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Jim Caldwell's quotes from Tuesday

A recap of Jim Caldwell's comments from Tuesday.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Tuesday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening Statement: "Obviously we aren't having any practice this week, so the guys are going to get a chance to heal a bit. Our team has been battling through a number of different injuries and things of that nature and we need to get our health back. I think that's key. Although the guys have done a great job of battling through, this week is going to give us an opportunity to convolute a little bit and I've encouraged them to kind of get away from it some. But obviously, we have to stay in some kind of shape to be ready to roll for the second half of the season, which will be long and arduous, without question. I think our guys have certainly done their best and have given us their best and have done a tremendous job overall. But we still have a lot of work to do and this second half of the season is going to be difficult for us."

On DT Nick Fairley's health status: "Until we get everything looked at and make a determination, we very rarely put a timetable on it. I know there was a report out that stated four to five weeks, but it never came from our office because of the fact that we have not come to that conclusion as of yet. When we do, we'll certainly release it."

On if the team expects Fairley back this season: "We're not certain how that will work. They haven't told me that he wouldn't be at this point in time."

On when the team expects to have DT C.J. Mosley back: "I think the statement stands on its own. If you take a look at it, read through it and kind of glean from it what you'd like. But we said two weeks and in two weeks he'll return."

On if the two-week window started the day he left the team: "I think that's how it read."

On if teams need to have comeback wins during the regular season to help prepare for a potential playoff run: "Yeah, it's a part of the journey. It doesn't always require those kinds of games, but in this league, I should say it does require a few of those along the way. You may recall that I had mentioned to you that the year that we were 14-0, that there were seven games that going into the fourth quarter, we were behind. And so that season we could've easily ended up 7-7 at that time as opposed to 14-0. So, I think it's all kind of a part of that whole process that in this league, it's going to be competitive, there's going to be some close games and you're going to have to come back and win a few in tough situations."

On the importance of his players coming through in the clutch: "I think that's extremely important. I think that's a part of developing mental toughness, I think that's a part of the character. Obviously, you have to have some talent as well and I think the combination of those things make a tremendous difference. But you have to have guys that want the ball in their hands down the stretch. You have to have guys that are willing to step up and give you everything they've got to get it done. In particular, when they can see obviously there's a possibility of a victory in sight and just never give up. I think those things are extremely important. If you don't have mental toughness in this game because you get down by x-number of points and you call it a day, you're not going to be very good. You'll be average at best, so we're trying to get beyond that."

On if he believes in being a team of destiny: "I believe in providence, I don't necessarily believe in team of destiny, but after you look back on some seasons, you see that there was some signature sort of events that occurred. Some of them are inexplicable. The thing about our game is there is such random occurrences that you cannot predict, so what we do is we practice hard to try to control the things that we can. But I've been in several different scenarios where this happened and you mentioned it was third and 39 with Ray Rice against San Diego and then the huge play against Denver, which kind of vaulted us into the Super Bowl, that was huge as well, on the long touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, things like that that occur that ordinarily you would think, ‘Hey, the game is over, there's no chance.' But that's why you don't want to leave any time on the clock because any time the ball gets in the hands, I think Pittsburgh last year, they had the one play on the last play of the game, a young man stepped out of bounds and had an opportunity to score and end the game with a score. But if you leave any time on that clock, you're subject to something happening that could certainly go the other way and could cost you a victory."

