Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Wednesday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
Opening statement: "We have, certainly, a real challenge ahead of us: a team that plays well consistently in all phases. They're a very, very difficult team to deal with. They give you great challenges from a defensive standpoint because they do a great job defensively adjusting their scheme to your offense. Then conversely on the other side of the ball, they give you all kinds of problems with, obviously, one of the great quarterbacks of all time. (He has a) quick release, smart, all of the things that you look for in a guy. He moves his teams well, has some weapons to get the ball to the tight end position, the wide outs, Gronkowski (Rob) is exceptional. Then, all across the board they do a great job. Jonas (Gray) has certainly stepped it up a bit and ran for 199 yards. So, they give you all kinds of issues. Special teams, they're crafty and they do a lot of things unique and have very fine return men. Amendola (Danny) is great, Edelman (Julian) does a nice job so we have our work cut out for us. But it's going to be a great challenge and our guys are looking forward to it."
On if TE Rob Gronkowski's size, speed and intensity make him special: "All of the above. The guy has speed for a big man, incredible size. He can make acrobatic catches but then you can see when he gets the ball in his hand he's also dangerous. The run he had against Indianapolis after the catch was quite impressive. He's a guy that has great passion for the game, so he ignites the team around him as well. He can make plays."
On what ways Gronkowski impacts an entire defensive game plan: "He gives you so many different problems and in particular, once they get their running game going, the play action with him down the seam, over the middle, and Brady (Tom) throws it extremely well, it kind of just ties right in to everything that they do. He creates all kinds of problems for you that way."
On if RB Jonas Gray's recent performance was an example of a successful system: "You have to give credit to the young man. He did a tremendous job. He's tough, a hard-nosed guy, can get downhill, has good vision. We had him a little bit at Baltimore and you could see he was eager and had a great desire to play. He's playing well."
On what makes QB Tom Brady so good: "He has, I think, all the intangibles: leadership, great work habits, but he also, physically, is gifted as well. He has a great release, he's quick in the pocket, he gets that ball out fast. You don't see a whole lot of people getting to him because of that. He can make every throw. He has a wide array of touch plays as well as down the field. He can launch it, intermediate pass game, he can do it all."
On if there is one matchup against New England that stands out to him in his past: "There were a lot of them. Ironically, we faced them pretty much every year there and then also in Baltimore we faced them, obviously. They give you all kinds of issues and all kinds of problems. There's always a couple that stick out in your mind, some of them positive some of them negative. It was always a lot of fun because it was always a great challenge. Both teams got up for one another, played hard because at that time, we usually played about this time of the year, and both teams were always in the hunt. That made it a little bit more interesting."
On if there's a level of intimidation when playing the Patriots in Foxborough: "The thing about is that they have great tradition, a great tradition of winning. Certainly their ownership is one that is well respected, the coaching staff obviously has been exceptional through the years, so they have a lot of things that are going for them. But the fact of the matter is, they are a team that has one, probably, more Super Bowls in the modern era than anyone else. So, they present a great challenge, but our guys I think are up for that challenge. I think they look at every opportunity that they have as a great chance to go in and show what they can do and I think it'll be interesting."
On how CB Darrelle Revis has evolved as a corner since early in his career: "He's been outstanding from the first day that he walked out on the field in this league. Size, speed, intangibles, works extremely hard, gifted and he's got great passion for the game. He doesn't like anybody to catch one ball on him, so he's pretty intense. Through the years, he's always been the same and he's the same now, very hard to deal with."
On how S James Ihedigbo has developed as a player: "To me, he's always been the same. We played against him, obviously when he was in New England and we were in Indianapolis, but even then you could see he was a guy that was active back there in the perimeter. He did a good job of setting the course of the rest of the guys in the secondary. He'd attack the ball and the ball carriers, which he still does today. When we had an opportunity to work with him in Baltimore, he brought the same intangibles, the same guy, and he's the same guy today. All of the things that you love about him he continues to do and he's a warrior. He's one of those guys that you love to have him on your side."
