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Lions quotes: Friday's comments from Jim Schwartz, Gunther Cunningham

Quotes from Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham's media session after Friday's Detroit Lions practice.


Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had to say after Friday's practice. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)


On WR Ryan Broyles: "It's probably a little bit competitive. He's really not an injury situation. He's in a situation where he's just working his way back and working his way into the swing of things. He's working really really hard. He's making progress all the time. That practice time is very very valuable to him. He's going to be a big contributor on our team."

On how important is it to have good success with first down on offense: "We got a lot of first downs so we had a lot of first downs to get that, but it's just one game. We got to continue to do that over the course of the season. A lot of that comes from running the football which sets up some big chunks. Our offense had a very good performance. Not just scoring, but moving the football, running the ball and throwing the ball. We need to continue that. When you can sustain drives and you can get a lot of yards on first down it also keeps you out of a lot of those third down and longs. That was important last Sunday and that'll be important this Sunday and important through the course of the season to stay out of third down and long situations."

On DE Willie Young's need to be consistent: "It's very important. That has been his issue in the past. It's being consistent and making plays from within the confines of the defense and things like that. He played very well against a really good player last week. (T Matt) Kalil is a Pro Bowl left tackle and he did some really good things. Him and Ziggy (Ansah) both. We're going to need all those guys up front to be able to get pressure on (QB) Carson Palmer. That's going to be a really important part of this game and how the outcome is determined."

On if Arizona is one of the better special teams in the League: "It's one game. They certainly have the talent to be there. Very good cover guys, outstanding returners, and experienced specialists. So yeah they certainly have the talent, but it's hard to call anybody anything right now."

On if LB DeAndre Levy has taken the next step: "I don't know if he's taken the next step. He's been a good player for a long time for us. He played a very good game for us on Sunday and was consistent and made a lot of plays for us. I don't know that there is any next step. He did the same thing last year. That's why we resigned him."

On where does the team resiliency come from: "There's no secret. I think I said yesterday or the day before it's a lot easier to give up one play in the run game for that long thing. Everybody knew exactly what happened. We knew where we had messed up scheme wise and we knew physically where we had messed up. I think that's a lot different situation to bounce back from then a ten play, seventy-eight yard thing where they handed it off every time. Then you're looking for answers and you're trying to put out bleeding in a lot of different areas. I'm sure there are a lot of pitchers that have given up a home run on the first pitch of the game. I think everybody in the dugout says the same, ‘Well, there goes a shut out.' Then you just go on and you throw your next pitch. That's what those guys did. There was no panic on our sideline. Even though offense had a great drive, we went down on a botched a field goal. There's no panic. We had driven the ball well. We had gotten down there. We knew we could do it again. There's a confidence that comes from that and we need to play better. It was a great win for us, but we didn't play great and we can certainly play better. We're still working on that."

On if it's a trait for things to continue to go well if they start well early on: "I think confidence is important. You have to be confident in your schemes. You have to be confident in your teammates. You have to be confident in yourself. If you are, you'll bounce back from a lot of different situations. I think good football teams can do that. There are going to be things that can derail you over the course of the game or the course of the season. If you have the talent and the talent stays strong and believes in themselves and their teammates and the scheme then you're going to be fine."


On the importance of having DT Nick Fairley available to play on Sunday: "Well, you never want to have a player miss a game and he's pretty good. He and (Ndamukong) Suh are playing pretty well together. I think C.J. Mosley played pretty well last week. I was excited. I wish he wouldn't wear (No.) 99, he kind of reminds me of (former Lions DT) Corey (Williams). And they're built the same way, he doesn't say much, he just plays and he had a good game last week. So we have depth there and hopefully Nick will be ready to play."

On the kind of pressure that a receiver, running back and quarterback combination creates for a defense: "It's obviously real tough. When we practice against our offense, to have Reggie (Bush) back there and have Matt (Stafford) throwing the ball and having Calvin (Johnson), I keep looking at it and say ‘Well, there aren't many linebackers that can cover 21 (Bush) and there aren't many corners that are going to cover 81 (Johnson), so who are we going to double?' If you double them both, the quarterback stands back there for three days to throw the ball, because you're going to have about three guys rushing. It's obviously a monumental problem. In this league there are so many good players and so many good teams that have great quarterbacks and those kinds of guys on their team. It makes it tough to get ready for."

