On WR Calvin Johnson only having three targets in the second half after having 11 in the first half: "We weren't going away from him. We wanted to keep throwing. We threw the ball to him in two critical situations. One was a third-and-goal and they doubled him as we expected. We still threw the ball to him, he wasn't able to get it down. And another one was on the ball we got intercepted late in the game, which was a repeat of the play that we had scored to him earlier in the game. We didn't have a lot of plays on offense through that third quarter. They used up about eight minutes of the fourth quarter on that one drive. He stayed in the game plan. They were running a lot of the same coverages. We even sort of forced the ball to him a couple times and we ended up with one incompletion and then one play that we got intercepted when we were only down three points."
On his reaction to the reaction about the failed fake field-goal attempt: "Honestly, I just know what goes on in our locker room. Everybody knows why we called it and why we practiced it and everything else. We really don't care what anybody else's feeling is. We got the look that we wanted. We thought it was there. We didn't execute it great. Some guy executed it really well. Larry Warford made a great block. We have a chance right there to really put a dagger in that game and go up 11. We didn't get it done. We still had a chance to get them stopped, and even if we gave up a drive, we had confidence in our offense being able to come back and score. We didn't do any of those things. We didn't score any points in the second half on offense. We gave up a poor drive defensively after that where we missed a fourth-down stop. We also had a third-and-11 that uncharacteristically we gave up, because we were near the top in the NFL in third-down-and-long allowed conversions. There were a lot of things that went along with it. Just like, you mention throwing the ball to Calvin (Johnson) or anything else, a receiver drops a ball, you don't just never throw them the ball again. If we think there's something there, special teams-wise next week, I'm not going to be afraid to call it. It's based on good information. We had the look that we wanted. If you have quarterbacks that are afraid to throw interceptions, you're never going to complete any passes. If you have defensive backs that are afraid to give up passes, you'll probably never make an interception. I think the same thing goes for coaching. If you're afraid about what might happen, you're never going to make a call. We were confidence in our call and it didn't work."
On what he saw on film regarding breakdowns offensively in the second half: "We didn't get a whole lot of opportunity in the second half. I think we had about 10 incompletions in a row at the end of the game. We didn't protect as well as we have been. The coverage they were playing, you weren't going to get quick routes. You had to push the ball a little deeper down the field and our clock wasn't the same. We had probably our worst run efficiency game of the year. We were lowest completion percentage. We had a lot of second-down-and-long situations that made it hard to get back on track. We fumbled one, but that was in the first half, but we fumbled one and then had the interception, so we were minus two in turnovers when we had opportunities on defense to get a couple. We had two right in our hands that we should make that play 99 out of 100 times and we made neither of them and a couple other plays that we have potential to get them. It went hand in hand. We were able to get a couple stops defensively, get the ball back, but we couldn't really get anything going in the second half. I think that was obviously a key to that guy. We still had confidence in our ability to move it, we just didn't get it done."
On if the plan on the fake field-goal attempt was to score a touchdown or to get a first down: "We wouldn't have called it if we didn't think we could get the first down, but there was potential to get more. I think you can see there was potential to get more there."
On what he thought about the defensive performance: "He (Roethlisberger) is a tough guy to get pressure on and so many times we would move him off the spot and he would just keep it alive. I thought one of the big plays of the game was when he scrambled for eight or nine yards to get them to fourth-and-two. Again, game situation, I don't know if they would've tried a field goal, it was right in that gray area against the wind. We can play a lot better defensively. We had two poor drives to start the game then we started playing well. We did some good things in there too. They had a very difficult time running the ball. Their longest run of the game was the first run of the game. We did a good job of getting that run stuffed. We gave up way too many long passes. Most of them weren't long passes but they were short passes and they ran after the catch. We gave up too many third downs. We had been a good third team. We were still good in the red zone, I think they converted one-of-four in the red zone but even that was a critical play. They were down in the red zone after we had just thrown an interception, we are only down three points, if we hold them to a field goal there we get the ball back to our offense down six points with two minutes left. We all know what our offense has the potential to do in that situation. I thought that was a key play, obviously being down 10 points is a lot different. We had opportunities to make plays. We dropped a couple of interceptions. We had a couple others in our hands that we weren't able to get. Particularly the long drive at the end, there was a fourth down conversion, there was a third down conversion. There were some other plays in there that we can play better. We had five three-and-outs in the game too so it was a little bit of feast and famine defensively."
