USA TODAY Sports
A recap of what Jim Schwartz had to say during his Monday press conference.
On the injury status of WR Ryan Broyles: "Yeah, unfortunately Ryan Broyles tore his ACL in the game. It's the opposite knee that he got in college last year. He'll have reconstructive surgery, and we look forward to getting him back on the field next year. I mean, it's something he's gone through already.
"We have a few players on our team, namely Brandon Pettigrew and Kyle Vanden Bosch that have had ACLs on both knees. There's been a lot of other players. Frank Gore is another player. There's been a lot of players that have had it. Ryan's a real hard-working player. He did a great job with his rehab last time. It'll be a bump in the road for him but it won't be something that he can't overcome."
On what the team will do at wide receiver with Broyles out: "Well, we're going to need to make some roster additions for sure. But we'll explore all of those over the next couple days."
On WR Titus Young's involvement the rest of the season: "Titus will not be a part of that."
On if Young is available this week: "Titus will not be part of our wide receiver mix. He's not with the team right now. If I have any further updates I'll let you guys know."
On if Young will practice this week: "Yeah, he is not going to practice. He's not with the team right now."
On if Young will be back at all this season: "I can't predict what the future's going to hold, but I know this right now. Right now he is not and if I have any change in that, I will let you guys know as soon as possible."
On if something happened during Young's return to practice last week: "Right, you know, I certainly believe in second chances. There's no greater story in the NFL or professional sports than redemption and people that overcome situations and things like that. I think we all hold out hope that guys can do that. But you need to make the most of the opportunities you have. When you have an issue or you have something that occurs and you do get a second chance and you're welcomed back, you have to do everything to take advantage of that opportunity. I think in this case that didn't happen."
On the late game collapse against the Colts: "I don't think there was any relaxing. I think that if anything, it was the opposite. You know, guys trying to do a little too much. On the touchdown pass we had a guy out of position because he was trying to defend an area that really wasn't his. The touchdown pass we gave up, we were trying to make a play in there and trying to defend a route that wasn't his in the coverage. You know, I think that when guys have gotten out of their rush lanes, it's been because they're trying to make that sack that changes the game. We had seven three-and-outs in this game. We hit the quarterback an awful lot of times. We had sacks, we had interceptions, we had three dropped interceptions. We had a chance to have a really good defensive game. And I think Green Bay, Houston, you know, this last game, we have not responded well on the last drive of the game.
"Whether it's been a hurry-up situation like this or even a situation where they burn a lot of clock and methodically move like they did a couple weeks ago, we need to respond better at the end of the games. That opportunity was there for us to win. We're up two scores inside of four minutes. The thing we can't afford is a quick touchdown. We gave up one. We can't afford a penalty that stops the clock and also gives them 15 yards. Fifteen yards should be exchanged for, you know, 40 seconds off of the clock. The same thing can be said for a lot of other areas. You know, on offense we had a chance to be able to make a couple plays, you know, a catch here or there that can seal the game and be that dagger at the end of the game. You know, Nick (Harris) had a really good day punting. He saved his worst punt for the end. You know, it hasn't been a matter of can we make the play, you know, can they position. It's been making the play particularly at crunch time over the last month that's really hurt us."
On if there is a trend to the recent losses: "I think the trend is that, particularly recently, they've occurred at the end of the game. A lot's been made of our slow starts and things like that. But our inability to put games away at the end, particularly these last three weeks. Minnesota was a little bit different. I thought our defense had done a really good job on Adrian Peterson through three and a half quarters, midway through the fourth quarter we let him get loose for two plays and a touchdown. We need to be able to finish better. The same play calls in the first halves of games or early in the game, like I said, it's hard to go seven three-and-outs. You have to play some good defense to be able to do that. So guys are in position and we have good enough players to do it. But when it's critical situations, we haven't always played our best and that's something that we over the next four games we have to prove that we can do."
On if the team needs to learn how to finish: "I don't know that there's learning. We have a lot of guys that are veteran players that know what to do in those situations, but we have to be able to execute it for sure. It's a pretty easy blueprint, a lot of times easier said than done. You know what you need to do in those situations and whether it's getting a first down in four-minute, whether it's scoring in the red zone, when it's pinning them down deep with a punt, whether it's getting a stop on fourth down or making an interception that can seal the game, those are plays, if you want to win, those plays you have to make."
On if the team has regressed: "Well, I wouldn't say regressed. We've gone off track for sure. But I wouldn't say regressed. Like I said, we've made those plays at times this year. We haven't done it enough."
On a Colts player complaining that DT Ndamukong Suh was dancing and pointing at an injured player: "No, what shows on the coaches film is we make an interception with six minutes to go and we're up two scores and looks like it's a really great chance to be able to win that game. Guys were looking to make blocks, guys made blocks. It's off after that. There were no penalties on that play. Our guys were rightfully excited. We had a very good pass rush on that. The quarterback, like we had talked about all week, had to elevate his throw. Made the interception, got the ball around midfield. And unlike our other interception, didn't have any penalties. We're excited about it. I don't think anybody's reveling in anybody being injured or anything like that."
On how a team gets off track with 21 of 22 returning starters and if there was too much of a comfort level coming into the season: "No, I mean I don't think there was any kind of comfort level. You earn your spot every year in this League, every game in this League. We had a good work ethic to be able to do that. We've had some unfortunate situations. We haven't had Lou Delmas for most of the year. We haven't had Jahvid for the whole year. We've had some other injury situations-we lose Burleson. Everybody deals with those same kinds of things. That's why I said you're really not taking a step back with that. You're taking a step off track. Even Ryan Broyles, he's off track but it doesn't mean it's necessarily a step back. It's all part of life in the NFL. I think that this team goes hard to work every week. They go out and play hard. We need to make one more play to finish those games and when we do we'll be victorious."
