Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say after Wednesday's practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On the decision process with releasing TE Tony Scheffler: "They're all difficult decisions. Where WE are on the offensive line, we had a couple of guys that weren't able to finish the game and we needed to sign another guy. We had played the previous two games without Scheff, so we had sort of a plan for being able to deal with that, particularly in the short term. It's a very difficult situation. He has been a really productive player for us who made a lot of plays for us. We have to move on and we have to concentrate on the Cowboys."
On what T Barry Richardson brings to the team: "He's a veteran player. He started about 50 games in the NFL. He has good size. We have to get him up to speed quickly and by the end of the week we have to see how the other guys are able to come back, if they're able to come back and be able to plug guys in where we need them. He's a veteran guy that has played a lot of football. We have seen that in a lot of cases where they are a little bit easier to get up to speed pretty quickly."
On T Jason Fox's situation: "I think he's getting better every day, like a lot of our other guys. It's too early to be discouraged, encouraged or anything else. We'll just take each day as it comes and make a good decision at the end of the week."
On the Cowboys maintaining their success throughout multiple injuries: "I think there is no question there. A guy like (DE George) Selvie has stepped in and has done a nice job for them. (DT Jason) Hatcher has a done a nice job. It's a difficult situation, but they have found a way to be successful in there. They had some rough spots, but they are obviously playing better now. They gave up three points to Philadelphia and intercepted the ball a bunch of times. A sign of a good defense is being able to correct some of your mistakes and I think they have done that."
On assessing the defense: "We have given up too many big plays. Statistically there are not a whole lot of things that we are really trying to accomplish other than to win the game however we can do that. I think you look at the other side, you look at Dallas they lost that shoot out to Denver. 51-48 I think it was. If that had been the other way and 51-48 their way, even though they gave up a lot of points and yards, they got the win and that's the bottom line. I think we can lose sight of that with all the concentration on statistics and all the groups out there that publish a lot of stuff on that and fantasy football. We're trying to win the game. There are some things that we think correlate well with that. If you want to win the game, you have to hold the score down. If you want to hold the score down, you have to be able to get off the field on third-down and you can't give up big plays. You have to be good in the red zone and turnovers always help because all those things stop drives. Red zone stop, third-down stop, turnover, they all stop drives. Those are the things that we try to concentrate on. We have given up too many big plays and that's something that we have to improve and we have to get fixed."
On DE Devin Taylor taking advantage of his opportunity with DE Jason Jones out: "He has taken advantage. He's played well, particularly against the run. He had his sack against Cleveland, but came back and I think he really made an impact in the run game when he's been in there. He's still a young player and still learning, but we're seeing good signs from him."
On CB Chris Houston's expectations for this week: "Well Chris is a pro, he's a vet. He's been around. If you're a corner in this League, it's not if you get beat, it's when and how you respond to that. He didn't play very well in the first half of that last game, but being a vet and a pro, we expect him to be able to get that stuff corrected and be able to make plays for us. That's Chris Houston. There are a lot of other guys that didn't play their best, whether it was Week 5, Week 6 or Week 7. It's just part of this game. There are talented players all over. Talented pass rushers you have to try to block. There are talented blockers you have to try to get off the block. There are talented running backs and wide receivers and everything else. The competition is part of this game. You just need to be able to respond the next time and we have confidence he will."
On Cowboys WR Dez Bryant: "He's a talented player. After we played him a couple of years ago, you can see him mature particularly on the field. He's running really good routes. He's strong. He's made an impact on their offense. He makes big plays. He's tough to take out of the game. I think that a lot of young players have inconsistencies and I think that since the last time we have seen him, which has been a couple of years, he has really worked hard to put some of those inconsistencies behind him and we're going to have our hands full getting him stopped. He's a strong and talented receiver. We have a lot of respect for what we can do in the passing game. We'll have to play our best."
On Bryant comparing himself to WR Calvin Johnson: "We're not playing the superstars competition. We're playing football. Each guy is going to be asked to do different things. Their number one job is to help their team win. That's the only competition that we're going to have. Every player should have confidence. I'm sure he does. We will have confidence in trying to get him covered. We'll have confidence in our offense. I think that, it would probably be a little more of a story if somebody had asked him that question and he responded with, "No, I don't." You want players to have confidence. I think he's that way. I'll respect him for that."
On if the offense was changed or is TE Brandon Pettigrew playing more this year: "He played an awful lot of reps last year. We had more two tight end packages, but we're a little more limited. We have used some more two-back packages. We have had two running backs on the field at the same time. You have seen Joique (Bell) and Reggie (Bush) out there and that's picked up some of it. We have also had some other three wide receiver sets. We're getting (Kevin) Ogletree mixed in. Even (Jeremy) Ross got some snaps on offenses in some different packages. We're just going in a little different way. It has been something that we have worked on the last couple of weeks. We're sort of, I wouldn't say used to it, but it's not a change for us."