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Lions quotes: Jim Schwartz's comments from Tuesday

Quotes from Jim Schwartz's media session after Tuesday's Detroit Lions practice.

Harry How

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say after Tuesday's practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On how momentous is Thursday's game: "First, it's a great tradition of Thanksgiving. It's a game that we need to get back to winning. Number one, it's a division opponent. We always talk about division opponents and NFC North and how you can count two in games like that. It's a team that's right there in contention. We need to play our best and we need to come out with a win. We have lost two in a row and we need to right that. There's no better opportunity than Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field."

On the challenges the secondary will have with the Packers receivers: "They're good receivers. I think they're a little bit different since (Aaron) Rodgers has been hurt. Not that their wide receivers are any different, just because they've rolled through three quarterbacks since then. That's tough for anybody when you're changing quarterbacks that way even though they have some experienced guys. Seneca Wallace has been in the League a long time. (Matt) Flynn has been in the League a long time. I've called (Scott) Tolzien a rookie, but I know he's sort of a rookie as far as playing experience, but they've rolled those guys through. It's tough to have some continuity in the pass game when that happens. They've really leaned on (Eddie) Lacy in that time. I think he's getting about 23, 24 carries a game. He's been the guy that's controlling the clock and moving the sticks, not just that but he's getting explosive runs down the field. We have to take care of him and not just the wide receivers. Jordy Nelson is playing at a high level. They've moved him in to the slot since (Randall) Cobb has been hurt. That's a matchup that we have to win, not just on the outside part of the field, but also in the slot. (James) Jones missed some time with an injury, but he's back. Anytime we face the Packers, no matter what they've been doing recently, running the ball 30 times a game, you always talk about stopping the pass. Those are big matchups in this game."

On Packers RB Eddie Lacy's ability of changing the mindset of stopping him instead of the pass: "What's changed is that they are missing a couple of playmakers. When we played them the first time, we had Cobb we had (Aaron) Rodgers, Jermichael Finley and no disrespect to Lacy, but there are a lot of other guys that spread your attention. He's done a remarkable job of carrying that load. There has been attention on him. You look at the other games, people have been trying to stop the run. That's no different for us. We're certainly going to try to stop the run. I think we've done a pretty good job of that, particularly over the last five or six games. With us it's always been about eliminating the long run. We're pretty good on the run here or there, but when we have been leaky in the run game it's been an 80 yarder to Adrian Peterson or a 50 yarder to (Matt) Forte. Those particularly were early in the season. We can't let him breakout long. I think that would be a big part of this game."

On why was QB Matt Flynn so good a few years ago: "I actually just went back and watched that game again this morning. It's probably about the 10th time I've watched that game over the last couple of years. We didn't play well. I give credit to him also. We had a screen pass that went for 80 yards. That's a nice chunk of yardage right there. They have a couple shots down the field that Jordy Nelson made plays on that we didn't do a good job of defending. We did some good things, we got some good pressure early in that game. We caused a turnover and had an interception. We didn't play well enough through that game. It was amazing on both sides how few players there were on the field that are still on both of those teams at this point. That was a game that they sat some other guys and things like that. Looked at that and looked at his Raiders game from earlier this year. Tried to get a good feel for the throws that he's comfortable with. He's obviously comfortable with their offense. He stepped right in. Last week they were down 16 points, he led them back and they got a tie, but they didn't get a loss. I think a lot of that was on Flynn and his ability to go up there and execute their offense. He has a little different skillset and different way of doing things than Aaron Rodgers, but he's made some plays out there. We're going to have to play well against him."

On the run defense improving since Week 6 at Cleveland: "Honestly, I think that it was just big plays early. I don't think we were bad against the run. The first time we played Green Bay, we weren't playing very many eight-man fronts and we weren't devoting a lot of time to stopping the run. We were successful in that we were keeping the score down. Randall Cobb was the guy that made the long run against us. Even though they were churning out some yards, they weren't scoring. I think that was a thing in that game. Even going back, after Adrian Peterson had the long run they had a hard time running the football. I think our run defense has been good the whole year with the expectation of a couple perimeter plays. I think we're a good tackling team. We have experienced linebackers that know which gaps to hit. Our safeties have been good tacklers and when they do, we don't give up big runs. The times that we have been on perimeter we have generally missed tackles on the outside part of the field."

