Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz had to say during his Monday press conference. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On the early good indications of RB Reggie Bush's injured knee: "Well we did tests on it. And like I said, we did a lot of sideline tests on it, as much as you can do manually and stuff like that. He was able to go back in the game, even though he wasn't effective when we did that. The tests today were encouraging. He's going to be sore, but he doesn't have anything that's long-term."
On changing TE Brandon Pettigrew's role due to his current struggles: "Number one, he blocked very well in the game, so he brought something to the game plan. Made a great catch to start off our two-minute drive that we weren't able to score in at the end. There's some tough catches in traffic that he's made in the past that he needs to get back to making some of those. With tight ends, there's always going to be contact and a lot of those balls, there was contact. Guys were jostling for position, they're getting hands on ball, but our guy has got to be stronger than their guy when it comes to that. Those are the things that he needs to bring to the offense, because there's not going to be much clean air production for a tight end."
On the lack of playing time for TE Tony Scheffler and TE Joseph Fauria: "It's just the way things went and the way the game went. We didn't have very many opportunities in the stuff that they were going to be featured in, particularly red zone stuff. Both of those guys can be contributors to us. Last week we got contributions out of a lot of different guys. This week we got big time contribution from Calvin (Johnson) and then Reggie (Bush) was on his way to contributing a lot, and Nate Burleson had his same number of catches. But we didn't get the contributions from the other guys: Pat Edwards and Kris Durham and (Tony) Scheffler and Joe Fauria. The other guys that we need to be able to get plays out of them over the course of the game. We certainly need to improve in that regard because last week that was something that helped us and this week, when it got to the second half and we didn't have Reggie, Calvin was still getting a lot of attention, but we weren't able to break it open with one of those other guys."
On his concern with K David Akers and if he is injured: "He wasn't injured. He was shaken up on that first field goal. But he's a consistent kicker. He's an experienced kicker. He'll make many more of those kicks than he misses. Our protection needs to improve. I thought our protection was particularly poor on the last one that got blocked. There's really no excuse for that guy on the edge getting that ball blocked, but there were some really big plays in the game, and the missed field goal and the blocked field goal...just look at the way the game went. We make those two plays, the game has a true opportunity to really look the other way and those are plays that we should consistently make over the course of the season. We got a lot of trust that David will make those plays for us."
On how much more production he needs out of his left defensive ends DE Israel Idonije and DE Jason Jones and why they have been struggling: "I wouldn't necessarily say they've struggled. I don't think Carson Palmer held the ball for any more than two seconds on any of his plays. Most of them were thrown under two seconds. It's going to be hard to get there on the outside part of the field if that's the case. They had a very difficult time converting third downs in the game. A lot of that was because of those guys. We didn't blitz very much. Those guys rushing the passer made it so even though it doesn't fill the stat sheet up, a third down stop because the quarterback's on the clock, it might not get credited to one of those guys, but they've done their job. I think every guy up front, every guy, linebacker, defensive back, they can all play a little bit better. We played well at times, but we certainly didn't play consistent enough to get the win."
On what has to change, either coaching-wise or players reducing their aggressiveness, to cut down on penalties: "Willie (Young) played a good game, except for that play, and unfortunately for that, that turned his ledger sheet to the negative, because that was a huge, huge play in the game. But you can't get your hands to the face, and if you do, you got to get them out. And he never got it out and that's going to get called. We had two pass interference calls. Generally, when you get penalties like that, that are physical mistakes, it's from either bad technique or being physically in a bad spot, whether it be in the scheme, or you've put yourself in a bad spot or something like that. I think that's what's happened on a couple of our penalties. They certainly hurt in this game, particularly that one. A lot of the other ones, you can overcome and things like that. Again, you're trying to put your hand right down the middle of a guy's chest plate and it slides up and you catch him in the neck or in the head, it's hard to get it out of there when your momentum's going, but you got to find a way to do it. That's on us as coaches, that's on us as players to get those corrected."
On if there is something discipline-related that needs to be "cracked down on" because the team's 19 penalties in two games are hard to overcome: "It's certainly too many for us, but we're two games into the season, there's probably a dozen teams in the NFL that are probably saying the same thing. I haven't checked the stats of where we fall in the league in penalties, but there are some really good teams that get penalized an awful lot that win an awful lot of games. Last year, our penalties decreased significantly and we won four games. The year before, we had a lot of penalties, we went 10-6. Again, I don't want to make it sound like you're trying to get penalties, because we're certainly trying to avoid them, but you don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to that too. You get a penalty, you need to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. In these situations, like I said, (Bill) Bentley got a step behind a defender and then panicked when the ball was in the air. I don't think that has anything to do with discipline. I don't think that has anything to do with other than his technique was bad early, he got in a bad spot, and he sort of panicked when the ball was down the field. The more experience he gets, the more times he's in that position, the better he'll play."
