Sep 9, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz during the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
Below is a look at what Jim Schwartz had to say following Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams. (Quotes provided via the .)
On Stafford continuing to fight despite a rough start: "I think it's a little overused cliché of the three-point shooter that misses a couple that keeps on going. Matt wasn't playing poorly, he just made a couple bad throws. A couple... they weren't really bad decisions, he knew what he was doing, it was just a little bit inaccurate pass trying to squeeze the ball into a little too tight of an area. They were playing a sort of bend-but-don't-break style of trying not to give up big plays, trying to make us burn a lot of clock trying to shorten the game. We fell into that. The good news is those last two times we had the ball, I don't know if anybody's ever played better. That one drive we went down, we didn't have a second down on the whole drive; it was bang, bang, bang, bang touchdown. A guy that threw three interceptions, maybe at the end you're sitting there going, ‘Hey let's get into field goal range; let's try to take it to overtime.' That was never even in our thought. The whole time we were talking about, ‘We've got plenty of time, let's go down and score a touchdown and win this game.' We can't do that without a quarterback like Matt."
On if that is a mark of experience and winning to get a bad game and good game all in one from the same guy: "I don't know what it's a mark of. I know that Matt never lost confidence in himself and he never lost confidence in his teammates. He had a very good command of what was going on and it wasn't like they surprised us with doing some stuff. We had a pretty good handle of what they were going to do, but they made some plays and we didn't. But when it came to the fourth quarter, we made a few more plays and that was the difference. This isn't the BCS. You don't win the opener and then lose the No. 1 spot, but - hey - in the grand scheme of things maybe it serves us better than having a blowout. Having a close win, battle-tested team, maybe that serves us better in the long run than having an easy victory. Makes it hard on the head coach on the sideline, makes it hard on the fans watching the game, but this team is used to coming back. I thought that was in our past a little bit, but we got the win."
On if having those come-from-behind victories helped: "I think what helps there is the talent we have on the field. You have guys that know they can make a play and their teammates have confidence in them, the coach has confidence in them. The play-caller, the quarterback, everybody has the confidence that we can go down and do it. I think that's what makes the difference."
On if CB Bill Bentley had a concussion: "Yeah, he was evaluated with a concussion, so (he) wasn't allowed to return."
On how he approaches Stafford when he has a stretch like he did at the beginning of the game: "We talked a little bit after some of those drives. I think that one drive, I don't think we had an incompletion that whole drive - it was 14 plays until the very end when we threw an interception. He's smart enough; he knows what it is. It wasn't like he was just having a bad day; he had a couple bad plays and they were able to make those plays. Like I said, we put that behind us. You have to be resilient. We knew there was going to be ups and downs over the course of the game; there's going to be ups and downs over the course of the season, but you've got to have a demeanor that can allow you to bounce back from that and Matthew does."
On the switch of positions between he and Jeff Fisher with Schwartz having the expected good team and Fisher starting over: "I don't know, it's good to see some old friends, but that was about it. Once the game was on, it's Lions versus the Rams. It had nothing to do with whether coaches had worked together before or anything else. It was a hard-fought football game and the Rams did a very good job of executing a very smart game plan. At the end, we made more plays at the very end and we were lucky to get the win."
On how he thought his defense played against Steven Jackson: "We knew we had to limit him because, again, they wanted to try to bleed it out on offense and they wanted to try to control the clock when they were on offense so we knew that was going to be important. He got loose a couple times, but never really a big gainer or consistently able to keep churning first downs. We threw a lot of different stuff at him, a lot of different run stuff and I thought we played very well up front. We got some good pressure, particularly inside. Our defensive tackles - Corey Williams, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley - thought those guys all played very well. They needed to for us and I think they all played very well."
On WR Titus Young's personal foul penalty: "He did that and that wasn't a smart thing. We knew what was going to happen in some situations and him and a couple guys were sort of going back and forth and that was one of the situations where - it was right in front of me the whole time - and it looked like he was going to do the right thing and walk away from it and then at the last second turned and made a really dumb decision. The thing that really helped us the next play was Will Heller made a great play on the kickoff return because they had the ball at midfield, which gives them the ability to sort of free-wheel. They can try an onside kick, they tried to sort of chip it behind our front line and chase it and Will bailed us out of that bad decision."
On the impact Calvin Johnson has on plays even when he isn't catching the ball: "He made the play to get us down there. Again, we were in field goal range, but we weren't thinking tie the game, we were thinking win the game. So Matt ripped it down there to him. We got down - I think we had 0:15 left at that point, which, if you're taking shots in the endzone, you can get three shots in the endzone and be smart. You can't take a loss; you can't have a ball that's completed in bounds where you don't get a touchdown. So we tried to hit that back line and tried to get the ball back there.
"We had a lot of guys in there; Pettigrew is a very good red zone receiver, Scheffler, Nate Burleson was in there at that time; Calvin was in there. Truth be told, when the play went off, I saw that where we intend to go had been covered. I mean, Kevin is the last option on that play. Probably behind ‘throw it away.' He's in the play-action. He's really part of the play-action and the protection and he's leaking out really late. The head coach was on the head phones saying, ‘throw it away, Matt, throw it away.' Saying, ‘Hey, we've got two more plays here.' They did a good job of taking away what he did. But the offensive line did a very good job of protecting and bought Matt some time. He could go through the whole progression and found Kevin wide open. Kevin made a nice play, got it in the endzone and shows you what a good quarterback I'd be."
The offensive line's protection on game-winning touchdown pass: "You can't underestimate the job the O-line did on that play. It's very, very difficult to go through a progression that way when you're already sped up. You're already thinking about, 'Hey, there's 0:15 left in this game. We're already in field goal range, let's take a couple shots - we can't afford a sack. You get sacked right there? We might not get that ball clocked and be able to kick a field goal. So Matt did a very good job of understanding a situation, controlling a situation and was able to make the play that won us the game."