Following Saturday's practice, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham met with the media. Below is a look at what they had to say. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET:
On the CB Chris Houston and Bears WR Brandon Marshall match-up: "Yeah, he's got 34, 35 catches, almost 500 yards of offense so far. He's been a good player in the League and been to Pro Bowls and Chris is playing at a high level. Yeah, it will be one of the match-ups that will be fun to watch in the game."
On moving Houston around more this year: "We have. He has moved around a little bit more than in the past, but (it's) because of the way he's been playing. That's all justified by his play on the field. Since he's been back from the ankle injury he's played well. He's tackled well, he's defended the pass well, and good job in man, good job in zone."
On DE Willie Young's preseason success not transferring to the regular season: "That hadn't translated over as far as on the stat sheet. But particularly last week, I thought he made his presence felt in there, and I think there's a lot of times as a pass rusher that it goes unnoticed. You force an incompletion or a good pass-rush-quarterback throws before he wants to, that's part of it. I thought he, along with the rest of our defensive ends, did a really good job in the run game last week. He's not filling up the stat sheet the way he did in the preseason, but particularly the last couple games his play has improved and it's been consistent."
On putting together a couple tough wins in a row: "The way you do it is you got to put good games on top of each other and last week was probably our best team effort from all three phases. We're going to need the same thing. We need to keep improving as a team, we need to play as a team, when we do we have enough firepower to beat anybody. It's obviously a big game, it's an NFC North game, and the win would mean a lot of a lot of reasons."
On if being more aggressive in the pass rush was more of a Philly or S Louis Delmas being back thing: "It's just our scheme. We had brought guys in weeks before that. It's really no different than what we've done. I think we blitzed well, we four-man pass rushed well and if we can carry that over to Monday night our defense will be in a good spot."
On how much they're getting out of CB Chris Greenwood: "It has. We just started him. It's the first time he's practiced since before training camp. We're going back to the OTAs. I think it's a little different for a guy like Greenwood as opposed to Delmas. Delmas hadn't practiced in all that time but he's played a lot of football in the NFL. Once he put that mouth piece in and strapped those shoulder pads up, he was quick to catch up. You never notice that he had never been out there this year. A guy like Greenwood, particularly coming from a small college, he doesn't have the same curve that. Well, he has a steeper curve than Delmas."
On if you're up seven late in the game and get a safety or a turnover how do you make that decision: "Yeah, you take a knee and end the game. There's no question. There was absolutely no question there. You take a knee and end the game. Anything that extends the game at that point just gives them more opportunities. It's the same thing with having a breakaway run. You're up inside of two minutes you have a break away run, you get a first down, they have no time outs, get down and the games over. If you score, you extend the game. Crazy things can happen. We scored twice in 18 seconds. You have a lot of respect for ending the game in the NFL. That's a no brainer. That's not a decision, that's what you do."
On how far CB Jonte Green has progressed: "Going back to rookie mini-camp, Jonte's been on a steady improvement. He improved in OTAs. He improved in training camp. He's improved in preseason and as the seasons going on. He's got very good size. He's got very good speed. He's stepped up all along the way."
On if he looks at the weather forecast ahead of time: "Yeah, we try to keep our eye on it a little bit. The further out you are the less you pay attention to it. We'll be ready for the rain if it comes."
LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR GUNTHER CUNNINGHAM QUOTE SHEET:
Opening Statement: "Haven't had a chance to watch the Tigers very much. I get a report at home every once in a while. The best of luck to them. What a great thing they're doing. They've got some good players. Hopefully they'll win the whole thing. We're all really proud of them, I sure am. I saw them play about six months ago, I thought they were going to be pretty good. I didn't know they were going to be that good. But good luck to them."
On if his defense can outhit the Yankees: "Definitely. You know, other than the Tigers I love the Red Sox and I got to be a fan of theirs in '57 and somebody brought up to me, I always talk about them, they said ‘Gun, they only won three World Series.' Well the Yankees stole Babe Ruth and it all started then, so God bless the Tigers for beating them."
