LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On how the offense and RB Reggie Bush operated today: "He had a great game. I'm happy for him. The guy's a super talented player, like we all know. He did a great job running the ball. Caught some balls out of the back field. Obviously, made the big run. By no means did we play perfect. Offense, defense, special teams we all had our hand in some plays that can get you beat. The key is to win a few of them along the way while you're trying to get really rolling. I'm proud of the guys for sticking together. Offense didn't play up to par in the first half as far as putting points on the board. We drove it down on them every time we got the ball, I felt like. It was good to come out in the second half and put some points up."
On if he got a good glimpse of the potential of the offense and Bush: "Yeah, I mean, how many times did we have to review a touchdown today? I felt that every time we scored it was a review, review, review. It was tough. Calvin (Johnson) had two today that his foot was out by this much and the other one he gets beat by his own rule again. It's great when guys step up and make plays around this offense. We had tons of guys step up today and make crucial plays. That's what we need to have. We have to iron some stuff out. We can't have as many penalties as we had. We hurt ourselves in that area."
On if he left with question marks regarding his initial assessment of the offense: "That was a question marked by you guys. Not from us. We see them working every day. Shoot we had (Jason) Fox go down early. Corey (Hilliard) steps ups, plays great, comes in and that was clean. You're going to get hit in this game. That's a really good defensive line that we played. A lot of first-round picks and a lot of guys that they're paying big money to rush the passer. Our guys kept them off me and allowed me to make some plays in the passing game. Really, running the football, l that's the most error that's been in the run game against these guys since I've been here when we have played them. They did a great job of being physical downhill and running the football."
On if he felt that today's performance reminded him of previous seasons: "No. I think for us we felt like we had taken their best shot. Some of the things didn't go our way early. Sometimes we're kind of used to that happening. We just step up and play that much harder. We talked about it in the second half and in the halftime how it was going to take that little extra more. We're playing great right now. The breaks aren't going out way. We get a pick or a fumble return and it comes out from a penalty. We get a tip pick, it's just some unlucky plays. Guys did a great job of battling and being resilient."
On what went through his head when the rule went against WR Calvin Johnson: "Just typical. It would happen to him. No, he had a great game. You keep those two catches, the guy comes away with two touchdowns and another fifty yards. The guy is the best in the game. He's going to have a great year."
On if he feels Bush has made an immediate impact on the team: "These guys played us very similar to the way they played us last year. Very soft zone coverage. Hardly any snaps to cover one or anything like that. Just his ability to run after the catch was huge for us today. Just whether it's second and long getting back to third and short or converting a third down, the guy did it all. The more weapons you have on offense the more confidence everybody has. We're all going to get it down and that's what happened."
LIONS RB REGGIE BUSH
On if his performance was how he envisioned it would be: "It's definitely what we talked about. We talked about just getting me in space in situations where I'm mismatched on a linebacker, safety, cornerback, or somebody man covers and while they're worried about Calvin (Johnson) and some of the other guys, just taking advantage of it. I think we were able to do that today. I think you saw a little bit of what's to come in the future."
On if he ever believed that the team was going to get a lead during the game: "It was never a doubt in my mind that we weren't going to come back. Just seeing how these guys prepared and seeing everything we have gone through since I've been here, we've put in too much time and work. The penalties were hurting us early. The dumb penalties and the turnovers were hurting us early. There's no doubt in mind that we were going to come back from it and regroup at halftime and we were able to do that. I think that we can play mistake free or just a few penalties less and no turnovers. I think we could've put up a lot more points today."
On the long play: "It was just a play that we felt that we could really exploit them with the way they play their defense. Tampa too. Their linebackers kind of drop really deep in the coverage in third and long situations. We felt like we could really take advantage of that. We hit them with it, I think twice, early in the first half. This one just happened to work out perfectly. I was able to score a long touchdown. I think it gave us a lot of momentum throughout the game."
On at what point did he realize on the long run that he was safe: "When I caught the ball and saw two blockers in front of me and the safeties were still kind of wide. I thought they might converge and try to meet me in the middle, but they stayed pretty wide. At that point once I got pretty leveled with them, I knew I was gone."
On while he was being recruited, was that the type of play that he, the coaches, and Stafford discussed: "Yeah. This was the stuff we were looking at. They really didn't have to show me much. All they had to do was just turn on a few plays and show me that they were doubling Calvin, rolling coverage over to him and six man boxes, five man boxes sometimes in there and that's a running back's dream. I was facing eight and nine men boxes in Miami so this is very refreshing for me."
On if he was expecting the Vikings' safeties to play deep: "We were planning for that this week. Yes, definitely planning for that this week. That's what we saw on film. I think in order for them to change up their scheme, we've had to make them respect the run. I think we did that today. We'll see next time we play them around."
On how he celebrates a day like this: "I'm going to go home and sleep. I'm tired. Go home and rest with my daughter and fiancé. That's about it. Getting iced up."
