LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET
On what TE Dennis Pita brings to the Ravens offense: "They targeted him in some key situations too. Key touchdown late in that game. I think it gave them the lead. It was that flurry of touchdowns, but also some big third-down conversions. Dallas Clark had been doing that for them. Dallas Clark had a couple key targets. He's playing the same role in their offense, but that's a guy that the quarterback has experience with and has a lot of trust for. They didn't waste any time getting him back up to speed."
On Baltimore's defense being able to rush a quarterback: "You got Haloti Ngata inside. Chris Canty inside. Arthur Jones inside. There is a lot of size inside that allows those guys to rush outside. There is not a whole lot of room to step up in there. I think that's another part of it. Someone is going to get a one-on-one in there. We're going to have to play well on both sides and also play well inside because they have a lot of guys whose interior pressure can get you also."
On the Ravens front seven: "I don't know that they're a whole lot different than a lot of other teams. Everybody has wrinkles that they bring and stuff like that. These guys play good as just sort of a base group. They don't have to get real exotic to play well. I think you see that in a lot of things. They have some wrinkles that make it tough and some third down blitzes and stuff like that, but they might be at their best when they're just playing standard defense."
On LB Terrell Suggs: "He's one of those guys and we've said it so many times early in the season that those game-wrecker type guys, you don't hear from them for a quarter or for a half and all of a sudden they sack the quarterback and pick the ball up. He has good eyes for the football, always has. The injury doesn't even look like it's affecting him right now."
On OT Riley Reiff: "We've been happy with Riley and what he has done. Our offensive line has done a good job of keeping the quarterback clean. We've also run the ball pretty consistent over the course of the year. I don't know how, and I've said this so many times, how much you can judge each individual player on an offensive line. It's more how the group is playing because they work in tandem with each other so much that it is more of a group effort than it is individual effort. Riley has had some big matchups. The last week, everybody was having a hard time rushing, so it was really hard to see how he would have done against Trent Cole and things like that. The week before he got Clay Matthews quite a bit. I thought that he did a good job. We took one sack, he gave up that sack to Nick Perry, but I thought his ability to contain Clay Matthews had a lot to do with the success that we were able to get. The one thing is no matter who you are in the NFL, if you're a left tackle you're going to have tough matchups every week. He's had tough matchups and I think he's on the right path. I think he's done a good job."
On how much upside is there for Reiff: "I still think he has improvement to go. He's still a young guy. Physical maturity comes. His technique has been good. He's tough. His competiveness has been good. He's good in the run game. Just any talented player, you just see more experience going against guys multiple times whoever it is. This is his first time going against (Terrell) Suggs. I don't think he was matched up in the preseason game two years ago with Suggs at all. All of a sudden the next time that happens, he'll have something to lean on. That's what you get with veteran players. There's always improvement that guys can make that way."
On if there is an advantage that a big return can give to a team: "Oh, no question. Anytime on special teams where you're flipping the field, whether it's a blocked kick, a long return, a turnover, that gives whatever group is out there, offense or defense, it does a give a big lift. Our coverage units have been good this year. Our return game has really started accelerating over the last month or so. We need to keep both of those going. We need to continue to cover kicks well. We have a great challenge in covering kicks and punts this week. It's not just Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss has done a nice job in there when he's been asked to do it. You can never relax. Jacoby Jones will bring them back from nine yards deep if he can catch it. We've seen that before. We've seen it from Cordarrelle Patterson. We've seen it from Devin Hester. We've seen it from a lot of those guys that if they can catch it, they're bringing it out. We're going to have to do a good job of kick location, kick hang time, kick depth, but also our coverage on both of those guys."
On attempting to give the ball to WR Jeremy Ross more: "I think the greatest reward is the opportunity to do more. He has a good skillset for us. He's strong and a very good blocker. He can run after the catch. He can run with the football. The more play makers you have, the better. You can use those guys in a lot of different roles. Whatever we have given him so far, he's done a good job with. Like I said, the greatest reward is the opportunity to do more."
LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SCOTT LINEHAN QUOTE SHEET
On what concerns him about the Ravens defense: "Their overall depth, from how they play total defense. There's no real weakness. They're excellent in all the categories that we look at, that affect winning. They're top-10, top-five in everything that's significant. It's going to be an execution game. We've probably played teams that do more things, but they do what they do as well as anybody we've played this year."
On how having LB Elvis Dumervil changes things for the Ravens: "He's certainly an impactful player. He's one of those guys that throughout his entire career has been able to put pressure on the quarterback, and that gives you two guys that can rush the passer from both edges. We're just going to have to handle both of them and do a good job of taking care of the other guys too. It's not they're only two players, but Dumervil's certainly a guy that can get pressure on the quarterback when you're throwing the ball and as an underrated run player."
On Ravens S Matt Elam's comments about Lions WR Calvin Johnson: "I think that's just kind of typical of this day and age. Guys probably get caught in saying something, whatever they mean or don't mean. The funny thing about is, someone had to tell him (Johnson) about it 24 hours after. I'm sure it was a big story or whatever, but we kind of found it somewhat amusing, just because we know he's a young guy and all that stuff. We'll find out, we have to take care of business Monday night with our approach and our game and see whose better."
On compensating for not having a tight end who can stretch the field and can run the seam: "We're getting some production out of other, less maybe plays. Our first explosive (play) of the game was to (Brandon) Pettigrew in eight inches of snow and that's hard to do. I think there are just more guys that are involved in the offense, whether it be from the backs or some other receivers. It's just spread around a little more."
On if there was a point with G Larry Warford where it stopped being surprising with how consistent he is: "It's not surprising, it's just unusual for a guy - and the opportunity was there early for him - but it's unusual for a guy to play as consistent as he has early in his career. I credit him, I credit his coaches with Jeremiah (Washburn) and (Terry) Heffernan. Those guys have done a great job of putting some young guys out there. We've changed the makeup of our line with some new players. We're very young up front, but they're not playing like a young group. That's credit to Larry and those other guys."
On if he is surprised that Warford has not hit the ‘rookie wall': "I think the kid is just a natural. I think if you played 12 months out of the year, you would get the same thing from Larry. He's an excellent athlete. He's very flexible and very well-conditioned. He stays healthy. I think all that factors in. When people talk about ‘rookie wall,' a lot of the time guys are dealing with physical ailments or sometimes fatigue. Larry takes care of himself. For a young guy, he really has a very good, professional approach. Again, I credit him, but I credit the guidance he's getting from his coaches. I think those guys have done a great job with those young o-line men."
On if getting WR Jeremy Ross more involved in the offense is part of the game plan moving forward: "Yeah, between Nate (Burleson) and Jeremy, we have guys that are really solid slot-players for us. Jeremy's obviously come on for us in some stuff offensively. He's really given us a boost, obviously in the special teams category. He's a guy that we're very confident in using in any of our schemes, and like you said, using him for some special plays or just putting him in the game to play the slot. He can really play all the positions. He gives us a lot of good depth there."
On T Riley Reiff: "I think Riley's played very well. He always gets the toughest matchup each week, especially in our division. He's played really consistent. The whole group has. We talked about Larry earlier, I think the offensive line's really judged on how the group performs. Individually, sure, but as a group, you look at some of the things statically that we've improved on from a year ago, as far as our ability to run the ball, our pass protection. That's all that whole group and Riley's certainly a part of that. He's played really consistent. This is really his first year playing. He played one start last year and then we used him in our tight end role. This is really his first full season as a starter in the NFL. He feels more like a veteran than a rookie."
On RB Mikel Leshoure's growth: "He's really learning that sometimes you're in a situation where the development of Joique Bell puts you a little bit more in the mode of waiting for your opportunity. But he's done a nice job. A year ago, he was coming off of a pretty tough injury for a running back. He's worked hard in all areas as far as his approach in the classroom and on the field. He's been a very positive asset to our team and gives us some obviously great depth at the running back position."
On what Leshoure is still capable of: "Everything's in front of him. Like a lot of backs, he had a lot of carries in college. He missed his first year because of injury, so he's going to have years in front of him that are going to be good years, because he's not going to have a lot of miles on his tires over the last three years. He has a very bright future in front of him, he just needs the opportunities."