On diminishing returns since CB Rashean Mathis has been playing: "No. I don't think so. I think physically he's been good. It's tough on the outside part of the field. When you're a corner, you're going to give up plays, but you have to be resilient and you have to bounce back. Rashean gave up a play early in that game to a really good receiver in Vincent Jackson, but I thought he bounced back and played really well after that. We were getting a lot of stops, we were making it hard for them to move the ball. Rashean is in great shape and I think his injuries from a couple of years ago are long behind him. I think he's been very consistent over the course of the year. You're not going to find a corner that can go out and throw a shutout every single week."

On fixing the turnover issue in a short week: "First of all, some of those are difficult to explain. You sort of group it to that fact that it happens in the NFL. Some tipped balls and some things around the sideline, it wasn't a matter of ball security or bad decisions or stuff like that. That's stuff that just happens over the course of the game that you have to rely on your defense to go out there and get stops. For the most part we were able to do. I think we've had three interceptions the last couple of weeks on balls down the field, particularly trying to get them to Calvin (Johnson). Now Calvin makes a lot of plays, and we certainly want to stay aggressive and keep throwing to him and keep getting him the ball. We're not going to be shy about doing that, but there is a risk reward when you're putting the ball in the air that far down the field. Calvin doesn't make every single catch, a little bit like a corner not being able to cover a guy every single time. I think it all works together. We're going to remain aggressive. We don't want to overreact. We want to be able to play fast and have confidence in our offense and we do."

On the over-aggression from the defensive backs on the underneath routes contributing to the plays made over the top: "Recently, I don't think we've had any of those. That's part of the coverage. I'm not going to get in to part of our schemes and stuff like that, but corners have responsibilities and safeties have responsibilities and stuff like that. We're not here to assign blame. We're here to say that we have to play better. Our defense gave up a big play right there. I don't think it has to do with a big play that we have given up has been because we have been too aggressive underneath. It's either been bad technique or a miscommunication or a guy jumps over us and makes a play. We've seen that. Teams see that with Calvin when he does that. Some of them are hard to explain. You have three guys there and a guy comes down with a ball and they're trying to."

On how much time is devoted to prepare for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: "Well, we've played him in the past. Obviously we have game plans ready for all those different things. Whatever quarterback they throw out there, we'll be ready. We've looked at all three of them that have potential to be able to play in this game. If we find at game time that it's somebody other than who we expected, that's easy to adjust to because we've already prepared for it. It's a short week, but we have a lot of experience in what they do and things like that."

On QB Matthew Stafford being affected by the losses: "Not with Matt. Matt has a good thick skin for a quarterback. He knows that every eye is going to be on him, good and bad. That's life when you're a quarterback in the NFL. I think he handles that very well. If that was the case, I think you would have seen it earlier in that game. He kept on staying aggressive and almost put us in position to win that game."

On his confidence behind CB Darius Slay: "He stepped in and he's played well at times for us this year since he's been a backup player. He's been an improving player. He's worked really hard on the practice field and there has been a couple of snaps here or there where he has had to go in and play. He played a decent amount of the fourth quarter last week. I think he just got a couple of plays in Pittsburgh, but he's gone in and done his job. We expect that not just from a rookie player like Slay, but all our other players that are asked to step in. I thought our wide receivers did a really good job of stepping in and keeping us effective on offense. Guys like (Kevin) Ogletree, (Jeremy) Ross and (Kris) Durham stepped in and really shouldered a load. You see what happens when you get a guy like Nate Burleson back. I think that makes a difference. It's not just Slay. We expect all our players that are asked to step up to be able to do it."

On the areas where Slay has improved: "I think the biggest thing is just overall knowledge of not just our scheme, because he had a pretty good handle of our scheme, but just offenses. We're already through a college season. I think that that experience, it's not just Sundays. There is a lot of experience that goes in to every day at practice. Whether you're running our stuff or opponent stuff, just seeing different concepts and understanding what offenses are trying to do. Any young player, that's a step that they all need to take. They all work on technique and they all work on knowing what our defense is, but you also need to understand what offenses are trying to do and I think he's done a really good job. He has some good teachers in there. He's got two secondary coaches. He's got some good veteran players in there like (Glover) Quin, (Rashean) Mathis and Lou Delmas that have all worked hard with him."

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