On playing RB Theo Riddick over RB Reggie Bush: "It was just a couple of plays. We didn't have Joique (Bell) at that time, he had gone out of the game. Reggie had been taking a lot of reps. We wanted to take a little bit of that load off of him. It wasn't more than anything there. Riddick has a role. We have personnel packages for him. Since the preseason, he never got involved once the games come around and that's something that we're still looking to do because he's a good player and he can make some plays for us. He's done a nice job on special teams, he's done a nice job as a blocker, rushing punts, he's done a really good job of covering kickoffs and for a guy that hasn't played it before, he's done well there. He can increase his offensive role."
On if Bush was benched for his fumble: "Well that was early in the game. We weren't all of a sudden going to pull him out late in the game on that one. Theo has got some good ability in the pass game. He didn't show it in this one, he dropped the one ball that was thrown to him. He looked funny out there with a clean uniform on when everybody else was out there. That had nothing to do with it. Now that being said, we do need to do a better job of protecting the ball because we got away with another fumble early on. We were able to get up and get the ball snapped before they had a chance to really get a look at it. That was another strange play. There was a whistle blown. Our guys stopped on the play and they respotted the ball, but I think they only moved it back a yard. They came over and said they blew the whistle, you see a lot of our guys stop on the play, (Brandon) Pettigrew and Matt sort of slowed down and the guy kept on running, so he had to make the tackle. They said they were going to respot the ball, we didn't think it was only going to be a yard. That's a very difficult thing, who knows when that thing is going to be a judgment call on their part. Put the ball on the ground a couple of times, we threw the interception, it was an aggressive play. Calvin was open, but then when you're putting the ball in the air that long, the safeties have a chance to come across. It had nothing to do with anything else. I thought, even though he got injured in the game, style-wise it was a good game for Joique (Bell) and Joique was being productive. He's a different running back. You know Reggie is not, in horse racing it wouldn't be called a mutter. He's an explosively quick guy. He's better on a fast track. I'm betting Barry Sanders probably went through a lot of that here. Where Joique is a little different style running and was having effectiveness. We get those guys different reps anyways and try to feature both of them. We want to take care of the football, but we also don't want to take so much and we don't want to be scared also. If a running back is scared of fumbling, he's never going to make a yard. If you run with two hands over it like Larry Csonka, you're not going to make a whole lot of Reggie Bush plays. There is a fine line there."
On the whistle being blown before the recovery: "No. It was after the recovery. It was after the recovery, but it was sometime during the return and that was just a judgment call from them of where that ball was going to be spotted. That's not a review situation or anything else. It's just a judgment call. I don't know if it was an inadvertent whistle, somebody thought he was down, whistle ended up being blown, our guys stopped, but where that ball ended up was just the judgment of the officials in that situation."
On his comment about not playing scared: "I didn't say it without getting asked the question. What do you think about the fake field goal? Why did you do it? Anything you're going to be scrutinized. Hey, if we're successful in that situation and we go up 11 right there, I know what you would write. You would write, ‘It's a different attitude. Lions, they're going for the win! They're not trying to just settle for field goals. This is a big day.' Regardless of what happened in the play, the mentality was still the same. We were aggressively trying to take what the defense gave us. We thought that we had that play .We didn't execute it great. That doesn't change there. That's certainly not for our players in our locker room. Our guys in our locker room are in meetings the whole week, they're in our meetings on Saturday nights and they know what has the potential to get called during a game. They know the reasons for it. We don't need to sell anything to those guys."
On why being aggressive is better than conservative: "You win the game, that's the only thing that matters. We have had times this year we have done it by, I don't want to say being conservative, but just by making decisions within the game. You go back to the Redskins game, certainly wasn't a conservative play going for it on four and one when we were up three points. We had potential to fail there and potential to give up a touchdown and lose the game. We converted it, scored a touchdown to put us up 10 and pretty much win the game in that situation. Matt Stafford a couple of weeks ago wasn't exactly a conservative situation by sticking the ball over the goal when we were going to clock it. If he didn't make that, we had potential to lose the game right there. You have to trust your team. You have to trust your ability as a player. You have to trust your game plan as a coach and go out. We're not aggressive just to be aggressive or conservative for the sake of being conservative. It's all within the game plan. We try to make good decision through it. The only way to be right is to win. When you win, you're always right. It doesn't matter if you were as conservative as can be or aggressive as can be. The decision had nothing to do with that. We didn't go in to the game saying, ‘Hey, we're going to be conservative this week' or go in to the game saying, ‘Hey, this is an aggressive week.' We're going to make the decisions based on what we see on film and looks we get on offense, defense and special teams. We'll do what we think is best to win the game."