LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET
On WR Kevin Ogletree: "That's all yet to be really determined on how much he'll do and where he'll play. He's a young veteran. He has a little bit of experience. He has good size. He has really good strength. He has good speed. We had done some research on him last year during free agency and we like what we saw from Dallas. It was a little bit hard to judge this season with just the way their team was going with the quarterback and stuff like that. We'll get him up to speed as quickly as we can and see what he can do."
On how long it usually takes to get players up to speed: "Depends. There is a little bit of carryover from Dallas' terminology and our terminology. He's a veteran player. It's just a matter of getting terminology down and stuff like that. He knows how to run a route. He knows how to do all the technique stuff that he needs to do. It's a little different than getting a rookie or someone who has no experience up."
On if Ogletree is needed more in the slot due to WR Nate Burleson being out: "He can play both. Ryan Broyles is also a good slot and we have other players who have played in there. Tony Scheffler can play in there also. I think it's too early to really put him in any kind of a box of how we are going to use him. He's practiced only one day so far."
On if there is a stopping point with adding personnel: "There are always times where you can add players. Whether it's waiver or claims, we have already had a couple of incidences of that. Free agents and trade possibilities, those guys do a good job of turning over every stone and looking for players. Your roster is always a work in progress because you're always dealing with different things. It's the NFL. You're going to deal with things that come up. I don't like dealing with guys getting in car wrecks and missing time, but hey it's life. You can't really worry too much about it. You have to move on to the next. Sometimes your players are going to play. Reggie (Bush) didn't play against Washington. We went and we won the game. That's the bottom line. We are going to need all 53 guys that are on the roster. We use all 46 on game day. It goes beyond those 53. There are going to be times where I have to go outside that 53 and plug a guy in. I think this is a good example of that."
On how much better is QB Matthew Stafford spreading the ball and making the offense more effective: "I don't think necessarily, by design, he's spreading the ball. We have good contributions out of a lot of guys. When we have been effective on offense, we have been able to make teams pay when they have had more attention on to Calvin or Reggie Bush or somebody else. I think there are some good examples of that which have come up. Nate Burleson against the Washington Redskins. Last week Brandon Pettigrew and Kris Durham both made some big contributions in there. We are just trying to effectively execute the offense. We are not looking to try to have a certain number of touches for all the different players, but when you're effectively executing the offense, sometimes it's going to mean going to those guys. Those guys have to be able to make the plays when they come up."
On if there is a different feeling with the team given its 3-1 record: "It's too early in the year to think about that. We are only a quarter of the way through the season. This is a hard working team. It's a team that does a good job of keeping their focus. We're all paid to do that. Regardless of whether you're winning or losing. There are going to be rough spots. There are rough spots every year. The Super Bowl champs last year, they went through some rough spots last year. It's not always about feeling good and being the front runners. We have to be able to persevere when times get tough because there is, again, only one team that has been 16-0 and they didn't achieve everything that they probably wanted to that year. These guys work hard regardless of the situation. I do get excited when we win. It just wears off pretty fast. That's the way this league goes. You're happy when you win, but there is a new challenge the next week. You have to be able to transition and go to the next team. You have to be able to have a good week of practice, focus. You can't let a win carry you over and affect the next week, but you also can't let a loss carry over and affect the in the next week. I think we have a good personality for that. We have a good group of veteran players. We have a good mix of young guys here. Some guys with experience that have been through a lot of different things. We are becoming a lot more of a battle tested team. I think I like that trend."
On the challenges the Packers present: "It's a road game which if we can get a win, it will put us undefeated in the division. It will give us another chance to put a loss on one of our opponents, a team that has won the division the last couple of years. There are plenty of things to play for. Carrying a banner from last year or 10 years ago or 1991 isn't one of our objectives. There are plenty of challenges in this game. Aaron Rodgers is a prolific quarterback and he has weapons all around him. They have improved their running game. Defensively, they have some guys that can wreck your game. Clay Matthews to start with. Some big giant defensive linemen to eat up a lot of space. A tough 3-4 scheme that runs a lot of different blitzes. We have a lot of challenges in this game. The team that executes the best on Sunday will come out with a win."