On his thought process behind running the ball on third and nine with no timeouts left in the game vs. Atlanta: "It's really not that much of a risk. One of the things that we practice every single day when we do field goals, is we begin it with a bonsai field goal, meaning that our guys run onto the field, get set, kick the ball, within a prescribed amount of time. Often times, we give them a lot less than what's needed. In that particular case, we didn't want to leave any time on the clock. I didn't like necessarily our options in terms of the plays that we would call, in terms of a pass play because that's when weird things begin to happen. Tipped balls in the air, offensive pass interference calls, some of the things that we run in that situation to try to gain a couple of more yards, I didn't like them. But I did know this, we were in field goal range and I also didn't want to leave any time on the clock. I didn't want to kick that ball to Devin Hester. I didn't want to get that ball back into the hands of Matt Ryan because they did the same thing with us. You could see they did not want us to get the football because they saw the last two weeks, obviously the teams that did give it to us down the stretch, we ended up certainly doing some damage and scored. So, we wanted to keep that down to a minimum. So, your choices are, you run the ball, but we were ready, we were ready in case we had the bonsai. The bonsai was all ready, the offense was down there ready to run on the field, it's an exchange that we always make, we've done it time and time again. I think it's a fundamental part of the game to be honest with you. If you don't practice that scenario, and that scenario will come up in some point in time, but to end the game on that kick I think is vital. Now, you can look at a number of different things and I think often times you have to know your team and know what to expect and anticipate, but I love those situations. I love talking about them, that's all we do. That's all we do is talk about end of game situations and all of the different scenarios. We analyze everyone. From the game last night, looking at the Cowboys and Washington, we study every single form and operation in the League and in college. Anything that pops up that's a bit unusual, we mock them out, we make certain that if this happens, what will we do. Ours was highly conservative in that regard, obviously, but we knew we were in field goal range there and we were in good shape. The difference maker was the fact that they had the holding call that pushed the ball down and made the scenario a little bit different than it had been previously. But all of those things come into play and they're interesting. There are several different ways to handle it, everybody's going to have their own opinion, but what I'm most interested in is victory, plain and simple. You can talk about anything else you want after that, but I'm interested in the win. We look at it and say, ‘What could we have done differently?' We analyze that as well, so we look at all of those different scenarios. Those are the things you learn and you move along the way.
Take you back a little bit, I had a situation that occurred to me, it was 1993. We were playing the University of Maryland at home at Wake Forest. We had a running back that had carried the ball. I think John Leech had set a school record and could have possibly set an ACC record, I'm not quit certain it was long ago. Here's what happened, it was windy that day and we ended up running the ball maybe 13 times in a row, moving the ball down the field to get in position. We were up by a point or something, it was less than a field goal. To make a long story short we were on the one yard line and instead of kicking a field goal, our field goal kicker had missed three at that time. That's the other thing, somebody asked me have you ever been in a situation where we missed a few field goals in a game? That was one. We missed I think three in that game or something like that. We went for it, didn't make it, so thinking it was fourth down and one, we felt that they couldn't go 99 yards and put the ball in the end zone to beat us. We went for it to try to seal the game and a field goal would have put us up by two scores. Officials ruled that it was not a touchdown. Fact of the matter is when we looked at it after the game when they looked at it they said, ‘Yeah he did cross the goal line,' but that's neither here nor there. They took that ball 99 yards and stuck it in the end zone on us and beat us. That kind of leaves a thought in your mind that whenever you get an opportunity to run all that time off the clock, and don't give them an opportunity to possess the ball it increases your chances of winning. In this league, with the quarterbacks we have, return men that they have, and dangerous athletes you try to get to that point as much as you possibly can."

On why the team took the delay of game penalty when lining up for the field goal: "Obviously that's our fault just in terms of getting there, getting set, and getting ready. It was poor but it was fortunate so I'll take that. I'm not going to point at one guy or one thing. It's my fault plain and simple. Anything that goes on to that field, any call that's made, any situation, it all runs through me. That's my fault and I got to do a better job of getting those guys out there and getting them ready."

On if running the ball late was a part of the clock management in Week 7 against the Saints despite being down: "A couple things, and I'm not going to get into all that stuff because number one it's boring for you guys, for us we love it. You also try to make them use timeouts whenever you can because that's key. When you get them to the point where they have none it changes the dynamics of a game. That's all a part of the process of running the ball and running the clock down. There may be some games that we may be looking at a little bit differently, depends on how much time you have and all that kind of stuff. You're always factoring those things in and that's a big part of it I think."

