the League. We've seen a lot of them in the last couple years. The mistake I made a year ago, I thought Eric Wright could do that and, you know, we did it against Carolina and he really struggled. Chris wanted to cover (Steve) Smith in that game and I said, ‘No, let's let Eric do it.' Well, I guess he showed me. He's been doing it all year and he's doing a good job of it. You know, I think I had a talk with the team the other day and walking into the room I didn't really have a good point I was going to make. I just wanted to let him know we've got to keep playing and working hard. I looked at Chris Houston and I remember the days of him covering Calvin Johnson every day in practice. I got to the point where I got sick to my stomach watching him get beat, and I wanted to move Chris to the other side to get him away from Calvin for a while. Let him come back after a couple weeks and he wouldn't have anything to do with it. He just kept going after him. You know, a thing changed. It changed. It changed drastically. Chris did a great job, and I think Calvin's really helped him along the way. If you ask Calvin I'm sure they'd talk to you about that, but it was really something to see. That's what I brought up to the players. Chris is the kind of guy that never takes no for an answer. He's hard to judge when you look at him, you know? He's such a fine, young man. You don't see the competitiveness every day when he's walking around, but he stepped up and made himself a really good corner."
On DT Andre Fluellen: "Flu's something, now. I kidded him and said, ‘You look like you're fat and out of shape.' He goes, ‘We'll see.' I watched him the last two practices. He's running with (Kyle) Vanden Bosch and he's one of those workout warriors. You know, when he was sitting out I'm sure he worked out 20 hours a day and got himself ready for the call. He's done a good job in practice and I'm not worried about him."
On if DT Nick Fairley will be a game-time decision: "Yeah, that's what it's going to come down to. He's really, really come on as a player. Everything that we initially thought he was, he had to fight through the injury a year ago and he's really back into this thing emotionally and physically and he's made some great plays. You know, I was sick when I saw him go down and I was hoping it would be just a short-term thing. I'm still hoping that's what it is and he wants to play, there's no doubt about that."
On how his team will get up to playing a team that lost 58-0 last week: "Larry Fitzgerald. I know him. I know Beanie Wells. You know, I can tell you. Patrick Peterson, he plays the other side, but he takes snaps on offense and they use him in a Wildcat some and as a receiver. They've got good players and Ken Whisenhunt is one of the finest coaches I know. So, it's not hard to get up for it. They are really well-coached, their scheme's really good on offense and, you know, if you throw out last week's game, those other games they're beating New England at New England. You know, and I've always felt like this. When you do well in this league, if you get full of yourself you're going to get beat. We've been struggling all year. You know, I looked at the scores last night and it just makes you sick. One of the things I've always coached are turnovers and they're just not coming our way. You know, (Kyle) Vanden Bosch has the ball in his hand to go in and win a game, Cliff Avril's had about five of them in his hands and we've stripped the ball, but we're not getting it. For some reason it's just not going our way and it's frustrating."
On the development of CB Jonté Green: "He had a heck of a practice again today. You know, I don't know what he thinks about. I watch him and I think he's oblivious to everything. I don't know if he knows it's daylight or dark. But I do know one thing, when he' s playing man-to-man, he gets on them. He has a raw, natural strength and tremendous speed. We had a pass yesterday where a guy looked like he was going to beat him and Bradford Banta was standing next to me. I said, ‘No way, he's going to track him,' and he did. He knocked the ball down. You know, look for the next couple of years, I think he's the kind of corner we need around here. He's physical, he' s strong and he's available. You know, you talked about those words ‘available,' ‘reliable,' ‘accountable,' he fits all of them. His up-side is big in my life."
On S Louis Delmas' long-term health: "You know, that thing really hurts. That's a real personal issue with me and probably the whole coaching staff. You know, he's such an inspirational leader of our team. Last week I was coaching on the sideline against Green Bay, and I don't like anybody around me. Somebody bumped me and I wheeled and I saw it was Lou. You know, that was a tough emotional moment for me to have him in street clothes next to me. I put my arm around him and we called the next four or five plays together. If there's any way in, I can't say hell right? Well, whatever that word is. If there's any way that he can be back 100-percent healthy, I think he's the one guy that can do this. He can't lose football. He's one of those guys that needs that field behind him. He needs to be out there and keep him emotionally straight the rest of his life. So, whatever he has to do, whatever I have to do, I would do and I know he will."
On how Delmas did as co-defensive coordinator: "He was great. He was great. The three bad guys were talking today, Suh and Delmas and me. We were having a good time down there talking about situations and we told Suh the story and Delmas said ‘You know, Gun, he hates that when anybody comes close to him.' And Suh asked him if I let him stay, he says ‘Oh yeah.' So we showed him, it was like a hug-a-thon down there. I don't know what he did as far as influencing the calls but he sure influenced my life just standing next to me."