On the shots he took during this game: "You know what, I took a few here and there. Lately I felt good. Even throughout that game I was just saying how good I was feeling and I wasn't tired. I didn't feel worn out. I felt good throughout the game. I think that was because we were able to spread the ball around to a lot of different people. It wasn't just focused on one guy. The fact that we were able to spread the ball around, I think it kept everybody fresh."
On if he expects some of the defensive looks to change in the coming weeks because of his and Bell's performances today: "Yeah. I definitely expect them to change up. It's not going to five and six man boxes all year. We'll see what happens this week against Arizona. I'm sure they'll have a plan for us and we'll have to do our best."
On his reaction to the fans: "I love it. They're extremely loud. We feed off the energy of the crowd. We needed them today just as much as they needed us. I think they definitely were the twelfth man today for us. They kept us in the game and kept us energized. We were able to make some big plays and I think they fed off of that while we fed off their energies. I'm excited to get back in to our stadium again."
On if he got as many carries and catches that he thought he would get: "I didn't really have a plan for how many carries and touches I was going to get. I knew that it could possibly be good just with our game plan and with the way I was going to be moved around so much. I was just trying to make the most of each touch and not really worry about the next play and stay worried about this play."
LIONS RB JOIQUE BELL
On the team's win: "It was a big game for us. We wanted to come out and just show the work that we put in the offseason. We wanted to come out and put the game on our back. We knew this game, coming in, we had to eliminate penalties. We wanted to bring that down this game and we came out and did a good job with it. We still have work to do. We think we have just a little bit too many penalties than we wanted, but we're going to come back in and get that corrected for next week."
On RB Reggie Bush making the team better: "Oh man, first and foremost, as you heard me 30 seconds ago, I'd like to throw a shout-out to the big homey Reggie Bush for donating to the Joique Bell Touchdown Club. He got me down to the 1 (yard line), all I had to do was punch it in. So we shared that touchdown together. We joke about it, we laugh about it, but at the end of the day, he was a big part of today's win and he's a force to be reckoned with when he's out there on the field."
On Bush being a decoy for the passing game: "I mean, when you have played like Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush. You still have another veteran (in) Nate Burleson out there. Guys who just make plays. You have Brandon Pettigrew. We have so many options. We have so many weapons with a quarterback like Matthew Stafford. It's hard to key in on one person because we have so many weapons."
On establishing the run game making those weapons even more effective: "As you can tell by the beginning of the game, the linebackers were probably eight yards off the ball. By the end of the game, you see they moved up into the box, closer to the box. So I think our run game was very efficient today."
LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON
On the game: "Reggie (Bush) making plays, Nate (Burleson) making plays, Pat (Edwards) making plays. We didn't have all our guys that can make plays active, so that's good. That's what we expected though."
On the "Calvin Johnson Rule": "Yeah they got me again. I'm going to have about four different pictures in there. I caught the ball and my feet touched and then I dove in. I mean, I don't know."
On his reaction after the review: "I mean, I thought I had it but it is what it is. We were still able to get in and get the win though. That's all that matters."
On the first half: "We had setbacks that we put on ourselves in. That's all it was, whether it was turnovers or penalties. If we can knock that stuff out, we'll be fine."
On if it is going to be an "either or" between him and Bush: "I believe that can happen, but I mean, we have a plethora of options. If they are trying to take Reggie away, I just think I should get off. But we could both get off in the same game, it doesn't matter."
LIONS WR NATE BURLESON
On the game overall: "I talked to the team yesterday and I just cemented to them, regardless of what type of plays we make, whether they are good or bad, if we have ups or downs, just hit the reset button. Whether it's a great big time play or a setback, just hit the reset button and take it with a smile. Go out there and move on to the next play and I think that characterized the game in a sense. In the beginning, in the first half, it wasn't what we wanted it to be but we hit the reset button and came out in the second half and played a different game."
On RB Reggie Bush being a difference maker: "Yeah definitely. What you're saying is every time Reggie has a good game, I should automatically have a good game cause I helped bring him here. I just knew what type of player he is and was and can be for us. I think today was a good indication of what he can bring to the table on a daily basis."
On his game today: "Not bad for a 32 year old. I can still move around with these old legs. I was brought here for a specific reason, that's when Calvin is double or tripled team, I have to get open. I am a compliment player and I take pride in that so I'm glad I was able to make some plays today."
On stepping up to being that number two receiver: "I hope so. There was a lot of talk during the preseason but I didn't listen to it, I didn't want to say much. Today I wanted to go out and not play for the fans that doubted me and the position I'm in but for fans that supported me and I know what type of things I can bring to the table. It wasn't for the doubters, it was more for the big time fans that know me as a player."
LIONS DE EZEKIEL ANSAH
On not starting the game: "That was all the coaches' decision. If I was able to start, fine, but if not all I have to do is come in and help the team win. "
On how he played: "For not practicing I think I did pretty good."
On his hit on Vikings QB Christian Ponder: "When I knocked him it was an offside, which I knew that was on me. I mean, it felt good, I wish it was a sack on that play."
On the regular season compared to the preseason: "It is different. During the preseason we were just trying to figure out if I was going to be in or out. Regular season, it is a go. The most important thing is to win."