LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOE LOMBARDI QUOTE SHEET
On QB Matthew Stafford taking more quarterback hits than any other QB last week: "That's one of the most disappointing things. It's something that we try to pride ourselves on, not getting the quarterback hit and we spend a lot of time on protections and stuff. It's something we definitely need to get better at."
On what the issues are with protecting Stafford: "I think there's a number of them. Sometimes it's protection, sometimes he holds the ball too long, sometimes there wasn't a good play call. We've all got our finger in it. It's something we need to get better at."
On how pleased he is to see the ball getting spread around amongst the wide receivers: "I think it's good. I think the more you can spread the ball around and make defenses defend the whole field, the better. It's good. We've got a lot of good skill position players, so there's always someone a little grumpy after the game, but the more we can spread it around, the better."
On the challenge the Jets defense provides: "It's a combination of really good players with really good coaches and a really tough scheme. It seems like every play there's a new defense up there. A new front, a new pressure or a new coverage. It's very difficult to zero in and target this defense. You add that to, they've got a really strong group of players. So, it's always one of those weeks, you know when you're playing the Jets. You're not going to get a lot of sleep because it's a complicated defense that you've got to spend a lot of time on. Coming up with plays that you think are going to work and protections that are going to block these guys."
On if the Jets defense is tougher to run against than most defenses: "Yeah, I would say it is."
On why the team went with T Cornelius Lucas on the final drive of the game vs. Green Bay: "I think it was just the flow of the game. I kind of leave that to Coach (Jeremiah) Washburn and his gut feel of who he wants in there. That's who we felt best with at the time."
On if a defense like the Jets' tests his patience with the running game: "You don't want to abandon the run too early, but you don't want to beat your head against a brick wall either. It's a fine line and we've just got to be smart about it."
On if there's a chance the team will use more screens during the game vs. New York: "I'm not going to say anything about plays we're going to call."
On the Lions defense shutting the opposition down and if it influences his play calling: "I think it makes you a little more patient. When you look out there and you see that the defense is holding up quite well, it makes you maybe play a little bit safer. We all want to score more points, but kind of at the end of that game I was like, ‘Hey, what's happened this half? We've only had the ball three times.' And so, when you get into that ball control-type game and you're controlling the ball quite a bit offensively, it's easy to stick with that when you know the defense is holding up."
On if field position plays into his play calling as well: "It's always good when you've got a little breathing room, absolutely."
On why TE Eric Ebron hasn't played more this season: "When you put the game plan together, we've got three good tight ends and there's certainly a role that he's filling and filling well. In each game plan, each play is kind of designated to which tight end is going in. It's something that we think about during the week and some games, those plays that he's highlighted on, he's going to play more. Sometimes those plays don't get called as much."
On what Ebron does to impact the opposing defense: "I think he's probably blocking a lot better than most people thought he would coming out of college. I think his time is coming. He runs good routes and he's catching the ball a lot better. He's had a really good week at practice. I think we've just got to be patient and let it take its course and you're going to see some big production out of him eventually."
On if the team has built any momentum going into this week's game: "I think you come out of a game like that disappointed in the number of points you scored. I think we had seven drives that got into plus territory. It's not like we're three and out every drive and things are a total disaster. We need to play better, we need to score more points, but normally you might have come out two games where you didn't score a lot of points and you feel like, ‘Oh my God, we're really in rough spots,' but I think we can see we're getting first downs. I think we're really good on third down conversions, so there are a lot of positives that we can build on. But bottom line, we've just got to go out and finish some of those drives and score more points."
On the importance of getting T LaAdrian Waddle back: "Well, anytime you get your starter back on the field you're going to be happier and feel more comfortable with his performance. At the same time, I think it's easy to say, ‘Oh, it's these back-up right tackles.' And it's not. It's everyone, everyone's got to do better in order to keep him (Stafford) from getting hit."
On what Jets LB David Harris does that is different from other linebackers: "You can tell he's a super smart player. Everything they do defensively and the things that he's able to do, it's always those smart guys that give you a lot of problems. He's just an all-around linebacker. He can rush the passer well, plays the run well and covers well."
On if the Jets use Harris in a specific way that takes advantage of his abilities: "They use all of those guys. It's hard to pinpoint. Any one of those guys can be dropping into coverage, any one of those can be rushing, whether it's a defensive lineman or a linebacker. That's one that I think is the geniuses of what they do. It's hard to get any kind of tendency on this defense."
On if he's more concerned with what the offense does rather than what the Jets defense will do: "Yeah, I think that's a big part of it. You've got to focus on what we do and be sound on the fundamentals, but you also have to be able to block them. It's challenging and when I say that, I don't just mean just the physical one-on-one matchups, but figuring out who it is that's rushing the passer. That burns a lot of calories this week, looking at all of those pressure schemes and trying to get your guys in a situation where they can identify, ‘Hey, if we're going to block these guys, we're going to pick up this blitz.'"
