Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Monday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
Opening Statement: "We had a chance to look at the film. I'm certainly not going to tell you anything differently than what we saw on the onset from last night's game. We didn't play well enough. It's one of the things that happens in this league, you play a good football team and we just did not play as well as we're capable and they played well. But we had our chances too. It was a tough game, it was going to be a tight game, two good defenses. We ended up holding them to no points after the first couple of drives and just had several opportunities at that point to close the gap a little bit more and get ourselves in position to win it, but we were not able to do so. I thought we ran the ball a little bit better. I thought we did some things well in spurts, but not consistently enough. But this puts us to a point where we're 1-1 in this quarter, where we've been before. The first game of the season we won, the second game of the season we lost. We were at 1-1 in the first quarter and the guys were able to bounce back. They had to bounce back against a very good football team in the first quarter, that was Green Bay. So, we're going to have to get ourselves in position to bounce back against a very good football team in New England."
On WR Golden Tate's lack of touches vs. Arizona: "I'm not going to tell you anything differently than what I've told you before, every game is different. There may be some games where he gets 10, there may be some games where he gets one. I think because of the fact that we have a number of guys out there that are capable of getting the ball, (Eric) Ebron got a few more this week, a couple of guys here got a few more, so it changes from week to week."
On if the message to the players today is to have a short memory: "I think there's no question about it. There's nothing you can do about that game. We don't dwell on it, but we do look at where we are, we do go through the game and point out our mistakes with brutal honesty. We don't short-change it, we talk to them directly. You've got to get those things fixed, things that you can get fixed, you've got to get them fixed. You've got to get them fixed in a hurry otherwise you're going to see them again week after week. So, we do those things, but we do not spend a whole lot of time after today talking about this particular game, other than our requirements with the media. But other than that, we move on quickly. You've got to have a short memory in this business, a riverboat gambler with a little short memory. Never too high, never too low and keep moving."
On WR Calvin Johnson's elbow injury and if it could be long-term: "I would not suspect there will be long-term ramifications. Calvin's a guy that's been around a while, I think he was able to fight through without any real inhibitions."
On if T LaAdrian Waddle's injury is long-term: "I wouldn't anticipate any."
On the offense's continued struggles: "Well you know, it's back and forth, it's up and down. Sometimes it may be a route that's not run exactly like you'd like it. Maybe it's ball placement, it's not thrown exactly where you'd like it with the kind of timing you're looking for. It could be pressure that's on Matthew (Stafford) that could've given us some problems or that could've come from offensive line, tight end or backs. There's all kinds of different things that have happened. There's never been any one thing, and that's the thing with consistency. We haven't been able to be really consistent across the board and consistent enough to play as well as we're capable of. Now, when you put 21 points up in a half or 22 points in a half, that's moving the ball pretty well, so we've had our spurts. But we just haven't been able to do that consistently across the board. That's what we're striving for. We've got time to do it. All of the things that we've got problems with, they're correctable. We can fix."
On if not being able to pinpoint one issue offensively is more difficult to fix than actually knowing what the problem is: "No. It just tells you that you have a little bit more work to do, that's all. We just have to keep trying to get better at it and I think that's what this league does to you. It puts you in a position where week after week you have to find a way to get better, particularly the things that you haven't been doing well, because like I said they'll keep showing up. So that's our task."
On why it is taking so long to find consistency on offense: "Can't give you any answers to that. Obviously we know what the problems are, we see them, they happen, we'll try to get those corrected, but sometimes it just takes time. We just haven't been consistent enough."
On if he is satisfied with the offensive play calling: "Certainly. Certainly I'm satisfied with it. Joe (Lombardi) does a good job."
On if there is anything different he wants to see with the offensive play calling: "One of the things I think we've always been kind of focusing in on particularly this time of year is making certain that we run the ball better. I think this game we ran the ball pretty well. I think Joique (Bell) might have averaged over six yards a carry himself, we were 5.2 overall. That's way above the four that we typically look for. In that area I think there's been some improvement and continues to be. We're going to need that down the stretch, particularly with some of these games we're going to be playing where it's going to a bit inclement and you're going to have to control the line of scrimmage. I think we're moving in the right direction there."
On if the penalties have been a concern: "Those are a concern. We have far too many penalties and that's the honest fact. We got to get it straightened out. How do you do it? You just continue to talk about it, show examples, make certain that you have officiating at practice, which we do. You talk about those things in detail, and the guys that are consistent in practice you better get somebody else in there to play. Those are things that make a huge difference. In a game like that, that's so tight, penalties in itself really jump out. In the first half we had six, they had none and obviously we got to do better."
On if he is concerned with how the rushing yards are gained: No sir. I've seen a lot of touchdowns that have been run when guys get hit in the backfield or a ball being dropped on the ground picked up and thrown, or an extra hustle play that's a little bit different from the norm. That's part of the game and unless you want me to eliminate that portion of it I'd choose not to. I think that's an important part of it and it's just how things turn out sometimes."
