Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Wednesday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On if the conversation with Broyles was productive: "They all are, I call them instructive experiences, how about that."
On if issues were ironed out after having a conversation with Broyles: "There were no issues."
On what position he could see WR Calvin Johnson playing defensively: "I can't imagine that there's not several that he could actually manage and do extremely well. Whether it's safety, either one, outside linebacker, he can do quite a few things."
On if the team has practiced any with Johnson playing safety: "We have not."
On if the team is perceived to be more of a defensive team than offensive: "I'm not certain that I would label really, any team that I've been associated with. I never looked at it that way. It's a team and what you find like I mentioned the other day is that teams find different ways to win. I think you'll see throughout the season that you'll find our team doing things a little bit differently. From the first game of the year maybe you would mark it a little bit differently. Last Sunday it was a little bit of a different take but I think that's a sign of a team that can beat you. Otherwise it's not too difficult for guys, these bright type A personalities that occupy our league will find a way to really slow down your strengths and make you rely on another area in that regard. We have to be balanced, I think."
On if leadership comes from either side of the ball excluding the quarterback: "Not really, I think it's more so the guys that perform, guys that do the little things right, and who their teammates respect. It comes from that end of it but I think the mark of a true leader is a man that can lead himself first and foremost."
On why the defense has been successful so far this year: "They've been improving every single week, I think Teryl (Austin) and the rest of the staff have done a great job being able to get them to understand and absorb the information in regard to the scheme. There's some talent as well now, that's always certainly been the case. You got some guys up front that are big, strong, fast and athletic. We were doing actually what we call a "Pat and Go" earlier this week and it's pretty amazing when you see the number of big guys that we have that can run and could probably also play a number of different positions. We got a linebacking core that's got speed and ability and we got experience in the secondary which has helped us."
On how well the coverage unit is playing: "They're playing well. When you can slow teams down that have been threats every week and have certainly flipped the field on a number of different teams. I think our guys are doing a pretty good job but we also have to attribute that to Sam (Martin) in terms of his punting. Also, when you can for the most part anticipate that a team is probably going to have to start at about the 20 yard line because of the fact he kicks it out the end zone every time. Those things help a tremendous amount so I think you have to say the coverage teams are doing a nice job. John Bonamego and Devin Fitzsimmons do a great job of getting those guys ready but the guys also have bought in and do a great job of hustling. They tackle well when they get the opportunity.
On why Saints QB Drew Brees is so good at avoiding sacks: "He is extremely familiar with his system that he's been running for a long time. He also has an innate ability, he had it when he was at Purdue, he's an anticipatory passer and he's also a pin point passer, he gets the ball out pretty quickly as well. He's been around the block a bit, but he's always been an elite performer."
On what DT Ndamukong Suh does that helps the entire defense: "The big thing is the attention that he draws has a positive effect on the rest of the guys. Most of the guys can count on a one-on-one in terms of pass rushing and also in feeding blocks in the run game, because of him. They turn protections towards him. Very rarely do you see an uncovered center not turn to him and thus you're going to leave Ziggy, Nick, Jason, George and so many other guys in a one-on-one situation if they're not chipping, to really get after the quarterback a bit. I think that's obviously something that we've talked about, but also I do think he's a real strong presence in terms of leadership. It's a tight unit and he's right there in the center of it. He does a lot of things well."
On how to approach a game like this one: "You really don't do anything differently in terms of what we normally do. We still have to do a job and understand that this team is very potent on offense because they can run the ball extremely well, throw it extremely well and you have to be able to make certain that you can contend with both and expect that they're going to make a few plays here and there because they have talented people. There's going to be some explosion. But, I also think that our defense has been playing well and it's going to be a great challenge for them. That's basically what we do, try to point out what their strengths are and point out what we have to do to get them stopped."
On if the winner in games like this is often because the strengths assert themselves or the weaknesses on the other side of the ball: "It varies. You can look at overall stats in terms of what wins and that kind of thing. I think there may be some conclusion drawn from that, but for the most part it always ends up being a little bit different than what you think it's going to be. That's the great thing about our game, it still has to be played."