On if Cardinals QB Carson Palmer's vertical passing and being able to stand tall in the pocket will result in the Lions defensive line having a big impact: "You're talking about No. 3 (Carson Palmer), huh, on their team? It was funny. When he first got in the league, the first three of four years, I thought he was one of the top three guys to throw the ball. He's really accurate and he can throw it. And he is the old-school quarterback. He stands in the pocket, he doesn't feel the rush. He's looking downfield to get the ball down there. That said, defensive linemen like the guy that stands in there. (QB Christian) Ponder got out on us a couple of times. You'd rather play a guy that's going to stand in the pocket than you would a scrambling quarterback, because it puts different pressures on the coverage you call. There are a lot of teams that play five underneath, man, two deep safeties, and a four man rush. If a guy like Aaron Rodgers sees that, he's gone. I remember Steve McNair told me, if I ever coached against him, he's running, ‘If I see two man, he's off to the races.' I said, ‘You're not going to see it from me against you.' And so, that's the difference, that you're right, the defensive line would much rather go after a quarterback that's conventional and stays back there."

On if he expects DB Darius Slay's confidence to be shaken after not finishing the game vs. the Vikings: "No, I think he learned a lot. Darius is a different young man. He's great to deal with, easy to deal with. I asked him a question today. I said, ‘Darius, how different is it than you expected?' He goes, ‘Coach, those guys are fast.' And I remember back in the spring, when you all saw me talking to him all the time out here, I kept telling him, I said ‘Darius, this is not college ball. None of these guys that are playing against you are going to be selling insurance after they're through school.' This morning he told me exactly that. He said. ‘Man, the game's fast.' And I think fortunately for us, we've got a better group back there. And (CB) Rashean Mathis went in there and played well and it wasn't to demote Darius. It was kind of like what Jim (Schwartz) said to you all, the bullpen came in to finish it out. I think he learned a lot from it. He's got great ability. He's a tremendous athlete and much more than that, he's a heck of a kid. He has got high character and he likes the game. I'm excited for him."

On if has seen the advantages of being up in the coaches booth: "Oh yeah, our communication is great. We were on it. I enjoy being out there, because I don't have many distractions and the people that are up there with m. We know what we're doing and we're quick at it. And at halftime we can come down, make the adjustments, and you see a lot better. I enjoyed watching special teams. Since I've been here, I haven't seen our special teams cover like that. And I told JB (John Bonamego), our special teams coach, I said, ‘You know, whatever it means to you, we're running, we're running fast.' I think that's a sign of having a decent defense, when you have that kind of special teams speed."

On DE Willie Young having a good regular season game after having a strong preseason: "I think he did. I think Willie had a really good game. I was proud of him. He used his quickness, he's pretty strong. He doesn't weigh as much as some of our other (defensive) ends, but he has unreal quickness. He'll jump inside on you in a hurry. Guys that do that, they have no fear. I don't know if he was half-crazy or has no fear, I can't tell the difference. He made a couple really big plays."

On the important of starting 2-0 especially after last season's 4-12 record: "Real big. It's big in every year I've coached. You try to get off to a fast start. Some of the really good teams I've been on, Tennessee being one, I think we were 1-4 and we played a championship (2002 AFC Championship). Ironically we played against the Raiders, who beat us 52 to whatever in the first game. In Kansas City with Marty (Schottenheimer) we were 3-2, some records like that. We ended up 13-3 in those years. It's important to win early and it's important to win every week, but you can't predict how you're going to get it. In Kansas City, we used to say ‘We're 8-0. We're going to win all the home games. Now how are we going to get the other four?' This schedule is pretty hardcore. I mean, I looked at it last time, I usually go week-to-week, but I didn't realize we play away for two weeks now, come back for one and then go out again for the next (two). That makes it tough."

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