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Lions quotes: Thursday's comments from Jim Schwartz, Scott Linehan

Jim Schwartz and Scott Linehan addressed the media following Thursday's practice.

Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan had to say following Thursday's practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)


On WR Calvin Johnson mentioning that he was concussed and wanted to go back in the game against the Minnesota Vikings: "Our evaluation was he was not concussed. He was thoroughly checked. We were very strong in our evaluation. He was cleared to go back in the game and he was on a protocol after that and he was cleared then. We're very strong in our evaluation. And as an organization I think we have some credibility when it comes to concussions. So just leave it there."

On any updates on RB Jahvid Best's concussion testing process: "No, not yet. There is a lot of battery of tests and he's going through those all this week. We're not involved. I mean that's nothing that the coaches had input on. Even our own trainers don't have input on it. It's independent people. Like I said before, it's a sign of the times and I think it's good that way. Hopefully we get good news and when he's eligible to come off PUP he's able to do that but we can't force that issue. We can't have anything to do with that issue."

On if Best does his tests here in Detroit: "I think I'll just stop right there. He has a battery of tests and exams. He's been doing stuff like that since last year when we ended up putting him on IR. He's being counseled by and looked at by some of the best in the world of what they do."

On Philadelphia having more 20+ yard plays than anyone else in the League: "I think they're 6th in the league with gains of 10+ yards. They have 79. You have to check that. I'm not 100% sure on that stat. But they do have a lot of big plays. They have a running back that can make a big play, both running the ball and also screen passes, a receiver averaging 16.4. Now [WR] DeSean [Jackson] has only got one touchdown, a lot like Calvin but he's made a lot of big chunks. A lot of it comes from the quarterback. He's been much maligned for turnovers but I don't think he gets enough credit for creating big plays for their offense. Sometimes a throw is not there, he can buy time and scramble for 10 yards more or he can create a play and hit a guy down the field. Stopping the big play is definitely going to be a key to our defensive effort on Sunday."

On WR Calvin Johnson saying no more Mr. Nice Guy among the receivers and not getting too far behind this season: "You certainly can get to a point where you can get too far behind. I think we don't need to worry about that. We need to worry about playing this game. And we need to worry about improving from week to week. If we keep our minds on those things, then we'll be able to get out of the hole. We certainly didn't start the way we wanted to at 1-3. When people describe us, Mr. Nice Guy is not one of them. Particularly in the last couple of years, a lot of his personality has come out. You guys know Calvin; he's an extremely easygoing guy, one of the best teammates that you're going to have. But there's a competitive streak to him on Sundays. He wants to make plays and he wants to help this team win. I think that's probably a little more of where he's going, I don't want to speak for him, than just not being Mr. Nice Guy."

On blocking: "He's always done that."

On S Louis Delmas' knee has been holding up: "I usually just go with the injury report for him. But with him because he hasn't practiced the whole year, he's had no setbacks. He's looked good. We still have ground to cover until Sunday. We still treat him and keep an eye on things. But we've been very encouraged by getting him on the field last week and being able to get him back on the field this week. I think those were import things. He's on a good track. Whether or not he gets to Sunday, we still have some time. We'll wait and see."

On S Amari Spivey coming back: "Both of those guys are guys that we drafted that have criteria of what we look for in a position. Louis has had nothing other than being setback with the injury. He's always played very well and has been a big contributor. More than being a contributor or being able to make plays, Louis' spirit and enthusiasm is contagious. It permeates through the defense. Amari has made plays for us and has played well. He's had some inconsistencies as a young player but hasn't been for lack of ability or lack of talent. He's switched positions. He came in as a corner, switched positions. You have to expect there's going to be some inconsistencies but he has an opportunity now to iron some of that stuff out. I think he's well on his way to doing that. He's got some playing time the last couple weeks and we've seen good things from him."

On this opponent being a particularly difficult matchup for a safety: "Its life in the NFL. I mean every week is a challenge. Every week there's a good tight end. [TE Brent] Celek is a good tight end. He makes a lot of plays down the field for them. They've got receivers; they've got a quarterback that can buy time. Usually quarterbacks are throwing the ball in less than three seconds; it's very rare it even gets there. But two to three seconds...this is a quarterback that can scramble around for five seconds. It puts a lot of pressure on your defense, particularly in your back end of it. So safety play will definitely be important, but I think that goes to what we talked about before: defending big plays."

On there being any apprehension about S Louis Delmas' play after two surgeries: "I think that when he gets those things put past him or when they get behind him that that's where he'll be. I think that was the whole plan with this, to try to get it behind him where it was a nagging thing. One week it's looked good and it looks like we've accomplished that. He still has very good speed, he still has very good agility and I look at it the other way. We're seeing right now the beginning of the benefits of him going through and having those surgeries at the end of last year and then at training camp this year. We can be at a better spot in the future rather than the other way around."