On if he felt disappointed with the problems with the secondary in the second half: "The (Darius) Slay thing was in the first half. We also made some plays in the secondary and that part too. Our defense had bad field position pretty much the whole game. (Bill) Bentley made a couple big plays. That third down where he stopped on a yard short, that was a big time play. We did some good things in the secondary. I just wouldn't characterize it the way that you did. We had two key penalties in those situations. Those are the plays that we have to play better."
On starting then benching CB Darius Slay: "I think benching is a little bit too much of a negative connotation there. I know it's sort of all sport, but I prefer a call to the bullpen there. There are a lot of things that Slay has seen for the first time. He just lacks experience. He's green in a lot cases, but he's a very talented player. There is not a whole lot of learning curve. You have to be able to get it and get it quick. When he's been on, he's been really good. There have been some times that he hasn't been on that we have had to go to the bullpen. I think Rashean (Mathis) has done a really good job of coming in and doing those things. He's a very valuable guy to our secondary."
On if it's alarming that the team is so reliant on Bush: "There's a reason we went and got him and that's because that guy is a very important guy in our offense. I think there are a lot of teams that if they lost that guy that they would say they struggled to move the ball and do that. I didn't watch very much of the game on Thursday night, but Tom Brady had a different cast. They lost (Danny) Amendola, he wasn't available to play in the game. They had hard times moving the ball and making connections with some of those wide receivers and things. I don't think we're any different than the majority of other teams in the league that if you take one of those pieces away, it makes it more difficult to operate. Again, that's not an excuse. Our job is to find a way to get that to work. It's more difficult, but losing Reggie in that game certainly played a factor. Losing Patrick Edwards in the game played a factor in it also. Again, that's not an excuse. We have to find a way. We have available players and we have to mix and match them the best we can to effectively find a way to run the ball. I think another difference was, last week we had a very effective run game. We got good contributions out of Joique (Bell) and Reggie and got first downs running the ball. We never really got that going in this game. I think Joique ran hard and Reggie had, you know, a couple nice runs including the toss play I thought was a really good run. We never really consistently got the run game going. When we weren't able to do that, it made it easier to defend our pass game. I think, we could have alleviated it a different way and picked up the run game a little bit more. We weren't able to get that done."
On accessing WR Micheal Spurlock's returns performance and if there are any other options: "We'll always consider any option that we have. He's an experienced returner. He hasn't had very many opportunities to return kicks. Neither have our opponents. Most all are going through the end zones. We have played two games that were indoors and it's hard to get those opportunities. Punt game wise, and you saw from the way that Sam (Martin) punted, I don't know if Arizona is saying the say same about, ‘Hey you're not getting very much out of Patrick Peterson, are you considering a change?' I'm not comparing the two players, but the punters can make it difficult to get returns. Probably the only play I was disappointed in our punt return group was when we lost yardage on the one punt return. We caught a ball backed up, which you're going to do, but rather than going north-south right there we went east-west. We then ended up losing yardage. Our offense had bad field position pretty much the whole game and that contributed to that. That's a position you don't want your special teams to ever do to contribute to bad field position."
On CB Darius Slay's confidence: "He's a confident player. He's learning and he knows where he is as a player. He works very hard. Don't worry about his confidence. He has a very good mental makeup to play corner."
On RB Mikel Leshoure's response to not playing: "He's done a good job at practicing. On the games, he's been very into the game, but that's all our inactive players. They're pretty much all the same way. He hasn't sulked and let it affect his performance. They can control their preparation and their performance. They can't control anything else. They can't control roster decisions. They can't control injuries of other players. They can't control anything other than those things. Mikel, or any of our other players, if they concentrate on their preparation and their performance, then that's all that they can control. He's done a good job at doing that. When he's asked to play this year, he'll play well for us. I have all the confidence in the world that he will."
