LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET
On having the entire active roster participate in practice: "Nobody is ever 100-percent. We have had some casualties along the way though. I mean, there are some guys that are IR'ed and stuff like that. That's always better than not having them."
On P Sam Martin: "His kickoffs have been consistently good. He hit one last week into the wind that I thought was his best kickoff. His directionals have been good. He's had a few misses here and there from a punt standpoint. Obviously the one against Cincinnati would stand out, but I think he's done a really good job. He's a really good holder. He's done a nice job there. Just like a lot of rookies, the very first one he did he put on the ground. That doesn't take away from the year that he's had. It's been hang time, it's been direction, it's been distance and just look at our coverage units. That's been a big, big key to our ability to cover. I won't take anything away from those guys. They've tackled well, they've got off blocks. We've done a good job of covering the field there. We've had some tough matchups and some good returns."
On G Larry Warford: "He's playing well. I think that's all I can say. I can't really compare him to anybody else. I think across our offensive line, I think we're playing well. I think Rob Sims is having an outstanding year also. We talked about (Dominic) Raiola a few weeks ago having a good season. I think those guys have all been consistent and the difference is the guy like Sims and Raiola are veteran players that you sort of expect that from, but Larry has stepped in like a veteran. He's had a good year so far. We still have a long way to go."
On the RT position: "Well you know me, I never comment on depth chart situations and stuff like that. It's good to have Corey (Hilliard) back. Corey played some good football for us. We're in a good position. I think we were in the beginning of the year. We needed it because we got a couple injuries over there. We maintained pretty consistent play whoever has been out there. Jason Fox, Corey Hilliard and LA (LaAdrian Waddle)."
On what would it mean to have WR Nate Burleson return: "A lot. We've talked many times about how he brings more to the field than just his playing ability. We miss that. Even though he's been around and involved in the team, there is nothing like having that guy on the field. He's on a good course right now. We'll just see when it gets to Sunday if we can get him out there. If we can, we will. Last time we saw him, he was having his best day as a Lion. That's production. The other guys have done a good job of picking it up, but there's nothing like having your players back."
On how important is the final stretch of the season: "The race is on, but honestly it's a one-game season each week. You can't really worry about stuff like that. You have to go out and prepare for that opponent and do your very best that week and then move on to the next one. You have to take that methodical approach. You can't look at people's records. Our team, coaches, nobody really looks at records anyway because you look at what they do on film and who their players are and the matchups and things like that. Those are the things that are important this week against Tampa Bay. It's not where they are, what their record is, or where we are in the standings or anything else. I guarantee you that they don't care what's at stake for us. I think everybody in the NFL is in the same boat, we're just playing football each Sunday."
On the psychological aspects of winning a game and moving on in comparison to losing and having to regroup: "I think that's true. In the NFL, that's every week. I think the fact that you have seven days between games gives you more time to have to hang on. It's not like baseball where you play the next day or basketball you play in a couple of days. It takes a little while to get that next game plan up and to get ready to play that following Sunday. I like our guys' mentality that way. We've had our losses this year, but we've done a good job bouncing back from those. If we want to be successful, we're going to have to do that this Sunday. I think our team is motivated to do it."
On what the Buccaneers lose by not having S Dashon Goldson on Sunday: "He's a key part of their defense. I mean obviously because of his talent, but they also went and extended a lot of money to go get him. He's, we call them a vacuum cleaner, he's a guy that makes a lot of tackles all over the field that covers up guys mistakes in front of him. He's a physical player. He was having an outstanding year. He missed a couple of games when he was hurt, but he's a difference maker when he's on the field. Mark Barron is an outstanding safety. They use Mark Barron as a linebacker in some situations. You have to see how that will affect their nickel packages and how they want to replace Goldson and if that moves Barron around, we're prepared for just about everything. He's been a really good player for them. He was a good player at San Francisco, a physical player. I think that it will be interesting to see how they matchup their sub packages without him on the field."
LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SCOTT LINEHAN QUOTE SHEET
On Lions G Larry Warford: "We have been around this kid even before draft since we had him the week of the senior bowl. We had a pretty good idea that we felt he would be pretty solid for us. He has made pretty good impact as far as his consistent play in the run and the pass. He gets out on screen passes and makes some pretty athletic plays out there so we are pretty happy with him."
