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 Tampa 2 defense Buccaneers Coach Lovie Smith is running in Tampa Bay is similar to what he ran in Chicago: "There's always little tweaks here and there. But for the most part, it's also the same one that we ran in Indy, same basic structure. I think everybody kind of has a tendency to add their own flavor to it, but for the most part it's the same."
On DT Nick Fairley's state of mind during his injury: "I think the first part of it early on it's always a little bit difficult for them. I think the initial thing that happens to them is a bit strange because they're not out there doing the work, but yet he's came around quite a bit and we try to keep him around as much as we can. But, you can also see when they're starting to make some headway. You begin to see them liven up a little bit more. He's off those crutches and walking around, you hear him which is comforting but he's doing better."
On Fairley's weight being at 292 pounds: "It's a difficult thing to do sometimes (stay in shape) when you're somewhat inactive. He's doing rehab and things of that nature, but it can be difficult to keep your weight to where it's manageable and he's been able to do that."
On what makes DT Gerald McCoy so exceptional: "It's probably a combination of all those things. He's very smart, has a great knack for the position in which he plays, his timing is impeccable, he's also got power and speed and a variety of moves."
On how to throw off McCoy's timing: "I'm certain he's probably seen a little bit of everything because of the fact that everybody knows how good he is. You try to do whatever you can to best suit your operation because he can disrupt it."
On the similarities between McCoy and DT Ndamukong Suh: "I think the obvious thing is that they're both winners, they're both without question, both great performers in a league where it's very difficult to play the position in which they play. They both have extraordinary talent."
On S James Ihedigbo's and S Glover Quin's play together: "I think it's probably their work ethic more so as much as anything. Now, they both have talent, but they work. Even this morning in the weight room, they're one of the first guys in and this is not a day typically, where we have mandatory weight lifting. This is a day when you come in and try to work on some other issues you may have from a rehab standpoint or keeping something strong and in place. It's a demanding business that we're in and obviously, those guys are in there early, working and I think that has a lot to do with why they've been so successful. That's the way in which they live their life. They're very, very detail-oriented, they've seen a lot, so they're veteran players and can anticipate a lot of things."
On what he attributes their connection on the field to: "I think what happens is, the secondary and the offensive line, there has to be a lot of cohesion. There has to be a great amount of communication on the defensive side of the ball. You know that old adage, a defensive player's value to his football team is adversely proportionate to his distance to the ball and I think in the secondary they have to be able to move together, flow together and have a good sense of one another and their locations on the field, timing in terms of disguises and things of that nature. Those guys have played with one another enough now to get to a point where some of it's nonverbal communication."
On if CB Rashean Mathis, Ihedigbo and Quin being veterans in the league contributes to that: "Those three guys, no question that has a lot to do with it. The way in which those guys play back there in the secondary, they don't allow anyone to get lost. The communication is very, very good all the way across the field. You watch Mathis, even in practice, you watch him in the walk through this morning and he'll be talking about what's going on, what to anticipate, what to expect. He's like a coach out there on the field. He sees the whole field from that corner position. Those two guys (Ihedigbo and Quin) certainly see the whole field from the safety spot. Communication is good and it's actually a lot of fun to watch them operate."
On how CB Darius Slay contributes to that communication and why he's been effective this year: "I think number one, experience and number two, the guy has talent. There's no question about that. But, I do think that working with the same group of guys consistently and I think he's coming of age, he hasn't arrived yet because I don't think he's scratched the surface of where he's going to be. But, I think a lot of it has to do with the communication and with the instruction. I think the two guys that coach them and work together, Alan Williams and Tony Oden, probably work together better than any two assistant coaches I've seen while working with that position. Typically, it can be a little contentious sometimes. They have great synergy, they bounce back and forth in terms of their teaching and I think they make it very comfortable within their room. They work together. Sometimes you'll see that there's separate corners and safeties meeting in different meeting rooms and you lose something because that requires cohesion. But, those guys work within that setting, it's like team-teaching, which I think is exceptional."
On if he's surprised teams have stopped running consistently against his defense: "I think every week's different. They look at you from their vantage point and make a determination of what they'll do. I don't anticipate that's going to be something that we'll see week in and week out."
On the Buccaneers' wide receivers being similar to the Bears': "Both sets of guys are above average height for the position. They're big, they're physical, they can run and these guys are highly productive. Obviously, two weeks in a row with the same type of production from that position really challenges the guys on our perimeter. One on one situations, these guys have won quite a bit. Evans (Mike) is having an unbelievable year in terms of scoring touchdowns. They can do it all, they run routes well, they can expand the field with their speed, they can box you out as well, so they're tough to handle."
On if it helps facing these types of receivers back-to-back: "I wish it wouldn't help so much. I think our guys will tell you, we could certainly use a break. But the fact of the matter is, they are a tough group to handle and they're different now. Both sets of guys have maybe a little different sort of advantage that they utilize against you. So, you have to study these guys and determine what that is."
On how difficult it is to balance the confidence and humility of Slay at his age: "I'm not certain how to answer that question because everybody is different. We don't try to dictate personalities and we don't try to make this a homogenous sort of approach to this game. I think you lose something when you do that. Some guys are talkative, some guys have a swagger when they walk into your locker room. You just don't want to get to the point where, everybody has an ego. I have one, you have one, but we don't have an ego problem, right? So, that's the kind of thing that we look for. He has a good healthy sense of himself, he's confident and I think it's just his nature. I think the way he was probably raised he has the kind of humility that he's looking for."
On the Lions' ability to win close games and if that's just the NFL or something else: "It's the way the League is. I think often times it's very difficult for a casual observer to watch and sense what a difference that makes in a ballgame. There's really about that much difference between 8-4 and 4-8. I referenced this before and the folks that have been around us here have heard me mention this before, but there was a year we were 14-0, there were seven games during that time period where we came from behind in the fourth quarter to win the game. So, we very easily could've been 7-7 in the blink of an eye. There were some unbelievable victories there along the way and that's the way the League is. That's why Sunday to Sunday, you can't determine who's going to win. You've got to come out and play the game and play the game you're supposed to. That's why you throw records out of the window. We don't even talk about it, we talk about more or less the schemes that we're playing, the people we're playing against and attack it in that direction."
On RB Joique Bell's ability to peak towards the end of the season: "I would say that he has probably shown glimpses when he's gotten the opportunity before. The guy did it in college, you can tell he could carry the load for an extended period of time. He's a workhorse in that regard, the more you give it to him, the better he gets. But he also practices exactly the way you see him on game day, the same type of recklessness. I stand back in the secondary often times as I'm blowing the whistle to complete a play or finish a play, or to tell the guys to back off. So, I'm standing back there often times and he comes blazing by me and I noticed it a lot, probably just before he started making that run, but I think he started feeling good and thus he practiced well. So, you play like you practice and I think he's been putting in the kind of work that gives him the kind of results that he's been getting recently."
On if Bell has hurdled him: "Not quite. I don't think I could duck."
On how important it is to have a running back who can get those extra couple of yards sometimes: "This is a game of inches and I think you can count on him for the most part to try to keep you away from negative gains. He's been able to bounce off people, break tackles and then finish runs. That's the part I think you were referring to, but he's done a nice job of finishing runs and I think that's extremely important."
On if he has determined RB Reggie Bush's status for Sunday's game: "I haven't made a determination yet. He's coming along."
On if he has determined if WR T.J. Jones will go onto the Reserve/Injured List yet: "We haven't gotten to that stage yet, but he's coming along, he's practicing. He's doing well at this point."
On the status of T Riley Reiff and G Larry Warford: "You'll see on the injury report, but they're coming along."