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Lions quotes: Players comment on win over Jets

Quotes from various players after Friday's Detroit Lions preseason game.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a look at what various Detroit Lions players had to say after Friday's win over the New York Jets. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)


On what he liked about tonight: "For me personally, it was just good to be out there. Be live. Operate as a defense, it's very multiple, bunch of different looks. I thought we made some big plays. We did a good job with our discipline. We were assignment-sound. Obviously, we missed a couple opportunities on third down. That's a good defense. I was encouraged. Guys were making plays not only in the first group that was out there, but throughout the game."

On the defense's early touchdown: "It was awesome. It was obviously a great way for Ziggy (Ansah) to say hello. It was a great play. He's doing that all the time during practice. You'll see it. He's jumping up and down batting balls down and making plays. Our whole defensive line is. They're the kind of plays that can change the game. It definitely sparked us as a team. I was just proud of everybody playing for four quarters. Every group that got in there executed well. Defense got stops and offense put points up."

On his reaction to K Håvard Rugland's performance: "I think we're all happy to have him as a teammate. The guy is a great guy. It's refreshing to see how much fun he's having. The guy is having a blast here and he's doing a great job. He's kicking the ball great. Obviously, he had two long field goals tonight and got to kick off. Just watching him out there is refreshing for us. I'm not sure if it's true, but it might be his first football game he's ever been to in his life and he's in the NFL. He's playing, kicking, and making 50-yarders. It's an awesome story and the guy is a pretty darn good kicker."

On what he believes he needs to work on: "Just stalling drives. You want to finish those off with touchdowns. Obviously, getting points on the second one was nice. You want to finish them off. I feel we moved the ball great from the time we got the ball to the end of the drive then just kind of stalled out. Whether it be a missed throw or a good defensive play, or whatever it was, it was something we have to work on. It's something that you get better at as you keep playing."

On if the long pass to WR Calvin Johnson in the corner route was due to the effects of RB Reggie Bush and the involvement of the safeties: "Absolutely. I'm used to the other way around. I threw it to Reggie after it because nobody ever drops Calvin for anybody. It was kind of awesome having a corner drop Calvin to play Reggie coming out of the backfield. It's the offense that we envision and everybody else doing their part and making plays as well."

On his sideline pass to RB Reggie Bush: "I kind of had decently tight coverage. I was just trying to throw a safe pass, trying to make sure that we're not throwing the ball over there, but at the same time the hurdle was awesome. I kind of had a bad view of it, and then I just see him flying over somebody. It's kind of sweet. More of that would be awesome."

On how he liked his pocket tonight: "It was great. We did a good job. Guys were winning early in routes. I had chances to get it out early. I didn't have to hold it too much. At the same time, our communication with the front and me was great. They executed well."

On if he believed the offensive line performed the way he thought they would: "Absolutely. Like I said earlier, this is a team that's multiple. They lined up all over the place and brought all sorts of blitzes. Sometimes when you have new guys up front, communication is tough. A key component to us playing well tonight was how well they played up front. I thought we ran the ball well against a lot of bad looks to run the ball against. When it came to throwing the football, it kept most of the quarterbacks pretty clean."

On what the defense wanted to emphasize: "We always wanted to be a defense that's disruptive and one that obviously gets the ball back to the offense. It's a great way when you get turnovers, let alone get off the ball and get three and out. We'll definitely take any turnover, whoever it comes from. Ziggy (Ansah) made a great play, as well as everybody else. Glover (Quin) almost had another one. He just got caught on the wrong end of the tackle. That's how we want to be aggressive, make plays and be able to get our offense the ball back."

On if he felt they were winning the matchups early on: "I thought we were being successful on the inside. They obviously had the quarterback dropping back pretty far and getting outside the pocket then having some chipping in there for us, for our defensive ends. That's something obviously if we're game planning and we're understanding that we're going to play this team for a full four quarters, we'll adjust to that. We stayed with our scheme and what we had planned and made the most of it."

On how it felt to hit someone that wasn't wearing the same colors as him: "It felt amazing. It was really nice to go and hit somebody else other than your own teammates. It just brings a different level to football. It's live football. Everything is live which is exciting. The season is coming close, so I definitely look forward to it. This is a time for us to grow as a unit, put some things, put some rushes together, and mesh with live bullets flying. I think we did a pretty good job with that. Obviously we have a lot more work. We're going to go back and watch this film and get to practice on Sunday."

On how happy he was for DE Ezekiel Ansah: "Me and Israel (Idonije) said a comment to him. It was like, ‘Man that's one hell of a way to come out, getting an interception.' It's not going to stop there. He has a lot of great natural talent. He's going to continue to grow and continue to learn. He's got a lot of room to grow, as well as me. Just being able to think back to some of these plays that I've gone through in my head that I wish I could have done some things differently."

