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 WR Nate Burleson practicing: "I'd caution thinking too much in to him being out there and being back. He is progressing well and everybody is pleased with his progression. We all know how tough of a guy Nate is. If it was up to him, he probably would have missed one game. There is only so much you can do with healing bones and stuff. I think the big thing with Nate is when we do get him back, we're going to get him back, but we want to make sure he is back for good. To do that, we have to avoid setbacks and stuff like that. He's doing well."
On the shape of the team: "We're probably in the same shape that a lot of other teams are. I do think it is almost like you hit the reset button. We have three teams that are 5-3 in our division, but we only play one of those teams this week. That's Chicago. We have to keep our eyes on that. Every team is going to have obstacles. Every team has different issues that they're dealing with right now. We're no different than 31 other teams in the NFL when it comes to midseason in the NFL. I think I said this before, our story won't be written from the first half of the season. Our story is going to be written in the second half of the season and how well we deal with the issues that do come up and how well we execute as a team and our ability to come out with wins on Sundays. Those are really the only things that are important and those are the things that we'll concentrate on starting this week with Chicago."
On if the Lions are favored to win the division due to being the only team having a healthy QB: "You know the only team that we're worried about right now is Chicago. I don't know what their quarterback situation is. I know (Josh) McCown has looked good. Number one, he is a good athlete, and he can make you pace scrambling. He's had an opportunity to play. He's an 11-year vet. He's had a lot of experience from a practice standpoint. Doesn't have a lot of starting experience, but I've been very impressed with what he's looked like. I'm sure they would rather have (Jay) Cutler back, any team would rather have their starting quarterback. No matter who we get, we're not going to take it lightly. We have a lot of respect for what McCown has done the last couple of games, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He has over a 100 quarterback rating. The only thing we can worry about right now is getting ready. We'll be prepared for both quarterbacks and we'll see as the week develops. We can't control who they play and who is healthy and who is not. We can only control our preparation."
On the difficulty of game planning when the starting QB is highly questionable: "I think both guys have similar skillsets. They run the same plays on offense. You're not talking about a completely different change in styles or anything else. I think that it pretty much is what it is when it comes to that."
On reflecting back on the first game against Chicago in Week 3: "It's a little bit different. We played Dallas, I hate to get too far in the past, but we were minus four in turnovers. We played really well in a lot of other areas and barely came out with the win. I think with Chicago, we got four turnovers or takeaways on defense. I think we gave up one right before the half. I really don't think we played very well other than that and that lead us to the win which the whole idea is to get a win. We can certainly play a lot better than we played in the first game. It's a different challenge being on the road as opposed to being home. That's a defense that thrives on taking the football away, you saw it last night. We have to take care of the football. We can play a lot better than we played in that game even though we got a big lead and were able to come out with a win."
On how a long rest or a short rest impacts a team: "You can probably make pluses and minuses with both. When a team has a short turnaround and they're sort of coming off a big win and right back on the momentum and another team gets a little bit of rest, like I said there are pluses and minuses with both. We don't make the schedule. We can just go ahead and do the best we can with the circumstances that we have. We'll be ready for the game."
On QB Matthew Stafford proving the doubters wrong regarding injuries: "I think we addressed that when it came. People kept saying that he was injury prone or things like that. His injuries weren't things that he was going to carry forward. I think that's a big difference between a guy that has an injury that sort of keeps on bother somebody, whether it's a troublesome knee, shoulder, back, ankle or anything else. The injuries that he had, we felt very confident would heal up and he would be able to put behind him. That doesn't mean that he can't get hurt in the weight room or on the practice field or anything else. Like we just said, that's part of what these guys deal with. It's a tough business making your living with your body. All 53 guys plus practice squad players, that's the reality of what they do and they put their bodies through that. He works very hard at conditioning and staying healthy. You can only avoid so many things, but it's important for him. He hasn't been 100-percent healthy in those 40 games. He has had some games where he has been nicked up. He has had some fingers, hamstrings, knees and different things like that, but part of this game is being available on Sunday. I think he had done a very good job with dealing with the things that have come up and being available on Sunday."
On the ability to manage situations through having experience: "I do think there is some experience factor there. I think Shaun Hill has helped Matt along. I think if you ask Matt, he would give a lot of credit to Shaun for guiding him through a lot of that stuff. Matt is still young, he's 25 years old, but he does have a lot of experience. He's been through a lot of those situations before and he's probably talking to Kellen Moore about how to make it through."
On comparing Stafford's success to former Lions QB Bobby Layne: "The game is totally different. The number of guys on the field, the way the rules have changed, passing games have opened up, the emphasis on throwing, the field conditions are so much better now, each of those player's accomplishments stand on their own. I don't know that you can compare, other than the fact they both went to the same high school and both have led the Detroit Lions. I don't know if you can compare one generation with the other."