On if there is any concern with DT Nick Fairley's weight while he is injured: "First and foremost I'm just concerned about him healing and getting ready for the game. We'll worry about the other stuff later. When we get him back we'll worry about all that but I think he's made a commitment to getting himself in great shape and I think he's done so. He's conscious of it and he's done a tremendous job in that regard. I'm not going to lose any sleep over that one. When we get him back we'll be happy to get him back that's for certain."

On if there is any concern with QB Matthew Stafford having his lowest completion percentage of the season against the Falcons: "I think when you add up what happened to us in the first half on both sides of the ball, I think you'd see our statistics were down in both areas, unlike maybe most games. We just got off to a poor start. We just did not perform well in any phase, but the great thing is the guys came back in the second half and scored on every single drive that we had in terms of offensive possession with either field goals or touchdowns. The defense stopped them on every single drive that they had as well. So you know, sometimes you got to take a little bit of the good with the bad. That was a tough first half. We didn't perform well so I think you could see all of those numbers were down."

On the message given to the team at the halfway point of the season: "Before going into this particular ball game we told them that we wanted to come out of this particular one at the best point we could possibly be. At that time we were 5-2, we wanted to come out the weekend 6-2, that was our goal. We were able to do that, albeit a little unconventional but we got it done. The message that we have for them is this, we wanted them to get a little time away, because I think our team has given a lot the first eight games. We're going to have to really have our energy stored up and health in place for the home stretch which will be when we get back. We are only going to look at one game at a time, we're just looking at the next quarter that's coming up. We finished the first quarter 3-1, we finished the second quarter 3-1, and we're getting ready to go into the third quarter against a tough Miami team. We try to tell them hey, ‘Get away from it but we got to stay in some kind of reasonable shape. We need you to just clear your mind a little bit.' I think one of the things that most people don't understand about the guys performing is number one what it does to the body. It takes an unbelievable toll, I mean these guys are crashing into one another at a high rate of speed, and there's a lot of body weight and certainly impact plays out there. To get away from that and get those bodies to recuperate a little bit, we got some guys that are on the mend and hopefully we can get as many back as we possibly can. We want to get away from it and relax but we want to rest, we want to recuperate, and then we want to start to focus in on our opponent coming up. That's kind of what we told them at this point in time. We don't want to look any further ahead than the next ball game, but we got a few days to kind of think about nothing. They can spend time with their families which I think is important. Families get neglected during the season. A lot of these guys have children and to give an opportunity for them to go and be with their families. Some guys are at a different location. Josh Bynes, for example, his family is still in Maryland. It'll be great for him to get a chance to go home and see his family, see his wife, see his children, and I think that's extremely important. We very rarely get a chance to go to go to church and worship during this time of year. We do have our own chapel service and Dave Wilson does a tremendous job with us, but it's a different fellowship, places maybe a guy grew up, and depending on where their church home is they get a chance to go back and do some of those things. Guys get a chance to go back and go to their old universities, watch their college team play, root for them, and stand of the sidelines. Those are great experiences that you cannot get back, so we're trying to give them a vehicle and opportunity to go back and enjoy some of those things and then we come back and our focus is narrow. We got a determined group of guys that I think will take advantage of those opportunities to relax, but when we come back it's all business."

On DT Caraun Reid's play: "Obviously, the reps went up for him. He functioned, I think well, for a young guy but he's got a long way to go. But, he did give us some quality moments, in particular he played a bit in that second half. He did ok."

On if they have made a move at defensive tackle or with LB Kyle Van Noy: "We have not."

On what his expectations are of Van Noy: "We'll see, we have to get him back in the full swing of things. He's been practicing well, he's been coming along and he feels good. We'll see what happens."

On how confident he will be that RB Reggie Bush, WR Calvin Johnson and others will be healthy after the bye week: "I know they're on the right track but they're no guarantees. I do believe they're on the right track and we'll see."

On DT Ndamukong Suh never being injured: "He's obviously been doing great in that regard. He's a force for us. I'm not certain that I've seen him play much better than he played in the second half of that game, he was a force. He did a tremendous job, he takes great care of his body, but in this game there are odd things that happen to you. An injury does not occur because of the fact that you're not in great shape or anything of that nature. It's just kind of the nature of the game. He's been blessed and we hope to keep him that way."