On if RB Joique Bell is earning more of a role: "Yeah. I mean, he's definitely made the most of his opportunities. We talked about that a little bit early of making the most of your opportunities. Joique is a guy that's done that. When that happens, you're rewarded with more opportunities."
On if being 4-8 means more players are playing for jobs: "Well I think that's just NFL in general. We talked about coming into this season, everybody always has that as part of what they do. And the best players in this League play accordingly. We've talked in training camp a little bit about Calvin Johnson, remember diving for some balls and things and us jokingly say ‘Hey, you keep practicing like that you might make the team this year.' But the best players have that attitude all the time and we're certainly looking for those kinds of guys. There are tremendous opportunities still. There are opportunities for this franchise. There are opportunities for individual players. Most of all there's opportunity for the team and the guys that do the best for the team are the guys that are going to be rewarded."
On having hindsight on running the ball on the third-and-five: "Well, I mean yeah, hindsight everything's always...I mean, the whole idea is it has to work. If we run the ball there and we get a first down, the game's over. If we throw it and get a first down, the game's over. If you throw and don't get a first down then you've given them significantly more time and you can see at the end how that time was a factor. You're going to do what's best in those situations. I think regardless of how we do it we have to get a first down. We have confidence in our decision-maker, our quarterback, to be able to make stuff like that. We gave ourselves an opportunity to get the first down, we didn't do it. We also burned 40 seconds off the clock. If you take a sack there and say, ‘Hey keep the clock running," maybe you're ten yards further away and then maybe that punt backs you up even more. In retrospect in every game there are things that you always look at. The bottom line is nobody cares if it works. And that's the whole thing. We need to be able to execute it and get it."
On T Riley Reiff not doing a good enough job to start over T Jeff Backus: "No, Jeff's our starter and Jeff was injured, when Jeff was able to go out and play he was able to go back and play. Riley did a good job when he was in there but that didn't change...when Jeff got hurt it wasn't a matter of hey, if Riley came in and played good that week he was going to supplant him. I know a lot of people look to the future - we're not. We're looking game-by-game what we think will give us a good chance. Riley's going to be a very good player but Jeff's experience, Jeff's body of work and everything else is certainly valuable to this team and it was valuable in this game. Maybe if it was a situation where it had been three or four games and you had an extended period of time, maybe you'd feel different about it. We don't have a rule of your spot stays if you get hurt. That's never...we just go with what we think is best for the team and what's best for our team there was getting Jeff back in the starting line-up. I thought Jeff did a very good job in the game."
On your play-calling varying from game-to-game: "Really, I had been a play-caller before and I certainly don't like to distract play-callers with stuff that comes randomly out particularly within a series. Most of my stuff comes between series. Hey let's think about this next series, hey let's have more man-to-man, hey let's start running it more, hey we need some more play-action, or stuff like that. And that input is also during the week in getting a game-plan together and how it's going to go but I think that coaches need to be able to be focused on calling plays when it's within a game. I try to respect that also."
On WR Kassim Osgood going in to the receiver mix: "He has been a receiver. For our team his role has been special teams. But there's also been games when he's been out there. When we were coming back against Tennessee he was out there. Nate Burleson was out with cramps and Kassim was out there. If you're one of our active 46 you have to be able to do a lot of different roles and his main thing is special teams."
On how difficult it's been to keep the secondary together and performing at a high level with all the injuries: "Well I think early in the year we were doing a better job than lately. We've given up a lot more big plays lately. Particularly this last game I think we had six plays of over 20 yards. I don't know exactly what the stat is, but I'm guessing through about the first eight games or so we had something like 14 total. We had done a really good job of preventing big plays and we've gotten away from that the last couple games particularly this last game. We did some really good things. We intercepted the ball three times, had seven 3-and-outs, had (two sacks), a lot of quarterback pressures, a lot of different good things that we did, but you look at the other side of that and the long passes, the long plays. And they ended up being touchdowns and that's certainly not something that we're happy with."
On DT Nick Fairley being off the field for the last drive and if it was fatigue: "No, that wasn't a fatigue thing. He had an injury that caused him to come out and he'll probably be a little limited this week as a result of it, but it's not a long-term injury. He got hit on the thigh."
On what he thought of S Louis Delmas' play in the game and if he's still working through his knee injury: "You know, I think anyone who saw the game knows we were taking him in and out of the game, trying to use him in the red zone, trying to use him on third down and different things like that. Lou has been a warrior through this whole thing. He is a tough guy and he is a tremendously prideful guy and it means a lot to him for our team to be successful and for him to be out on the field. But, there was only a certain number of plays that he has in on a given Sunday. We had to try to limit him through the game. When he's out there, he makes an impact. Unfortunately he had that one missed tackle. But he means a lot to our defense and certainly we're a better defense when he's on the field."
On the last touchdown, if they guys in the goal line dove, would they have had a chance to stop him: "Not looking at the film. We're looking at the end zone copy and the coach's copy. I don't think anybody had any let up on that. We were protecting the end zone, we lost the vision on it. We let the quarterback escape. It affected our coverage a lot when he was scrambling. If he was going to scramble, we had a better chance of getting him down because we were plastering receivers and then didn't react as quickly as if he would have thrown from the pocket."
On if DT Ndamukong Suh topped his best performance for the season: "Stats are stats. I've said this before - I think he's played consistent throughout this year. He was around the quarterback. He made tackles for losses. He made tackles. And whether he's doing that or he's setting somebody else up to do it. It's the production of our defense. It's how effective our defense is, not what an individual player gets as far as sacks. But we've been happy with his play and I think he had a very good game this last game."