On his response to Jake Glazer's accusing DT Ndamukong Suh of overly aggressive behavior during practice: "I think I'll answer that this way. You guys are at practice every day. I don't think you guys would get scooped on anything like that. You saw just about every one of our OTAs, you saw every one of our training camp practices. We keep training camp open that last week extra even though (Bill) Keenist wanted to close it. We kept it open that whole time. I can say unequivocally he has never slammed anybody's head to the ground or stomped on anybody. That's just inflammatory stuff that gets headlines and reactions. I would bet that you guys would've reported that long before a guy that has never been to one of our practices reports it. You guys saw our practice. Unequivocally I think that's off base. He's done a very good job of, in practice, working around the quarterback. He had probably one time in all of training camp that he ended up in a power rush and put a lineman back in to a quarterback, which is something we try to avoid as best as we can. He had one and that's probably the least amount of all our defensive linemen. It's a tough situation when you tell them to rush the passer, but also don't hit the quarterback and stay off the quarterback. I think he's done a very good job in practice of working through that and doing that. Like I said, I'd just leave it to you. You saw them all. When we had full contact and stuff like that, you guys don't miss much. The reason we don't open it up in the regular season is because it's just game prep and different things like that. We practice with shoulder pads, but our practices aren't what you would say heavy contact, like training camp."
On LB DeAndre Levy's play this season: "He has played pretty consistently since he has been a player here. I think what stands out is that he had a couple interceptions and returned both of them to the house, one of them negated by a penalty but he did that in Miami in his second year, he scored. He has always been a guy that is around the football that can make those plays. He wasn't playing poorly and all of sudden started playing better when he signed the contract. The reason we signed him is because he had been a good player for us and we wanted to continue along. I guess you could say he validated that decision. That's probably the best way to put it."
On if a missed field goal is almost like a turnover: "I wouldn't necessarily call it a turnover, but it is a big flip in field position."
On how dominate DT Ndamukong Suh was in the game: "Particularly against the inside run he was very hard to handle. If (Carson) Palmer hadn't thrown as quick as he threw, Suh would have looked different as far as sacks and things like that. Then again like I said you can't really read the stat sheet and know how effective a particular player was. The interception that (Stephen) Tulloch made last week was directly responsible to Ndamukong Suh. Levy's interception was directly responsible to Suh. In those cases, maybe you have a sack or an interception, you know the interception is probably better at that point. He has done a nice job. As far as our scheme went, we had to patch work it a little bit without having Nick (Fairley) in there, we had to use Jason Jones inside a lot and mixing guys around a little bit. That affected the way they were trying to account for Ndamukong. They put a lot more double teams on him, he still found a way to be affective in the game regardless. He made some key plays for us."
On if he regrets running the ball with time left before half: "No, there was 50 seconds and we were on our own 21-yard line. You have to weigh the risk and the reward there and we just didn't take a knee. We ran a run that we have creased in the past and if we can crease it and get the ball to the 30-35 yard line we can be in business right there. The one thing we also want to do is avoid going three-and-out real quick and having to punt that ball in bad field position and give them a chance to score. We called a play that had a chance to crease them, particularly if they were playing a heavy pass defense, they made the play and we just decided to go into halftime. There is always a lot of things that people are going to critique and things like that but you have to look at the potential negatives. You try to push the ball, you have to move with 53 seconds left, you throw an interception there and then everyone is asking why you just didn't take a knee at the end of the first half. We will do what we think is best to win the game. We have done that before whether it's a screen, whether it's a short pass, whether it's a draw, a trap, something like that. You have a chance to break it and if you do you can get going. If you don't you have bad field position, you can put your defense in a bad spot too."
On if he thought of letting the Cardinals score just before the two minute warning: "No because if we had been inside a minute maybe but with a 1:57, actually it was outside the two minute warning that it happened, we still had time. They actually threw a pass and stopped the clock for us on one. In that case if you can get a stop with a field goal and get the ball back with a minute and thirty or a minute and twenty or even a minute, you have a much better percentage of being able to go win that game in the end if you only need a field goal, so we were going to try and stop them. The exception there would have been if they could've just milked the entire clock and then taken the rest of the game down but I don't think they were in that situation that they could've done that. We wanted to get the ball back to our offense. We didn't get the job done when we got the ball back. That's probably the only thing there."
On the last 4th and 4 play call: "Nate Burleson got jammed up pretty good at the line of scrimmage. He was never really able to make the depth on his route. That's a play where he had a couple first downs on early in the game. They played the play probably better than we did. They made the plays to win the game, we didn't."