On if he's looking forward to getting his offensive weapons back from injury: "There are no guarantees. I've gotten beyond that in my career, of ever even thinking that it's going to be absolutely perfect. There are no perfect scenarios in this league, it just doesn't happen that way. Typically, there's going to be an issue. Very rarely do you go through an entire season and have the same group of guys to work with for the entire season or get the number of guys back that you think you'll get back and all that kind of stuff. If you hinge your thought process on anything of that nature, you're setting yourself up for a letdown. My job is to get our teams in position, to win games, regardless of who lines up for us out there. If you had to play tackle for us, we'd have to try and find a way. That's our job, to get it done. I don't think about these rosy sort of scenarios. They don't even cross my mind. What crosses my mind is the fact that when we get ready to get rolling next Monday, whoever's there we're going to coach them up and get them ready to win, plain and simple. That doesn't mean I'm not praying for quite a few of them, but the fact of the matter is that whoever shows up we're going to go after."

On how he will split carries between RB's Theo Riddick and Reggie Bush when both are healthy: "That's a problem that we hope we have. I think that there's enough to go around for everybody. I think both guys have unique qualities and both guys have big-play impact. We plan to use them both."

On how often they practice end-of-game scenarios: "Daily, all the time, it never ends. Every night, every day, it's constant. It's one of the things that I think I love basketball for that reason. One of the things when you watch basketball, at the end of the ball game there's a lot of different scenarios that sort of pop up and so many different ways to go about it. I think that's what makes both sports very interesting towards the end of the game and that's why people talk about it so much. But, often times talking about it in the moment, you're trying to get ready for it, understand what to do and try to prepare, that's kind of what we're always doing. We're always looking to say, ‘Hey what if this happens? What are we going to do? What if this occurs?' So, there are all these different factors that come into play. You have to do it, not necessarily when I sit down and watch it on film, when I'm watching last night's game it's different and I have no pressure on me. So I can kind of watch and say, ‘Hmm, I wonder why they are doing that in that situation? How does that make sense?' But, we take them and we break them down. We do the algorithmic portion of it since you're dealing with seconds and minutes. There's some algorithm that kind of fits. But, when you're dealing with individuals that are within the game, uncertainties, officiating and all those kinds of things there's different things that happen during the course of the ball game.  Those things you have to be able to adjust to. That's why you have so many different scenarios. You can look at it and say, ‘Well they should have done this, they should have done that.' Like I said, bottom line is that you have to win."

On how much they practice a last second field goal with the clock running: "We do it every week, that's what I'm trying to explain to you. We do it every single week on Wednesday and Thursday when we kick, every day, every time. That's the exact scenario where it comes up; Ball is caught or it's run and it's in bounds and the clock is running. What you're trying to do is not leave them anytime whatsoever. You run out, you get your guys lined up, you kick it with a second left, it goes through the uprights and Coach John Bonamego runs around saying, ‘Lions win the game!' That's kind of how it happens."

On how much time they typically need for a field goal with a running clock: "It depends where you are. If you're right across like we were, you can get out there a lot faster because it was a straight line, a straight shot. If you completed a pass down the field a little ways, it's a little bit longer. Typically if you have at least 18 seconds, you have a chance. So, what we had in that particular case was about 24, we anticipated a running play is going to be about four seconds, typically is what it is. Between that thing ending and the guys running out, we had plenty of time."

On his confidence in K Matt Prater: "Like I've mentioned before, the guy is a proven quality, proven entity I should say just in terms of his kicking. Once we got to the point, particularly after they had that holding penalty called against them and the clock was stopped and moved the ball, we were well within range. I know I was going to get pretty conservative at that time because I know we had a really good shot at it. The big thing I was concerned about now it what's the best way to take all of that time off the clock so I don't have to kick that ball to Hester (Devin) or squib it on the ground and have them flip it back to them or one of those kinds of deals. That's our thought process."

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