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Jim Caldwell's quotes from Thursday

A recap of Jim Caldwell's comments from Thursday.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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

On how much he helps his coaches plan long-term: "Obviously, our No. 1 goal is to put together the best staff we can to win games, that's the most important thing. But also, I think it's important that the guys have ambitions as well. That's positive, I don't view it as a negative."

On limiting the play calls on offense to what they do well: "One of the things we do each and every week is we debrief. We look at everything that we've done from a practice standpoint, we look at everything we've done just in terms of how it relates to the game during the course of the game. We look at every situation that came up, the pros and cons, what we could have done in that situation, what were our other options and we always take a look at the number of calls we have offensively, defensively, within the kicking game and make assessments accordingly depending on who we play. So, some weeks we may reduce, some weeks we may increase it just kind of depends."

On why they may reduce this week: "Obviously, because of who we're playing and we get a sense that there's some things that we can do a little bit better, so we'll give a few more reps on them."

On what the team gains by narrowing down the playbook this week: "It depends. This particular week, it gives us a chance to work on some things and refine them a little bit more. There's often times you go into a ball game and you may have a series of plays that you feel that you just can't get repped enough. Maybe there's some built in reps from training camp, from the spring, whatever it might have been. But, sometimes that's not the case and you just think that you need to refine it more. In order to do that, you have to be able to reduce a little bit of what you're doing in particular categories."

On if some of that is to jump-start the offense: "It's more so than anything else, it's game planning, it's what you're looking at and what you have to get accomplished. But certainly, we need improvement on our offense, there's no question about that. We're always looking for things to improve in that area. We're trying to find ways to improve even defensively and in our kicking game, I think they all get the same sort of attention from our standpoint. We know it just needs constant attention. Every week is different, it changes."

On if the defense will expand when facing someone like Patriots QB Tom Brady: "It depends from week to week. That's one of the things that you know about guys like that, he's seen it all. There's only so many things you can do with 11 guys, you're not going to fool him. He's got a sense for looks and once they've been through it that many times I'm telling you, you're wasting your time if you think you're going to show him something they haven't seen."

On how to peak at the right time: "We're constantly in search of that. One of the things that's important is that this time of the year you have to be playing well down the stretch. This is where the difference is made. I think all of us, as we look at our team and focus in on our guys that are playing, we want to make certain that they don't peak too early where you have the early season success and at the end of the season you nose-dive. So, we're always looking at that, that's an important part of it. It's something that just doesn't happen in the last couple weeks, it's starts way back in the spring when you first take the field in terms of your preparation and off-season training."

On where DE Jason Jones was yesterday: "He had a family matter he had to attend to. Hopefully he'll be back in due time."

On if he will be back today: "I'm not certain of that but he's taking care of things. He'll be back shortly."

On if he anticipates Jones being available Sunday: "I'm not certain, to be honest with you."

On if he is in any danger: "No, it's a family issue. It's really a personal family issue."

On how it's possible to peak too early when playing at a high level is always expected: "Well, what I was referring to is that you don't want to play your best football in the early part of the season and not be able to do it at the end. That's the part I'm talking about. There are cases, over and over again, when you see teams in the first three games of the season that are playing really well and then from that point on they don't play very well. That's what we try to avoid. Certainly, every game we want to win every game but, we've proven to you that we've won a number of games without playing our best football. So, that's an example I'm trying to tell you at least, it's not one of those things where it's contradicting what I'm telling you. It's the fact that you want to be able to get those games where you're playing defense well, you're playing offense well and your kicking game is cooking. As one of our assistant coaches always says, ‘You're cooking with grease at that time.' But nevertheless, that's what we're looking for during this portion of the season."

On how WR TJ Jones looked yesterday: "I'm not certain how to answer that question because on the first day, there's not a whole lot you can tell, to be honest with you. To can give an assessment of his progress, where he is after one day, it's difficult. But he gained his weight that he had lost after going through the set-back that he had. He looks good physically, he's got fresh legs so we'll see where it goes."

On if he feels RB Joique Bell might be limited or unavailable on Sunday: "We'll see what happens today and take a look at him. He's heading in the right direction."

On how he evaluated the run game in Arizona: "I think the other day someone asked me a similar question in that regard. I think we had 98 yards, he had 80 some odd yards and someone was asking me whether or not they were relevant runs because he got hit in the backfield. I said there were a lot of big plays in the game that occur because of the fact that sometimes there are dropped balls and you don't all of the sudden say that, ‘Hey we're going to cross that one out, put an asterisk by that.' That's not how it works. You have a guy that's capable, who can break tackles and sometimes that has to be done. We attribute it to the fact that he practiced extremely well for a number of weeks and you could see it coming that he's going to have a big game. I think his big games are yet to come. When I think you look at the running game, our average is up where we want them, they're above it and we want to continue that. We want to run it even better."

On how he handles coaches that are up for college jobs: "It depends on the situation. I've been in a similar situation myself early on in my career. I'm supportive of whatever we have to do in order to get a guy in position to do well if that's his heart's desire. But, we don't let it interfere with what we're doing. Our job is to win games. That's what we're doing. They understand that, I think the guys that we have, have great focus in that regard. If you're good and you're playing well, you're going to get teams and people that have interest in the people that are on your staff. I think that's the way it should be. I think that we have a staff where across the board there's a number of guys that are certainly capable of leading different programs, whether in this league or in college ranks or whatever it might be. We try to support them where we can but like I said, it does not run interference to what we're doing."

On Teryl Austin potentially being hired as a head coach elsewhere: "I'm not a prognosticator or a soothsayer, so I can't look around the corner. Like I said, I want what's best for him so we'll see. Those are all speculations and rumors, things of that nature. We're not going to address those issues. Let's talk about the challenge we have at hand, which is a big one."

On what advice he would give if that situation came about: "Like I said, I try to support them in a number of different ways in that regard. I'm not bashful about sharing experiences with him in terms of what we look at and etcetera. Game week's not one of those times that we typically get into those kinds of discussions, nor in-season. It happens before, happens after those kinds of things. But, we certainly do what we can to help."

On if he can judge anything from the looseness and playfulness of the players in the locker room: "It's difficult in that regard. I think they do a great job in practice in terms of their focus, that's kind of their break time in between. Some guys are in the meeting room watching film, some guys are studying, some guys relax for a few minutes prior to going back to meetings. It just kind of depends and you can't judge anything by that. There's been times, even pre-game, there's been times in pre-game not since I've been here, but previously where, ‘Hey this team is really ready to go,' and we come out flat or there's times where we thought we were in a little bit of trouble with the warm-up flat, and we come out on fire. You just don't know. It's tough to make those kinds of predictions. If you're looking at something in the locker room to make a determination on how a team's going to play, even if they may not have been out in that open area and been back in that room and it's been that way through the great majority of the season, I don't know what you can pull from that."

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