On if he's surprised that the offense hasn't developed quicker: "The thing I would say is that we just haven't been consistent. Often times, that happens, but you don't like it and you work to try to improve it. That's all you can do. You just keep working at it, you keep trying to get better, and we've had our spurts. It'd be different if we had just done nothing at all this entire time, but the fact of the matter is, it's just a matter of being able to put it all together, to get that one complete game. The first game was probably the most complete game that we played, but then there are halves. I mean you don't play any better half than we played in the second half against Atlanta, which wasn't too long ago. You don't play any better first quarter than we had against Miami and a better last quarter than we had against Miami. So, you look at those things and we just have been inconsistent. It's there and we're just working to try to get on that roll. Now, one of the things that happens to you is the fact when that you've been coaching for a while, you've seen it occur. I know we were at Baltimore my first year there, we sputtered along, had great games, had poor games, then we got on fire at the end. We caught on fire and we were tough to deal with, so we're hoping to light that match here shortly."
On if he has faith in Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi's system: "Here's the thing and let me address this first of all, it's not Lombardi's system, it's our system. Do I still have faith in it? Absolutely, it just takes work. It's just not one of those things that it happens overnight. You've got to keep working at it, you've got to keep pounding away and you can't get deterred. So, you've got to keep your focus. You start changing and moving and adjusting all of that kind of stuff and pretty soon, you have no idea what you're doing in that sense and you're back up to where you were a few weeks ago. But we've got to keep rolling and keep preparing and keep getting better, which we're doing. Some of it's hard to see at this point right now, but in spurts and I think you'll see it in due time."
On if the team needs something to shake the cards up offensively as he did in Baltimore: "It really didn't happen that way, I wouldn't say that. The reason why it turned around is because the guys started playing better plain and simple. It had nothing to do with me, my play calling, or anything of that nature in my estimation. Guys just woke up and started playing better that's all. We just got to get more consistent and we'll be fine."
On what sparked the change in Baltimore: "You see it happen all the time. They get familiar with what they're doing a little more, better execution, and it just kinds of falls in place. Often times if you make a lot of drastic changes along the way you're going to find that you'll lose that. You just have to stay with it. Go back and look at our years in Indianapolis and you'll see what I'm talking about. There were some ups and downs there to where everybody was kind of calling for changes, calling to make adjustments, and right now the guy who is still operating that same exact system is one of the most prolific passers in the history of the game. It took patience and in this particular case I think we have the guys in place to do it, we've just got to keep working at it and get it done."
On how New England's secondary rivals Arizona's: "You know, every week is a little bit different and it's tough to compare teams. They played well against us last week and this team has the capabilities as well. They've got talented folks back there but we also have talented guys. We have weapons and I would anticipate our guys will step up to that challenge."
On how important TE Eric Ebron is to the second half of the season: "I think we have the luxury now of a few guys out of that position that is going to be able to help us out. I do think with him he came along. He played a lot more comfortable at his position and I do think that down the stretch he's going to be able to kind of stretch the field for us from his position. Not only that, but he gives us some big plays as well."
On how his team has created some fear in other teams with the defensive play so far this season: "One of the things I think that you have to understand about the guys that play in this league, they're afraid of nothing. Fear is something that I think is talked about outside of those realms, but those guys that walk between those stripes, there's not a whole lot of reputation or things of that nature that's going to make a real big difference to them. They come to play and you have to prove to them what you're status is going to be on that particular day. You can see from week to week that changes and I think our guys view it the same way. There's not a whole lot of guys that read and fear someone's reputation from a buildup of what they perceived maybe through some other vehicles."
On what the perception and reputation of the defense should be: "Smart, fast, and physical. That's it."
On what it takes to win at New England and why it is so difficult: "The same thing it takes to win anywhere. You can't turn the ball over, you have to be able to run the ball with some efficiency and you certainly have to be able to make big plays against them as well. You have to get some chunks somewhere along the way and you've got to keep them out the end zone that's key."
On if there is something special about Gillette Stadium that makes it difficult to play there: "Noisy and obviously very knowledgeable fans. Sometimes every once in a while you're going to have to deal with a little weather up that way this time of the year. This may be one of those games."