On CB Rashean Mathis being a security blanket for the secondary: "He's become more than a security blanket. He's a good player for us. From the time he got here he showed a lot of good things. He showed his experience. He showed his knowledge. He can fill in both corner positions, the nickel and safety position. Just because he's played a lot of football he understands and he's a hard worker. When I talked about guys being resilient that have been through a lot of different of things in the NFL, I think there is a really good example right there. Last couple of years he has dealt with injuries and that's another thing. The more guys that you have that have dealt with things like that the easier it is when you have other players that are dealing with stuff like that. They have somebody to lean on. He's worked really hard with the other players. It's disappointing to lose him after the first quarter last week, but he was a big addition for us."
LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SCOTT LINEHAN QUOTE SHEET
On if WR Kevin Ogletree will play mostly as a slot receiver: "No, he played mostly outside...his last stop was in the slot, quote a bit, but he played outside a lot in his previous job. I think he's going to be able to give us some depth there that will help us."
On if he has any prior connection to Ogletree: "No, I saw him, I actually think it was a Monday Night Game last year, so I remember that game. But we looked at quite a bit of his target tapes from the last couple years, showed some promise. We'll see. It's early, we don't know a whole lot about him yet."
On what he has gotten out of WR Kris Durham: "He's in the second year of our offense. This year is a lot different, because he has a real good grasp of the offense. Last year we had just elevated him off the practice squad before we played Green Bay the last time. So he was just really learning our offense as we went. This year he has a good grasp of what we're doing and he gives us a guy that has another year in our offense. So he gives us some experience at receiver."
On being able to exploit the Packers giving up an above average amount of passing yards: "I think we have to do what we have to do to win the football game. Exploiting professional football players is hard to do. They're all pretty good, so, we're going to play ‘winning football' as much as that's possible. It's a tough environment. It's a fun, tough environment. Our players are excited."
On if there is one area that he would like Stafford to be more consistent in: "Not necessarily. Every area we want to get better in. Like you said, he's playing really good football. He's playing smart football. He's obviously got the talent to play, make the throws and the plays that you've seen him make over his career, his young career, believe it or not still. Just working hard to get better at every phase of his game every week."
On how much better Stafford is spreading the ball around this season: "I think he is feeling good about getting the ball in other playmakers' hands. It's hard to say you rely too much on Calvin (Johnson), I don't think that's possible. Give Calvin any opportunity he can get. It's been good to see him go to some other places and affect the game that way. Because, quite frankly, people start zeroing in on one player and then the other guys are like, ‘Hey, what's going on?' Our guys, when he's gone there, have stepped up and made plays for him and that's going to bode well for us as we move forward."
On if TE Brandon Pettigrew has been working on ball security: "I think he's playing very good for us. That was his most productive game, as far catches. They were very critical plays, where they were tough, contested plays. Like you said, he was getting hit pretty good on those and he was taking care of that ball well. He was aware of it and he knows how those guys try to defend the middle of the field when you throw the ball to tight ends. His all-around game, I thought was his best game of the year and he's played some good ones up until then, but obviously he was able to have a well-rounded game blocking and catching."
On if they had to use Pettigrew as a blocker more in the first three games: "Not really. We've got some things we do a little different scheme wise. We ask him to do a lot things, blocking line, be off the ball and block, pass protect, release and run routes. I think these tight ends have a really tough job description and he's the one that handles it on all situations, first, second and third down. He's invaluable for what he does for us."
On how much Packers LB Clay Mathews impacts his offensive plan: ‘He's really, really, really good. We have to be aware of him, but they've got other players. If you spend too much time on him, they will affect the game as well. There is never a time that you can breathe easy when you play in pro football, especially in our division. The pass rushers in our division are super dynamic. It's a tough challenge for our guys. He presents a little different type of player. He's more of an active rusher, never out of a rush, not a very big guy but big enough. He can rush from anywhere, he can rush from inside, they can start outside and come under, he can speed rush you, so it's a tough challenge. Our guys are doing a lot of studying on him and they know who he is and they know it's going to be a fun, but tough challenge. Hopefully we can come out on the better end of that one."
On the Packers not having CB Charles Woodson: "The guys they got playing right now are pretty good. I mean I can see the young kid (CB Casey Hayward), he might not necessarily play this week but he had a bunch of interceptions. They are getting a lot good play out of some young players. You don't really hear about them like you do about the storied guys that were free agents, but these guys are home grown guys from their draft and what we see is a lot of talent in their secondary. I'm sure they are just reloading over there."