Below is a look at what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell had to say on Saturday. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
Opening statement: "We had a chance to look at the film and evaluate it and it didn't look much different than what we saw last night in the sense that what we thought we saw, we saw. The guys did a lot of things very well and oftentimes you can find ways to mar a slim victory but in this league, games are always going to be close and tight. I do believe that there were a bunch of things that we pointed to that we thought our guys did a great job with, just in terms of effort and enthusiasm and things of that nature. But then there were some negative sides with the turnovers and penalties and so we addressed those things like we always do, we don't hide from them. We teach from those and we'll go out this afternoon and make certain that we walk through our mistakes and things of that nature and then move ahead. We don't let it linger, or anything of that nature. So, we'll get past it and then we'll use it as a springboard to get better."
On LB Tahir Whitehead and how his start was earned: "Yes, the answer to that would be a yes. I don't want to be a smart alec, but he did get it through performance. That's about the only way that I know you get them, for the most part, unless it's by injury, default, or something of that nature. But still, if you're not good enough, we'll find somebody that is. He worked at it, he's been performing well. I think I noted the last time I was in front of you all, besides last night, that he had practiced and played extremely well the last two games and we thought he was deserving of an opportunity because he played like he was one of our top three linebackers. I think from that he's going to build upon it and I think you're going to continue to see him get better."
On Whitehead's previous line-up spots and his familiarity with it: "Well you know, he played there some for us in the spring and it was prior to Kyle (Van Noy) arriving, because of a number of guys in that position enough reps. We thought he was pretty flexible, so we moved him a bit. But now he's back and he's pretty natural at the other spot, as well. The guy has football instincts. He's still playing from a position that has leverage on the ball and he maintains that well. You also see that he has a knack for rushing the passer. He has speed, power and bulk that is pretty unique."
On the concern that LB Kyle Van Noy's injury is long-term: "The doctors have not indicated that. He still has evaluation to go through and so they'll make a determination on those kinds of things here in the near future."
On how Van Noy's injury came about: "Yes, it was one of those things that progressed and got a little bit worse. It was not one particular event where it happened."
On his expectations of WR TJ Jones: "You find that young guys heal pretty quickly and hopefully he'll be in a position to help us out and see where he is at that time. We have a window after he's released to practice and those kind of things to make that determination, so we'll see how that goes."
On if DE George Johnson's wrist injury is serious: "It doesn't appear to be."
On his impressions of Johnson: "He played pretty well. Lot of effort plays, he was active, he was tough and threw his body around. He did a nice job in the scrimmage plays and special teams, as well."
On Johnson's rushing and dropping off into coverage: "Yes, you know, that's a position where you have to be able to do a little bit of everything. Fortunately, he has that skillset that he can operate in space and he certainly can operate with his hand on the ground."
On DE Devin Taylor's near-interception and how the defensive ends are adjusting to dropping into coverage: "We haven't done much of it ourselves, but it certainly is in our package. When you have tall, rangy guys that are athletic, it does allow you to do some of those things. There's not anything that we'll make a steady diet of, but just enough to create some problems for the opposition."
On DT Nick Fairley's performance last night: "He played better. I think he did a nice job in there hustling and made a few plays here and there. He forced some plays in action. Maybe he didn't make the tackle, but some of the guys did, so he played better."
On DE George Johnson and if his body type compares well to some of the rushers he had in Indianapolis: "You're not going to hear me compare guys to Hall of Famers. Dwight Freeney is a Hall of Famer and (Robert) Mathis could be on his way. Nevertheless, I can talk about George for what he is. George has quickness, he has explosion, he's long, he's linear. I think he's really just scratching the surface of where he is because he changed his body type. He's much heavier, he's trimmed down and I think he's at his natural weight now. We're excited about it. As a matter of fact, Jim Washburn from the onset when he saw him rush the passer, even in non-padded days, thought he could be pretty special."
