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Jim Caldwell's quotes from Thursday

A recap of Jim Caldwell's comments from Thursday.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

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

Opening Statement: "Yesterday's practice, we think was a good practice. The guys reacted well to preparing for a very difficult opponent, but they have real good focus. I think that's going to be key. They give you so many problems on both sides of the ball, and in the kicking game which they have an abundance of speed. This team is really tough to prepare for. This is a really good football team. All the problems they create for you from an offensive standpoint with different looks and formations and personnel groupings and they duplicate that on defense as well. So, we have a lot of work to do today and obviously we have to continue that work."

On how it benefits the team when they have some faith in what they're doing: "Well, game to game, I'm not certain other than the fact that it does give you confidence, confidence in what you're doing and confidence in the scheme when you are playing well. But, it's a challenge every week. No guarantees, every week is different. There are some games where you're dealing with teams that have strengths in different areas but they can adjust. That's what these guys do in terms of the coaching reigns and players. Also, they look at ways to utilize their talent, so they try to find the soft spots in your scheme. Often times, it doesn't take them long."

On if complexity is what makes the Jets a tough opponent: "Well, what we want to get done is defend them, obviously. But, they give you a number of different looks where you just aren't quite certain where to place your emphasis, and that's by design. I think Marty (Mornhinweg) does a great job of giving you all kinds of things. Typically, you may face a team that is strictly a zone read team and you know how to adjust to them. You can work on that consistently, but then when you find a team that is also two-back and also empty (back), that do a variety of different things as well; moving the quarterback from behind the center, out on the flanks, and things of that nature, two quarterbacks in the game at the same time. They create a lot of problems for you."

On how S James Ihedigbo would help this week against the Jets if able to return: "He obviously helps us a tremendous amount, just his knowledge and expertise. He's also operated within the structure of this defensive scheme as well, so he knows both sides of the ball. He knows how he fits within the scheme. It would be great to get him back out there."

On if he considered making a run at WR Eric Decker: "That's taking me back a little while where there were a lot of things going on at that particular time. I can tell you that Golden (Tate) was our prime target and we're glad he's here. Decker obviously is a fine football player and does a lot of things extremely well."

On what Decker adds to the Jets offense when healthy: "Size, great hands and gives them a weapon they can utilize not only down the field, because he can beat you over the top as well, but underneath in terms of intermediate routes. He's a fine route runner and he can certainly move the chains."

On his grade on QB Geno Smith: "Not certain that my grade matters, but I can tell you that he's a talented guy that seems to be getting better every single time that he plays. He can hurt you a number of different ways, much like some of the guys that we've face where they can give you problems not only through the air, but using their feet. He's one of those guys, he can run and not just in terms of decent speed, this guy can hurt you. He can certainly change field position with his feet. But he also is a very skilled passer as well and I think you just see him getting better and better each and every week, so that's a challenge."

On if there is concern with WR Calvin Johnson's availability for this Sunday: "Anytime that someone doesn't practice, particularly when it's not just a day of rest, which we would indicate on the medical report, there's always some concern."

On his policy regarding veteran rest days: "We participate in them, we do them. Whenever it's needed and warranted we try to adjust accordingly."

On the job Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego has done: "John is highly creative. He does a great job of teaching and instructing as well as making certain that guys understand the base fundamentals of what we do. He layers it with not only the starter but the guy who backs him up and also maybe even another guy as well. So, we usually have quite a few individuals in terms of the depth chart that are working at those positions. Obviously, I still think you have situations where some guys just know it so well and have been functioning within that realm so well, like Montell Owens for example. It's always tough to replace that kind of experience, but John does a great job of getting those guys ready to play. Sometimes it tempers what we do depending upon who is available to us, but special teams coaches are pretty creative guys. They have a lot of ingenuity, they work at it, they deal with more guys on your squad than any other coach and he and Fitz (Devin Fitzsimmons) do a nice job in terms of getting our squad ready to play in those areas.  

On how much of a priority protecting QB Matthew Stafford is: "Well you know, our offensive line coaches, our backs, our tight ends are all involved in pass protection. It's a priority for them to protect our quarterback. That's not anything that's different or changed, regardless of who we play. If he gets hit once, that's far too many in their eyes and we certainly believe that as well. But, I do think that that's an area that these guys have certainly be able to harass quarterbacks consistently and we want to try to keep that to a minimum."

On what TE Eric Ebron must do to earn a bigger role: "Actually, at this stage, matter of fact, it's a good time to talk about that actually. There is one injury I'm going to talk about, only because of the fact that it occurred off the football field as a non-football related injury and that's Joe Fauria. He ended up getting a bit of an injury last night and will not practice today, so you won't see him out there. I wanted to make certain that you guys were aware of that. Where he is, it's an ankle and he's being evaluated further in terms of MRI's and things of that nature. So, the question about Ebron, the numbers have just changed in terms of the depth at that particular position. You can anticipate that he's probably going to see a bit more, because he's going to take on Joe's role as well in terms of the particular personnel groupings that we'll use."

On how TE Joseph Fauria got hurt: "One of those innocent things. I guess around the house and he ended up misstepping and twisting his ankle."

On if Fauria will be out for the game: "I'm not certain of that. We will continue to see. He won't be able to practice today, for certain. We'll see what happens."

On the challenges that the Jets present in the run game: "First of all, they have a big, physical offensive line with some quality players: (Nick) Mangold at the center, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Willie Colon who is just a monster in there, just big, strong, physical guys. You couple that with (Byron) Chamberlain, who can block as a tight end, you couple that with the fact that they have two running backs, actually three, that are really, really fine players that run downhill at you. They give you a little bit of the old thunder and lightning, big, strong, physical guy along with the speed guy in (Chris) Johnson who can certainly get out on the flanks. (Bilal) Powell comes in and does a little bit as well. So, they do a tremendous job and not only that, but they're patient with the running game and they're very effective."

On how valuable it was for T Cornelius Lucas to get some reps early in his career: "Often times, what happens is that sometimes guys are forced into a position that may be a little bit sooner than you would like. You've maybe anticipated that by midyear, after about seven, eight games or so, that a guy may get a chance, a young guy may get a chance to step in and play depending upon the circumstances of the game. Then sometimes due to injuries, they get thrown in there a little bit sooner, so they get some early work. With that kind of development you get a chance to really give them some needed and valuable experience. Fortunately, we've been able to get him some work in there and I think he's done a nice job and he'll benefit greatly from it down the road."

On why WR Golden Tate was their target in free agency: "Speed, jump, run, highly competitive and a natural fit inside outside for us opposite of Calvin (Johnson)."

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