Following Monday's practice, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz met with the media. Below is a look at what he had to say. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On CB Drayton Florence: "He's a veteran player. He's played inside; he's played outside. He's got a lot of experience. He can play press; he's got some multidimensional skills that we like and like I said, he's very experienced. He didn't make it at Denver but he had a good career before that and we look forward to having him contribute for us."
On looking at Florence's preseason games or his track record: "We definitely looked at the preseason for sure. Because you want to see what he looked like and they had a pretty good situation at corner; but we liked the way he looked in the preseason. He also has a whole body of work but definitely this year's preseason went into the decision."
On Florence being a guy that can help right away: "If necessary, sure. That's one of the reasons that we like him is because of his experience. We all know that injuries are a fact of life in the secondary and I've said a long time it's not what happens if you stay healthy, it's what happens when you get injured. You need to have good depth and you need to have players that can fill a lot of different roles and we think he fills both of those."
On his size: "A lot of our other corners are all sort of the same size. Couple rookies we drafted have better size than Chris Houston and Bentley and Lacey; those guys are shorter, thinner guys. But he fits more into the guys we drafted. I mean he's six-foot; he's strong. He plays physical."
On the status of CB Chris Houston and S Louis Delmas: "I'll be in regular season mode with injuries from now on. We'll have an injury report and go from there. We'll get those guys back as soon as we can."
On the roster cuts being difficult: "Of course. Not only are you trimming, trying to make decisions of how the 53 is working out, but you're making decisions on practice squad. You're talking about most of the guys who have been here for a long period of time. Whether it was right after the draft or they'd been here longer than that. So it's always a very difficult day but we were in a better spot this year than in other years. In other years there might have been some guys that might have made it that this year didn't. Our 53 is not ever set in stone. There are a lot of adjustments that need to be made over the course of the season. Whether it's injuries or personnel or weekly opponent or whatever it is so we're in a much better position to be able to go forth the rest of the season."
On the importance of keeping a third QB in Kellen Moore when former QB Drew Stanton never dressed for a game last year: "Right. The year before we used all three quarterbacks. You want to try to keep your best 53. We thought Kellen showed that he was one of our best 53."
On his philosophy of keeping three quarterbacks: "Quarterbacks are a commodity. It's a very important position and we liked what we saw from Kellen. We wanted to try to find our way to keep the best 53. We thought that he was one of them."
On what it means for the secondary if you don't have Houston or Delmas back for this week: "It's too early to deal in hypotheticals."
On the importance of RB Kevin Smith being ready for regular season practice: "Kevin's a veteran player and he's made a lot of plays for our offense. All those guys that have missed last week...some of them were just rest and some of them really couldn't have played last week but just getting all those guys back. I mean our stretch lines were filled again and it gave us all a boost to see guys like Kevin Smith back out there."
On coaching against Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher: "Lions playing the Rams; that's what it is."
On prepping for the Rams: "Oh, we've been working on the Rams for five days now, six days now and even before that with some of our quality control coaches. We didn't put it in front of the team until Friday but we put that last game to bed. We left them with an exposure to the Rams; we put that in their mind and today was a good head start on the Rams."
On the regular season game prep being the fun part for him: "It's just different. Training camp is no more fun, no less fun than anything else. We are all judged on the regular season and you're judged on your win-loss record. But it's all part of the offseason program, training camp. Everything else is all really an important part of the equation."
On RB Kevin Smith carrying the load for the time being: "Kevin has always been that guy. When he came back after his layoff last year it was sort of one game getting his feet wet and then he stepped right into the lead role. That's always been his mentality going back to high school, college at Central Florida, here. That's never changed and you want players that have that kind of confidence and want to be on the field that way."
On Smith's resiliency: "You have to be resilient in the NFL. There are so many things that go on from roster decisions and salaries and injuries and everything else. It's part of this job description. You need to be able to bounce back from failures; you need to be able to bounce back from losses. You need to be able to go forward and learn from it and put it in your past. He's had some injury setbacks and he's done a good job bouncing back. As have a lot of other players. Football is very important to Kevin."
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