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Jim Caldwell discusses Lions' win over Buccaneers

A recap of what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say following Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say after Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

Opening statement: "I think our guys played a pretty good team game. It certainly wasn't great, it wasn't perfect, the games never are particularly against a team that has the kind of talent they have. That's a talented football team and I think when you look at teams that we play in this league, you've got to throw the record out of the window. They're big, strong and physical up front. I think our offense played with control. Matthew (Stafford) had another really good day and we ran the ball better than we have ran it all year, obviously, in terms of numbers. I think we were over 117 yards, which is the first time we've been over 100 yards, I believe this year. Calvin (Johnson) did his usual. Defensively, one of the big things I think is, coming out of the half, we had a couple of penalties, they took the ball down the field, scored and they had a little momentum, I think. And our defense came out and only allowed them 25 yards, I think, that entire quarter. That really kind of sets the stage for the rest of the game and gave us a chance to get a little bit of a cushion, some breathing room. But no lead is insurmountable in this league, but the guys played well. Special teams were solid as well. We've got a lot of room to improve and we've got to get ready for another tough one next week."

On Stafford completing 75-percent of his passes in two straight weeks: "The thing I said is, it's pretty rare to see it back to back, consistently. It's a difficult task. I think the lead leader is somewhere around 70-percent, I believe. But I do think there's no question about it, he did a nice job of taking what they gave him, spread it around, got it to a number of different receivers. He played a very good game and he's hitting his stride, I think. Hopefully, we can keep him heading in that direction."

On how he needs the running game to perform going down the stretch of the season: "Well, we'd like to average around four (yards) a carry, which is kind of what we've always said. I think that's kind of the standard, but the thing about it is, I think at one point in time we were averaging a little under two yards a carry. I think we had 19 carries or something like that, but this is the thing about the running game that people don't understand, is the fact that it happens just like you saw it. That there's a big run in there somewhere that gets your numbers up, or maybe there's two 20-yard chunks in there in every game. I've certainly been a part of teams, in particular in my college days, that really run the football, but running the football takes patience and it takes time and it's not pretty. It's dirty work and we have to do a lot of dirty work down in there. You're just not going to break a whole lot of long runs in this league, but anytime you can get up over 100-something odd yards, I don't care when you get it, I don't care how we have to get it, I think we're moving in the right direction. We haven't arrived yet, obviously. We have a long way to go."

On the play of the safeties and what they meant to the defense today: "I think overall, two veteran safeties are back there that do a nice job for us. They keep things in front of them, they communicate well with the guys that they're playing in conjunction with, but you also have to give credit to that rush up front too. We can get pressure on the quarterback often times with just four guys, and when that happens they just don't have a whole lot of time to sit back there and cherry pick. They've got to be able to put the ball up. Usually he (the quarterback) only has an opportunity to look in one direction and the ball is coming out, so that helps the secondary. But we do have two guys, (Glover) Quin, I think with the fifth interception this year is maybe the most he's had, I think. He's up there somewhere. He and Dig (James Ihedigbo) do a nice job for us."

On how the front four defensively impacted the game: "Six sacks I think is noteworthy. Anytime that they can put that kind of pressure on a quarterback, I think it's good. (Ndamukong) Suh was a force, Ziggy (Ezekiel Ansah) did a nice job. Those are guys that you have to be concerned with and you'd better find different ways to block them because you get one and the other guy's loose. And I think that's a credit to that entire front, they do a great job."

On why TE Brandon Pettigrew didn't play in the first quarter: "Coaches' decision."

On what rule Pettigrew violated: "I'm not going to tell you the rule, it was just a team-rule violation."

On why RB Theo Riddick didn't play today: "It's just one of those things. Sometimes you get into the flow of the game, you've got so many guys running in and out of there. George (Winn) played some, Reggie (Bush) played a little bit more, it kind of takes the ball out of Riddick's hands a little bit."

On if Riddick violated a team rule as well: "No."

On how plays like WR Jeremy Ross' long kick return and Stafford's incompletion on a scramble impact the game: "Well, I think it all adds up. That particular one where Matthew was able to pick the ball up and throw it, first of all, he kept it from being recovered by the opposition. Secondly, he kept us from losing any yards, which was key. He did some nice things and then Jeremy, just in terms of the return game, did a nice job of finding cracks for us and set the stage for us moving the ball and putting it in position to score."

On Bush's return to the field: "I thought he was certainly spirited. I thought he did a nice job. Obviously, the play where he ended up getting a first down for us, it was a really crucial situation that we needed points. It was a heck of an effort from him."

On G Larry Warford leaving the game and then returning: "He came back in, so we'll see how he does."

On RB Reggie Bush's protest before the game and if he supported him: "You're probably asking the wrong guy that question. I grew up in the 60's, where everybody was socially-conscious. I believe in it. I'd be a hypocrite if I stood up here and told you any differently, because more than likely, some of those protests that Dr. (Martin Luther) King and some of the others that took a part in non-violent protests is the reason why I'm standing here in front of you today. So absolutely, not question about it, I don't mind it."