On if there is less worry about K Matt Prater because of his resume as opposed to other guys: "It's less worry for me. I'd say yes. Particularly, I think you can find solace in the fact that an individual has done it on a number of occasions. Not just one year, not just two years but an extended period of time. You certainly find a little comfort in that regard."
On if he has solidified any practice plans for LB Kyle Van Noy, WR TJ Jones or WR Calvin Johnson: "Not as of yet. They'll do as much as the medical staff allows. That's some of those things in dealing with injuries are in the province of the medical professionals. That province I try to stay out of if I can and allow them to do their job. They'll let us know. Kyle will do a little bit and see how far he can go."
On if Jones' situation will be different: "Not really, the real factors are health. It's where they are and if they're in good enough physical condition for the doctors to say yea, he's clear and he can go. So, that's up to them."
On if he believes in punting the ball instead of potentially making a mistake on fourth down: "Every game is different, I can tell you that. There's some games where you get to the point and later on in the ball game, not early, but late in the ball game, where you certainly have to take that into consideration. You have to look at those things in order to get the win because this game can turnaround so quickly that if you take your foot off the gas when you're trying to score too early, teams come back and put points on the board and overtake you. And then if you get too careless when you have a decent lead late in the game, you can also create some problems. So, you have to manage that I think, but going into a game with that as the overall riding theme, I can say this, when I worked for Joe Paterno at Penn State, his thing was always, play defense, have a good, sound kicking game and just don't have your offense make mistakes, then you're going to win the great majority of them. He won quite a few games with that philosophy, but when he had a pretty potent offense, he didn't talk about that part of it a whole lot. When we had Bobby Engram running around, O.J. McDuffie and Kerry Collins at quarterback and all of those backs that we had running up and down the field, it was a little bit different. There'd be a call to open it up a little bit from time to time, so I think it just depends on the situation."
On Saints Head Coach Sean Payton and how well his teams execute on a consistent basis: "There's not too many guys that have been able to do what he does consistently. He's been one of those guys that's been an innovator. He's a riverboat gambler of a play caller, he will do anything at any point in time to advance the ball and he's always been able to find the right personnel to fit his system. I think he's one of those guys who's an unusual play caller and I think his teams have responded to him."
On if he's concerned that his offense hasn't formed an identity yet: "I would tell you that the identity is something that I think over time helps you get a sense of where you are, when you're at full strength. But this game doesn't allow you to do so typically, because of the fact that there's so many ups and downs, there's so many setbacks and injuries and things, so you have to adapt and adjust accordingly in order to win. You have to understand that, if you don't, you're obviously going to lose some games that you should win or at least have a chance to win. We still want to be a good football team, obviously, and we know what that is. Our guys, we talk to them about there's an identity that we can create or they're going to create it for us. But in terms of being able to establish some sort of a sense of consistent dominance in an area or consistent play, that's what plagues us right now. We're not very consistent right now in terms of passing operation or in terms of running the ball effectively. So, we're working at that end and I think that it'll come."
On if the reason behind the offense's inconsistency is because of the absence of WR Calvin Johnson: "Obviously, with a guy that has his kind of talents, that's pretty obvious. I'm not saying that in any sort of way or am being mean-spirited, it's a fact. But also, I think you saw where Golden Tate converted a whole bunch of third downs prior to the stretch that we're on, right? When you look at it, as a matter of fact, I think he lead the League for a while. So, to say it's all an issue with Calvin's injury, I'd say absolutely not. I'd say it's an execution issue and it's one that we have to get better at. I think the minute you allow yourself to start looking for excuses as to why you're not functioning well, you're going to head down the wrong path and you're going to find your team softening up, not taking on the challenge, not trying to get better because you've already laid down a built-in excuse. We have no excuses. You heard me say before, excuses are tools of incompetence, they're used by monuments of nothingness and those who specialize in them are seldom good at anything else, and we believe that."
On DE Ezekiel Ansah winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week: "Yeah, he's a tremendous player. He did a great job in terms of pressuring the passer, effort plays, I mean all across the board. He was an absolute force out there. When you get that kind of size and speed that's athletic, out there on the football field, he's going to challenge anybody that he plays against. He was tremendous on Sunday."