On DE Willie Young starting slow: "Yeah, it's been a thing that's going on with Willie and myself for the last two weeks. He started coming out of it this last week, he made a couple of plays. He's been really practicing well in this week's preparation for the Bears and I'm glad to see it. You know, young players go through that. He was really good in preseason. He was exceptional in the OTA's. And then Cliff and Kyle came back and when you think you're only going to play about 18 snaps game, things happen to you mentally. And we talked in my office for about an hour and fifteen minutes and I was really impressed with how he's grown up as a man and he responded. So I guess I said something well to him. But I'm proud of him because I think he'll come back the rest of the season and play."
On when he talked to Young: "Before the Philly game. But he's really practiced well this week."
On if Bears QB Jay Cutler can get rattled like he did against Green Bay: "Well, you know, that's the Green Bay game. We'll have to see our game. But Jay's a good quarterback. I know what he can do and I've gotten to know him through the last few years after games and spoken with him at times. We've just got to stay after him. We can't worry about what happened then, we've got to find out what's going to happen in our game and we've got to do a good job on him."
On if the defense played nastier last week and if it was due to the return of S Louis Delmas: "I think, you know, Lou brought the energy. I was watching him before the game, like I told you, we practiced yelling at each other the week before he started in the hallway and everybody in the building thought it was for real. And we did it again before the game and I happened to be in the tunnel and he has a song, and I can't sing it, but I couldn't get out. I'm always out before the players come out and he started that thing. I had chills. I was so excited. He's the leader of the pack coming to that and he took us up a level there's no doubt about that."
On if CB Alphonso Smith and CB Jonte Green are ready to step in: "You know, it's interesting, a week ago again I talked to Jonte and told him a year from now if he and Chris Greenwood do what I think they're going to do, I said ‘We're going to be pretty good.' And after the game the only guy, I usually leave right away when it's over, and the only guy I saw standing close to me was Jonte and he was so excited. He played really well. We put him in there the whole second half and we played everything we always play and he did a great job. So I'm looking forward to seeing his development a little bit more and if he plays he plays."
On CB Chris Houston matching up against Bears WR Brandon Marshall:"Well, Brandon's an exceptional receiver. He's a lot like Calvin (Johnson). He's got that size, Randy Moss kind of guy downfield. What he used to do, he'd catch a short one and have great run after the catch success and I coached against him twice a year at Kansas City so I know him pretty well. Chris is really into a zone right now and I hope he keeps that up. He's working on things and all the work that Tim Walton and Chris Houston have done after the last couple of years is paying off. He's, you know, he's that silent leader. He doesn't yell or say much on the field, but apparently he says a lot in their group meetings with the DBs and the confidence that he has gained. You know, when he came here they kind of ran him out at Atlanta because he couldn't find the ball and he couldn't do this and he's finding the ball and doing most of the things we're asking him to do. I'm really proud of the way he's playing. I hope he keeps it up."
On blitzing from the secondary with S Louis Delmas back: "You know what? I'm trying to figure out how to say this and answer this question because all I see is that gold teeth that he wears during the game and that Darth Vadar look that he gives. I was going to tell you that early on, but he got me before I got him. I can't remember exactly how he said it but he said something like, "old." I think he called me "old" in the newspaper, and he said, "but if you give Gun enough bullets he's going to shoot every one of them. Well, he was the big bullet we needed. He has exceptional speed and I knew if we could bring him that (Michael) Vick would notice it and every time he came close to the box, interior of the offensive line, defensive line, Vick looked up. And when I saw him look up I said, "We're going to keep bringing him." It really, it helped us with the front. It helped us in every area. He has the best suddenness out of the secondary other than maybe Ed Reed. And Amari (Spievey) has stepped up and is playing as well because he's got his partner back. You know, hopefully those two will help us."
On if DT Ndamukong Suh gets a lot of unfair attention off the field: "Yeah, you know, he is what he is and when you have a name like his and you play like he does, I'm sure he gets some extra attention. But he's been practicing. His practices probably have been the best I've seen other than a guy named Leslie O'Neal. I've never seen anything like this. He's working every day. What's amazing with him, some of the negative things that are said about him, how he handles all that. When he asked me what I think he should do I said, "Play. Play as hard as you can every snap." He hasn't let me down on that and I have a great relationship with him. So, it's just like the other guy I mentioned, Leslie O'Neal. Probably the most hated guy in the NFL at the time. He's one of the best buddies I have in life and I respect the heck out of him. Ndamukong, I feel the same way about him."