Both Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan met with the media on Thursday after practice. Below is a look at what they had to say. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET
On the passing of Art Modell, former owner of the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens" Really sad. Obviously he was the owner of both of those franchises while I was there. Just a really, really classy guy; everything that Mr. Modell did was first class whether it was treating media, the players, the coaches, the staff members, everything else. Very charitable man too; I think his tuxedo was very well worn he did so much charity work both in Cleveland and Baltimore. It's sad news."
On how much the move from Cleveland to Baltimore weighed on Mr. Modell: "When he bought the Browns he was a New Yorker. He moved to Cleveland. He didn't just fly in on the weekends (he) made it his life. It was a very difficult decision. There was a lot of financial stuff that went in. The NFL was changing from the ‘mom and pop' ownerships to really deep pockets and things like that. I'm sure that was a very difficult situation.
"Cleveland ended up getting the franchise back, ended up keeping their colors. Baltimore ended up getting a franchise. I think he was villainized in a lot of that but he had a heart of gold. He'll be sorely missed. He's was a giant in the NFL. Where we are with our TV contracts, revenue sharing and the competitiveness of our League is directly responsible to some of the pioneering work that he did."
On how often you see something from a team in Week 1 you hadn't seen prior: "A lot. There's a lot of teams that hold stuff back in the preseason whether it's blitz, personnel package on offense, things like that; some things you've been working. There's a reason that training camps are closed to scouting. If there's something you want to work on and you don't want to give it away then there's time for you to do it then."
On how much in-game adjustment that situation requires: "There's a little bit of that; you don't know 100-percent. You have a much better idea once you get a body of work from three or four games with similar opponents; you know how someone is going to work against you. Or you've played them in the past. There are some things that are similar here, but there are other things that are going to require a lot of in-game adjustments. Both sides you know; on their side and on our side."
On WR Ryan Broyles preparedness to be an active part of the 46: "We wouldn't have put him out there in the preseason if he wasn't ready to play. We saw him make plays there. The 46 is always more work; sort of a give and take with injuries and different packages and things like that. We'll see this Sunday. But he certainly is eligible. We wouldn't have had him out there in preseason if he wasn't. He made some plays for us in the preseason."
On the importance of winning on opening day: "They all count the same. I think that half the teams are going to lose the opening day- their season is not over. Half the teams are going to win and that doesn't guarantee them anything. It's a game and you have to play another one next week. Everybody aspires to get off to a good start but your record is 16 games. That being said, you want to win all of them."
On his optimism that the defense has improved their performance from last year: "Our improvement needs to be in limiting long runs. We were fine as far as the run game went except for the long runs when we saw that. There was way too many of those big chunks. We have to do a better job of plugging stuff up front. But more importantly tackling or being in the right spots in our secondary. That's where those averages went way up in the run game."
LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SCOTT LINEHAN QUOTE SHEET
On how often opponents feature new schemes that have not been seen before: "Every year. This is a little bit different because we're going against a new staff, change over from a year before. We've got to base a lot of things on educated guesswork, what we saw in preseason, what we anticipate seeing from previous stops by their coaching staff. I think everybody would probably agree, you've got to take care of yourself and make sure you're doing what you're supposed to be doing regardless of what they do and execute because that's going to be the key in opening games."
On facing seven rookies on the Rams defense: "It's not really a concern of who is playing where and the age of anybody, we've got to go out and execute against a really talented defense. They've got some real gifted pass rushers. Their back seven has some new very talented players that have been added so we've got a big challenge ahead of us."
On using rookie WR Ryan Broyles as a fourth wide receiver: "Well, he's worked into that certainly with the idea that he was going to be a young player coming off of an injury. We're just staying on pace. We were really, really happy with him in the preseason with where he was physically as well as mentally in picking up the offense. His days are coming up. He may play some; it just depends on who's active and who's not on Sunday."
On how close Broyles is to full speed: "He's getting there. You can ask Jim (Schwartz) on where he would be percentage-wise. But, he's coming, he's really been...his trend has been up every week and we've been really happy with that because you never know how a guy is going to respond with coming off an injury. But he's worked very hard and he's improved every week. We're really happy with where he's at right now."
On WR Calvin Johnson predicting a 2,000-yard season: "Well, we'll take it one game at a time. I'm not going to put anything past what Calvin can do. He's certainly a great player and we're concerned about taking care of business Sunday."
On 2,000 yards being a big number: "Like I said, don't put anything past what Calvin can do. He's pretty special."
On facing two young cornerbacks who like to take chances: "Well, they're very talented. They've added some new corners to their defense. They're going to be a challenge. A couple of them are young, one's very experienced, it won't be his first go-around going against guys like Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, Nate Burleson and those guys. We've just got to go out and execute regardless of who's out there, we've got to go out and execute and do what we need to do to take care of business."
On facing Jeff Fisher's defense in his first game as Rams head coach: "We have to prepare for his past. He's certainly got coaches from his previous stop so we're expecting a lot of the things we've seen from him over the years. Nobody knows him better than Coach Schwartz on our staff. We've got, those guys all know him very well. So we expect some wrinkles, opening day things that we haven't seen in preseason. But, you know, it's all a chess match. You can prepare for a lot of things but if you don't take care of yourself and concern yourself with what you're supposed to do, you get wrapped up with what maybe the defense is going to do. We've got a tough challenge. I think this is a very talented team that has showed us a lot in their four preseason games to this point that we're playing."
On coaching against St. Louis where he coached: "My feeling is I'm just so excited about this season. You know, what we've been able to do over the course of three years, getting ready to open up our fourth year as a staff, same staff since I've been here. Regardless of who we're playing it's just an exciting time for everybody, I think, around here to have that opening week, opening game, finally get here. Let's see what we can do on Sunday."