On his first impressions of DE Ezekiel Ansah on the field: "He's powerful. He has fresh legs and there was a surge when he came off the ball. He did a nice job. The guy has some unusual skills and it was good to see him out there. When he gets a sack, which is something that I think will happen often times, they ended up doubling (Ndamukong) Suh on the inside, so you had three guys with one-on-one rushes. Jason Jones had a one-on-one, Ziggy had a one-on-one and they ended up putting pressure on the quarterback. I think you're going to see that often times and with him, I think you'll find it tough to not chip him or do something to get a little help because he's disruptive."
On if there's a model for finding players who have bounced around the league: "I think there's a lot of folks who wish they could put their thumb on it. It's probably the same thing you could say about Jeff Saturday, who I think was with one or two teams before he came to Indianapolis and ended up being team captain and one of the best centers that the team has ever had. There are a number of guys that you can point to. Probably Brett Favre would be another one, right? He was with Atlanta and he didn't fare as well, but on and on there's a bunch of guys in the league that have been around a little bit and have found a home and have found a niche and were able to play a little bit better at one place than they did in any other. Now, you could also attribute that to maturity. There are a lot of different factors involved. Or, in some cases, it might be a schematic thing, a guy moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I think there are a number of different things, but no set rule on where they come from and those kinds of things. That would be a bit difficult."
On why WR Ryan Broyles was not as involved in the offense until the fourth quarter: "Calvin (Johnson) was in there, that's one reason. One pretty tall reason, fast reason. And Golden (Tate) on the other side. You know, obviously there's one ball and we can't get it to everyone. But, one thing of note about him is - every ball that he's caught he's got a first down. He's been active, he's played well and played tough. So, we've been pleased with him. But, you know it's a tough battle out there at that spot. There are a lot of guys doing well. We don't have easy decisions at that spot."
On if Broyles has progressed since his injuries: "I think so, I think you can see that he feels good about where he is physically. I think you can see the results. He's got his explosion. I don't exactly know what he looked like up close and personal before his injuries, but since the spring you can see that he has spring in his step. He has an unusual knack of being able to split two defenders with speed and power. His hands are reliable. So, you know he's doing a nice job."
On Broyles' ability to get yards after the catch: "Number one, it tells you that the quarterbacks like him. They can depend on him in that situation and he delivers, but also shows you that he has a real knack for it because he had to operate against several different coverages. So he's got a good sense of where he is and how to get open. And then has, certainly, the surge and determination to get first downs."
On DT Ndamukong Suh: "Well, you know with him, because of the fact that he's such a dominant player I mean, we've looked at him and seen him for years, know exactly what he is capable of and that hasn't changed. He's a powerful guy that certainly loves to play the game with great passion. Takes great care of his body. Just really a guy that you better put more than one person on him or otherwise you're going to have some problems at some point in time during the operation of your offense. And I can see that he's probably in the best shape that he's ever been in. He's probably more powerful than he's ever been. And I can see him having really a great year."
On if the Jacksonville game changed the way he's planning for the last preseason game against Buffalo: "You know, there's always something changing because what happens is that some guys play better, some guys didn't play as well. This was a situation in this particular ball game where we were making a lot of decisions. So yeah, some things change because, obviously, you saw that we released a few guys that aren't here any longer because of the fact that maybe something came up in the ball game that made a determination that we're going to do something a little differently. So, that all cascades into the next game. So yeah, there were a bunch of things that have changed since that time and a few more that will change here in the next couple days or so. And that's how it goes. So you have to make adjustments accordingly. You have some idea, but you just never know until the whistle blows."
On if he will wait until Tuesday to make more cuts: "That's not certain. You know, it could happen as we go over the weekend, so we haven't placed a definite timetable on it, but it will get done before the deadline."
On if he is closer to naming a kicker: "We're getting close because we're coming upon that time. Like I said we're still in the evaluation process for every guy and every practice counts. We have another one today, even though we might not do much kicking today, but we're still under review."