On coming out of the Bye Week: "Well, I think, you know, you break down everything in a Bye and see the good and the things you've got to improve on. I just think being able to finish off drives. We've been moving the ball up and down the field and we've had some drives where we've missed opportunities for touchdowns and had to settle for field goals. And we've had drives where we've missed opportunities for points and left points out there because we came away with no points and they all add up at the end of the day, so I think that's it as much as anything. But really building on the fact that we've been able to move the ball four straight games, been a lot of positives out of guys who have got new roles in the offense have been productive. See guys playing well. If we can build on that and just play, everybody just play a little bit better, coach a little bit better, I think collectively we can see the improvement that will help us translate that into wins."

On getting WR Titus Young going: "Well, I think it's important just like anything else. But I think we've got a lot of weapons in our offense. Guys have been slowed--whether they are banged up a little bit or whatever. So this takes a while to get in sync, but he's making progress. I know he feels better, and having a week off I think will benefit him and a couple other guys that are having some aches and pains. But it's important that we all factor in that the coverage or the defense is going to dictate where the ball's going and everybody when their number's called, take advantage of it."

On how the Eagles defense matches up with the Lions: "They're more of a -I think they're a man matchup kind of a defense. So you're going to have less of those zone check down completions, and they are going to be down against them because they're matching up pretty much all the eligible receivers. So they make you earn your completions, (that) is what they do and that's why. They're a stout defense. There's not an area that I've seen deficient from them. You know, and even with the fact that they may not have as many sacks as they would expect at this point, I don't think there's another defense that we've played that affect the quarterback like their front does. So we've got a pretty big challenge ahead of us."

On expecting more man-to-man coverage against Philadelphia: "They've got great corners. I think they're a matchup kind of a defense. They're not just going to go out and play straight man-on-man. They're going to have guys accounting for the receivers in close coverage. I would expect more of that than any of the games we've had so far."

On Eagles DE Jason Babin being similar to Vikings DE Jared Allen: "Yeah, very similar. I think he plays a very similar role in their defense like (Kyle) Vanden Bosch has for ours. He's just a guy that, you know, you can never go to sleep on because he plays with a great motor. Their whole d-line does. I mean, they've got eight or nine guys that play in the course of game and they're fresh all the time because of it. So he's certainly a guy we're very well aware of but they've got plenty of other guys that we better be ready to match up against as well."

On the Lions' run efficiency against Minnesota: "Oh, I'm not sure exactly the efficiency. It was down somewhat. It wasn't as bad as you would think, I mean, as far as the rush numbers. But the efficiency numbers were still good. I mean, after four games last year at this point, we weren't even near where we are now after four games, and it's one of those things when you're evaluating where you're at. I think the thing that will really help is the combination of us being efficient and running the ball-really help that hasn't been there are explosive runs. And we've been getting explosive plays out of our passing game, but those chunk runs are going to start to come hopefully as we keep sticking with what we're doing and break away some long runs. That will really help our running game I believe."

On how he determines how to use T Riley Reiff as an extra lineman: "Well, he's going to match up good against defensive ends and our tight ends do because we've got big blocking tight ends, physical guys. But he's a guy that I think can go out there and run block. He's a guy that can pass protect. Haven't thrown him a pass yet but you could probably do it. We got other guys for that. He's just a good matchup for you whether it's a run-block matchup or a pass-protection matchup. You're putting a guy that is a tackle with a great amount of talent on the field. And so, it's just a way for us as we move forward to get our best players on the field and he's definitely one of them."

On if he sees anything that tells him that RB Mikel Leshoure is close to big runs: "Yeah, he's close. I mean, he's close after the two games. He was close on a couple. I think just getting-there's a little term ‘Getting your sea legs.' He's really missed football for two years; had a really good first outing. I think came out after that first game knowing he still has to work on getting in his football shape. Being able to have two games in, bye week to get your mind set for the remainder of the season and kind of have a schedule from Sunday to Sunday to get yourself back on the field. Guys that carry the ball as much as he has in the first two games aren't going to feel great on Monday and Tuesdays, and so he'll get himself to where he's getting in that rhythm and getting his body back in football shape will definitely help."

On Leshoure's decision making on cuts: "I think good. I don't think he's missed much. I just think he's had an opportunity to make that next second-level cut that is there, and we know it's there. It takes time on the field and in the games to get there, but he's now we can sit back. We've watched two weeks of him playing. Having quite a number of plays for a guy that hadn't been on the field for quite a while and be able to see that it's going to be, you know-it's only going to get better."

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