On any worries if Warford hits the "rookie wall": "Not really. I think the o-line group and Jeremiah (Washburn) do a good job of keeping those guys in it. He is a professional kid, he loves football, he loves everything about it, he loves the preparation and the stuff he has to do during the week so I think that helps him stay in it."
On if he has ever had two rookies on the same side of the line: "No, this is the first time, on purpose. Both guys are players that once we got them here and got them in training camp and into the preseason, we felt that they were ahead of the game as far as being ready to play for young players and they are doing a nice job for us."
On Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew's play this season: "He is one of our most consistent players on offense right now. He is run blocking and pass blocking and on the targets he has had he is making those plays. He is just one of those guys you can count on and he always has been. He's having an excellent year as far as his consistent level of play."
On how hard the Bucs defense is to attack: "They're really good. They have a lot of talent from their resources like high draft picks and well known free agents. They have really hit their stride the last couple weeks with the way they've played in the first half of the Seattle game, that was some dominant football, and then these last two wins they've had they've really been getting after people."
On what the Bucs lose with S Dashon Goldson out: "He is certainly a tempo setter back there for them but they got a lot of depth and talent. They still have a first round pick back there that plays pretty good football for them. They are so solid at the corner position that they probably feel they can matchup Calvin (Johnson) with (Darrelle) Revis. They have plenty of options with what they can do."
On how to attack Bucs CB Darrelle Revis on Johnson: "Well Sunday is going to be the day we find out, but that's the fun part about what we do. To have a matchup like this, this is why people pay money to go watch, to watch two of the best players at their positions going up against each other. It is going to be fun to watch the intensity of the matchup. We have to certainly know that we are going to win some and I am sure they are going to win some but you just have to keep making sure you do it for four quarters and you don't shy away from it. I think a lot of people get discouraged when they try to go after that kid because he's done it through his career, he has been able to keep holding people at bay."
On if he thinks Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL: "There are a lot of pretty good players in the NFL, and if he isn't the best he is certainly one of the best. He is a great player, I know that."
On getting WR Nate Burleson back: "He brings a lot of things that aren't in the box score, his leadership and his energy. Just being able to have that in the huddle brings confidence to the group. Not that they don't have that, he just brings the creditability to go in and get those guys going. I don't know if he is the mascot for the receivers but he certainly gets them going and brings a bunch of positive energy to our team."
On the second-quarter offense: "I've never seen a quarter like that. It's hard to maintain that intensity and that production, but that was certainly a quarter that I'll never forget as far as the productivity of it. A lot of things went our way and guys made a lot of plays, but I think there was a sequence there where we had 20+-yard passes in 10 plays. You'd like to be able to keep doing that, but unfortunately it's hard to do."
On replicating that kind of offense: "You'd like to do it consistently throughout the game. We missed some shots at some big plays in the second half that would have got us going. We had a nice drive going on our third drive of the second half, but unfortunately weren't able to get it in in the red zone on that play. You have to just keep plugging away with them. We just can't miss the opportunities that we had, which we did have to keep some drives alive that we didn't, that we weren't able to do in the second half."
On if Johnson is matchup-proof: "Yeah I suppose, but not at the expense of throwing interceptions in a tight end. I would say that if anybody in the NFL has a way of getting a guy the ball in triple coverage, it's Matt (Stafford) and Calvin's able to produce there. The way we won games is other guys on this team have made plays in those situations. You don't want to go away from that, because that's how you can really be a balanced offense as far as spreading the ball around and not forcing the ball. Hats off to them making that adjustment, but we have to be able to step up at other spots and make plays when they're giving us pretty good looks for that."
On the team's offense going on hot streaks by scoring 27 points in a quarter: "It's kind of like anything else. Three-point shooters, they don't make them all. Sometimes they go out. It'd be nice to be able to do it, be able to score 100 points a game, but that's not going to happen. What we have to keep doing is when we get that critical drive, whether they flip the field with a big punt or something like that, and we have to keep playing that game and knowing that there has to be some balance to what we do. And when it's time to kind of turn it up, we have to be able to do that and we have the ability to do that because we have some good players to do it with."