LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ QUOTE SHEET
On LB Julian Stanford: "He's a guy that played last year in the special teams system that was the same. We brought in some guys for a workout, we liked what he looked like then, we liked a little bit of stuff that he had done last year. We'll plug him in and get him ready to play."
On how Stanford's familiarity with special teams coach John Bonamego helps: "It helps, but that wasn't the only reason. I'm familiar with the terminology, but you're not going to put me out there in coverage."
On Bush's hands: "I think he has good hands. He dropped a couple passes early in the year. He dropped a couple against Pittsburgh. That'll get your numbers up. He also made a great over-the-shoulder catch last week too."
On WR Calvin Johnson closing in on former Lions WR Herman Moore's franchise record for receiving yards: "It's just one of the things that'll come up with Calvin. I really don't think too much about it to tell you the truth."
On the proactive plan the team has S Louis Delmas on: "We tried to be proactive last year also. We settled into a routine this year and Lou's worked really hard at it also. It's difficult for a player when he's not on the practice field. He has to work extra hard in the classroom, extra hard in walk-throughs and things like that. He might have played his best game last week on a Thursday. He's done a nice job with that. It's hard to say how far you can go in the future. It's not an ideal situation, but we've done it for a lot of players. The key is being productive on Sunday and I think he's into a good routine and understanding how to get himself ready on a weekly basis."
On if there was a wide receiver that ever made him adjust as much as Calvin when he was a defensive coordinator: "Calvin Johnson. There have been a lot of guys, but it is not just wide receivers. There have been great tight ends, great running backs. I think the definition of a great player is that even though they get all the attention they are still productive regardless. If they get double teamed or if a running back sees eight men in the box but they're still effective. I think of a guy like Adrian Peterson, some of the looks he gets and he is leading the NFL in rushing again. Calvin gets doubled all the time but he still can be productive. Great quarterbacks that teams defend the pass first, great defensive players that double teamed on most the plays. That's my definition of a great player, even though he is getting all that attention he still finds a way to be productive and I think Calvin fits that role."
LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR SCOTT LINEHAN QUOTE SHEET
On the risk/reward of not pressing to reduce turnovers: "Yeah, you just have to limit them. Some of them, we have to do a better job, whether it's ball security or ball placement on a throw. Some of them have been bad luck. Between the two of them, neither one's good. If you can keep them down, obviously it's the variable that generally affects the outcome of a game and you aren't going to get away with giving away the ball a lot and taking opportunities out of your hands. When you run an aggressive offense like we do, you're going to have a couple. You just want to keep them down, at least break even when it comes to the end of the day and you're usually going to be okay there, but we don't want to have multiple, that's for sure."
On the Eagles' defense: "They haven't given up more than 21 points in eight-straight games I think. That's pretty impressive. That's what the game's all about. I think earlier in the year was different for them. They've obviously settled in with what their identity is defensively and it's working for them and they've been winning games because of it. It's not about yards, it's about points and they've been able to limit that and I think that's helped them."
On the Eagles' identity: "They just play well. They are well-coached, have really good players and they do a nice job of mixing in different looks for you to get ready for, so it's a good challenge for us."
On calling 10 consecutive running plays on one drive vs. Green Bay: "Yeah it was a nice situation, the guys are doing a great job of blocking, everybody from the line to the tight ends to the perimeter receivers. Matt's (Stafford) getting us in the right place. We had a couple plays at the line of scrimmage and he calls them and he gets the right call. When you can do that, it certainly gives you the ability to finish and close out games. That was kind of a signature drive for us. We haven't been in that situation for a while, where we had a nice long drive and all of them were runs, except for the last place I believe. It'd be nice to have some more of those."
On QB Matthew Stafford being on pace for another 5,000-yds passing season and if that threshold is special in today's League: "Yeah, there's not a whole lot of guys doing it. There's a few guys doing it, maybe a little more, but I can name the guys that have been doing it the last couple years. We throw the ball, but to be successful consistently being able to put up those kinds of numbers says a lot about his ability to operate as a passer in an offense like ours. And we have players to throw the ball to. As long as it's helping us win games, that's when it's important. I really believe Matt's playing at a high level for us and has been since he's been here. I think he's having a great season."
On Bush's comments that the Lions' offense can dominate any team when operating on all cylinders: "I think we can play well when we're executing. Using superlatives of what that means, I just feel like if we can play consistently, it gives us the best chance to win. We have some good pieces to our offense, from our passing game to our running game. We have a, I don't want to call it a revamp, but a young line that's playing extremely well. I think anybody would say, if they're executing and playing well, they should be able to play at a high level. We believe that as well. Sometimes if you can get out of your own, it helps. I've been really pleased with our progress with our offense. We have a lot of new players that we didn't have here that have gelled in what we're doing and we're excited about the direction we're going."
On G Larry Warford's consistency throughout the season: "He's a really good player, No. 1. He was that way in college and I think he's been prepared well by his coaches and he prepares well for a young player and believes in himself. He uses his talents to go out and play winning football and he's been able to do that, just like he did when he was in college. It's nice to see a young player like that step up and play well this early in his career."
On Warford's body composition being different from G Rob Sims: "Everybody's different, but the guy has extremely good flexibility for a big man. He's just extremely flexible and I think that's a big bonus, not only just being able to bend and have great pad level in the run game, but also being in good position to block. He has a lot of natural skills, but he's a real smart player and uses great technique to enhance them."
On if the team is better equipped to play in all-weather conditions than in years past due to the play of the offensive line: "I just think you're equipped to play better if you're playing well up front, if you can play consistently up front. It doesn't matter if you're indoors or outdoors, but I think it helps you play better football and more consistent football for sure."
On preparing for a game with poor weather conditions: "You both have to play in it. You have to have the ability to adjust. If you come out and it's nice for a half and the wind's blowing or it rains, you just have to adjust. I think everybody has to deal with that. It's not just a one-sided adjustment either. I think we all have kind of an idea of what we would do if whether it's good, whether it's okay, whether it's bad. You don't know until you get in that situation what that's going to be, but you have to be prepared for it. We've planned on knowing we were going to have some outdoor games as the year has gone on to have that ability to flip that switch if we have to."
On if Bush and RB Joique Bell are the best running back tandem in the League: "I don't know how they're compared to the rest of the League, but I know they've been a nice tandem for us. Our balance between the two of them playing, the playing time and the production we're getting out of the two has been what we were looking for. I think as we continue to move forward, if we can continue down that road, I think their styles complement each other very well and fit very well in what we do."
On if it's realistic at the start of the season to get this much production out of four rookies: "I guess it depends where your depth is. We made the decision those guys were guys that were going to help us based on how they did in our offseason program and training camp, and they earned their time on the field. You always have to think about when you want to play young players, but when is that? It's when they're ready. And we felt like all those guys were ready to play early in their career."