On how much was the team hampered with the tight end situation: "I don't think we were hampered. I don't think we were hampered at all. I thought (Eric) Ebron got in, played and moved around well. He may not have been perfect but I don't think we were hampered by it."
On if the team hampered in terms of blocking at the tight end position: "Obviously (Brandon) Pettigrew is the best blocker we have at that position. I don't think there's any question about that. All the other guys are capable. Going into a ball game Kellen (Davis) can do just as good of a job I think in some of those things that we require Pettigrew to do. Overall the adjustments we have to make week in and week out we're accustomed to doing. That's not a reason we didn't perform well, particularly in an area of blocking. We ran the ball better than we've run it all year so you can kind of balance those and determine what kind of an effect that had on the game."
On why Bell was successful during the game: "I think the last couple of weeks he's been setting the tone. He's a reckless runner, he's got power, he's deceptively elusive, and I think he does a good job. He wants the ball in his hands and he's been able to make some great run and make some tough catches when he's had to. He did a nice job on the screen so I think he's performing well."
On why the team decided to go with RB Theo Riddick instead of Bell in a 3rd and 1 situation: "You'll ask about tactical things and often times when we're preparing we look at things and see what we think best suits us and call those plays accordingly. If they work nobody says anything about them, if not you've got the benefit of results, and you can make your own assessment there. In terms of our preparation we thought that was going to be a good play for us in that situation. It didn't turn out that way."
On how big of a week this is: "They're all big. There hasn't been a game that we've gone into yet that I've looked to yet and said, ‘You know what, this is not a very big game.' They're all big. They're all tough. They're all difficult. We're 1-1 in this quarter and we've been 1-1 before in a quarter. What we have to do is get ourselves a little bit better, improve, and find a way to win."
On why he thought it may have been a good idea to target Tate less in this game: "First of all I never want to get into a situation where, I think it might have been Emerson or somebody that said, ‘To feel persecuted every time you're contradicted.' I certainly don't feel that way, but here's the thing: It's not a matter of going to him, the plays that we called are a lot of the same plays where he may have gotten the ball previously. You look at progressions, in the progressions there may be a guy in front of him and he has to go somewhere else. Those are the things that happen more so than saying, ‘Hey you know what, we're not designing any plays to go to Golden.' That wasn't the case. It's just kind of the way things turn out sometimes. It's tough for you to explain otherwise if we sit down and show you every play that we called, what the progressions are on those plays, where he was in relationship into that progression and how it worked out. Some games it just turns out that way. Through the years, those of us who have been around this thing a long time, there's ups and downs, there's ebbs and flows. I remember Marvin Harrison went a couple ball games where he only caught one or two passes, Reggie Wayne might have been the same thing and a number of guys across the board, it happens week in and week out. You all think it's targeting, but it's not targeting necessarily, it's progressions. A lot of factors get into that, pressure, all of those kinds of things that could have happened on those particular plays. It's just kind of sometimes how it falls in place."
On if he feels that Stafford forced it to Johnson too often: "I don't feel that way, no."
On if he has a feel for how this team reacts to tough situations: "One of the things is that it takes you time, I think through an entire season. We really haven't, I've mentioned this before, we haven't been through a tough stretch yet. One loss, losing a game is not a tough stretch to me. A tough stretch is obviously when you go through an extended period of time. A tough stretch is losing four out of the last five like we did in Baltimore, I think it was four out of the last five and ended up winning the Super Bowl. We went through a tough stretch in there. A tough stretch is when we were in Indy, the last couple games of the season and one of those games, Jacksonville ran for over 300 and some yards on us and then going into a situation where we're getting ready to play Larry Johnson in the first game of the playoffs, a guy who could rush it. We went through tough stretches in both of those, how they come out of those is what counts. I know what kind of team we have, I think they've show in spurts. Obviously, they have grit, they come back, they fight you and don't give up. Even in this ball game, our effort was unreal, unbelievable effort. When you get that kind of effort, we just have to work on execution in some things and we'll get better. Penalties we have to clean up, but I do think this team has the fortitude to be really resilient under disappointment."
On if they have gotten any clarification form the League on the punt return play: "I did and I'm assuming you guys have also heard the reports so that's about all I'm going to comment on. They said he possessed the ball, he possessed it and that was it, end of story."
On the D.E.A. investigating teams: "Obviously, I have enough to worry about in terms of our football team. But, I do understand that without question the government thinks it is important, so they follow through on it. That's probably about the best answer I could give you."
On how much input he has on play calling: "Here's the bottom line: Every defensive call, every call on special teams, every call on offense goes through me. If I don't like it, I'll change it. But, I'm responsible for every call that goes into the ball game, plain and simple. It's my prerogative and thus I'm responsible. That goes on whether we're effective or ineffective."