On what DE Willie Young needs to do to keep up his success: "Just keep plugging away. I think Willie understands what his role is and what he's going to bring to this team. He's really going to be, if not a starter, a guy that's going to have tremendous minutes. I mean it's still up in the air. Nobody knows what the starting lineup is going to look like. Willie is a guy that understands that he has a lot of potential and can do a lot of things to hurt a lot of offenses in many different ways. He has great athletic ability and I think his athletic ability now is transitioning into having that great mind of understanding the game and being three years deep, four years deep, as we came in together."

On if Ansah usually has his hands up and on the ball: "I think one of the things the coaches found, one of the reasons they picked him first overall, is that he has a very great instinct of finding the ball and making plays. He may not always get the ball off to exactly how the coaches want to coach it. None of us do. I don't even do it. What they love about us is the freedom that we have within our defenses to use our instincts and to play football. But obviously we have guidelines around that. I think that's one of the great things that he has that he accomplished and that he has within him as a natural football player. He has great instincts of where the ball is going to be, what's going to happen, and be able to read and react."

On what he thinks of K Håvard Rugland: "He's a good dude. He's definitely a good character. Obviously, his accent is hilarious. I like him a lot. I wish him the best. The thing about him is he's having fun out there. He's doing his best and what he's supposed to be doing. He's just a fun dude to be around. I think in my offseason adventures I'll make my way to Norway."


On the defensive performance: "We wanted to come out and start fast. We figured if we started fast and see what kind of momentum we had going into the later quarters, especially with the younger guys. They're starting on the sidelines looking to see how we perform and seeing if we do everything right. We tried to do as many things right as possible and come out fast and show what we can do."

On setting the tone for the rest of the defense: "It was very important. We came together as a group and we feel like we have a good group of guys here. We felt it was important to come out strong and just come out fast."

On the importance of this game: "Yes, it means something. It means a lot. We started the 2013 season with a win. We ended 2012 with a loss. It means a lot."

On his performance: "I played well. I could've played better, but I played well. Well enough to where hopefully the coaches can evaluate it and see something they like and I can work on it next week."


On the Lions' first preseason game: "I thought it went good today, as good as it can go. It's the first preseason game, obviously we have a few more preseason games to go. We did some things that we can learn from, and we did some good things so, all in all, that's what you're looking for in a first preseason game."

On leaping over a Jets defender: "The guy who was coming, literally head-first, and he was already low, he was already short, so he just made it kind of easy on me. He made it easy for me. It was an easy decision."

On if he had ever hurdled over an opposing player like that before: "Yeah, I have."

On if he felt the cheers when his name was announced over the public address system, and if his cheers were louder than WR Calvin Johnson's: "I don't know about that. Yeah, I definitely felt the excitement though, and felt the energy and it was good. It was good to have that, you know the first time my name was announced in the stadium. I look forward to many more."

On how the new offensive line players performed: "I thought they did pretty good. Like I said, it's the first preseason game, we're all making mistakes, we're all doing some good things too. We did some good things, and we did some things we can learn from. All in all, the offensive line did a good job, but there's always room for improvement."

On which areas he wants to improve going into the next game: "I think we want to score a touchdown, I think as an offense we didn't score a touchdown as an offense. We put up a field goal, but we'd like to put together a solid drive, score a touchdown, finish a drive off, probably complete some more balls than we did. Just little stuff like that. Getting into a better rhythm early."


On if he knew the pass he intercepted would be scored for a touchdown: "When I caught it I was like, ‘Oh wait, the ball is in my hands, I got to go that way,' and I just did."

On how it felt to score his first professional touchdown: "It feels great, it's a great way to start. Everybody did their job on defense for me to be able to get that, so I mean, it's not about me, I give credit to my defense."

On his one-on-one chances against Jets T D'Brickashaw Ferguson: "Pro-bowler, I didn't know until my coach told me halfway through the game, he's like, ‘I didn't want to tell you, so you get all, thinking too much,' but I just went out there. It wasn't the perfect game, but we're going to watch film and make some corrections."

On his athletic ability helping him to bat away passes and make an interception: "I'd say that I'm grateful that I got this far, but I'm not going to say that I'm always going to get an interception or anything. But whenever the ball comes, if I see it and I can hit it and make an interception, that'd be great."

On if his touchdown he scored was the first he's ever scored: "First touchdown, yeah."

On scoring a touchdown at this stage: "I don't think there are words to describe the feeling. I'm just grateful."


On his first NFL field goal: "It felt great. Especially to see that first one go in the uprights. I have great teammates and it's just a big relief to see it go in. It's always nice to have a good start.

On his first football game: "I want more games, I liked it. It was a great experience."

On his teammates celebrating with him after his first field goal: "It goes to show how close we are as a team. We want the best for everybody on the team and we try to help each other. It was really nice. We are rooting for everyone on the team. We want everyone to do great. I think we are a pretty close team."

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