On if this is one of the more physical secondaries the Lions have faced this year: "Oh yeah. Both of these safeties are not afraid to hit you. I've got a little bit more familiarity with (Dawan) Landry, but I know our coaches felt very high on the safety from Louisville (Calvin Pryor). He was one of those tough, physical guys. And the corners will hit you too, so yeah, I'd agree with that."
LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR TERYL AUSTIN QUOTE SHEET
On what he has seen out of Jets QB Geno Smith this season: "I've seen a lot of improvement. Quarterback is a hard position to play in this league and what you see is he's more comfortable in there. He'll change some plays he'll get them in the right play. He'll make some really good throws he's got patience in the pocket, he knows when to get out he just doesn't run all the time. I see a lot of improvement in the young guy."
On Geno Smith being a threat as a runner: "He can run because he's got some speed he's got the ability to make a guy miss saw that on Monday night. Whenever you have a duel threat guy if they use it, it makes it hard on the defense. They've done a good job with him and as he feels more comfortable then it's not a big deal for him to get out and run and do some other things. I think he's doing a good job."
On field position being important: "Field position is always important because obviously we want to give our offense a shorter field to go to have an opportunity to score. The longer you have the less chance you have to score so we'll just continue to try and play solid defense and give our offense as many chances as we can."
On what DE Jason Jones has bought to the defense: "Jason (Jones) is a very good player, smart, can play run and pass, gives us to that inside pass rush when we have an opportunity to get to it but just like you saw last week he's a hard match up for tight ends. He's big he's long he's strong at the point of attack. He's a good player and he's really good also for the guys in the room because he's a good man."
On LB Tahir Whitehead moving to the middle linebacker position: "He's (Tahir Whitehead) practiced in there it's really not much of a move. He's done all that work in the off season. You know like college when you don't have a lot of bodies guys have to double train and he's doubled trained there."
On the most surprising thing about the defense through first three games: "I don't think there's anything surprising. Our guys work really hard and they're playing really well together. That's kind of what we expected. We expected them to play well together and we'll try to continue to improve and continue to play well with each other play within the scheme and do the things that we're supposed to do. I'm not surprised that we're playing well because they've practiced well that's how they practiced."
On the defense being ranked at the top of the league: "We don't really care where we're ranked. All we care about it is how we're playing. Are we giving our offense a chance to win? Are we giving our team a chance to win? That's really what we're doing right now."
On what he has seen in Tahir Whitehead: "What we saw early was he's sudden he can strike people he can run people down. He gives you a little bit of a pass rush because he is so fast. We saw that early in OTA's and it just a matter like a lot of young guys having an opportunity to do it. Last week he got thrust into action. The first game we didn't play very much base defense and this game we weren't going to play very much either but then Stephen (Tulloch) got hurt he had to go in and I thought he did a pretty good job.
On the steady play of Jason Jones allowing others to play well: "Yea, It kind of goes with what we say. If guys are doing their job and playing well together then we'll play well as a unit. That's really what he does if he does his job consistently and everybody knows what he's going to do and how he's going to do it then the guys around him can play off of him."
On SS James Ihedigbo being able to complete a full practice: "I think it'll be good to get Dig (James Ihedigbo) back he was having a heck of a camp and now he's getting back to that. It'll be good in the running game he is a big body, he's a good tackler, and plays well close to the line of scrimmage so it'll be good to get him back. Isa (Abdul-Quddus) played really well for us so I think with him not being able to play it allowed Isa to grow as a player and we got a better player because of it. So now we have depth there as well."
On how the secondary has been able to overcome the injuries this season: "I think what the guys do like anything we always talk about. When we make corrections when we're in the room the corrections are for the position not for the person. So as guys go and they learn and they're all working and they all know that they're a play away from being in so I think in terms of when they do have an opportunity they are able to come in and function. The other thing is how we practice we make sure that we get those guys that are not starters we make sure that they get quality reps so that if the situation would arise that we have somebody that can line up and play and play competently for us and that's what we had so far."
On the defensive keys going into the Packers game and why there were so successful: "They're the same for us in any game that we play. Which is we're going to go and stop the run, we're going to try and limit the big plays and we're going to try and create turnovers for our offense. We obviously were able to do that and we were successful basically just trying to execute our plan all the time."
On how valuable it is to not give up big plays on defense: "Well it makes a world of difference and I think as long as we continue to do that we'll have a chance to win every game. Those plays I've been around them I've had years when we weren't so good doing it and they're demoralizing not just the defense but for them the team. As long as we can continue to keep the ball in front of us and tackle well when they do catch it we'll be alright."
On being more aggressive if SS James Ihedigbo comes back: "No, we were going to run our defense if Dig was in there or if Dig wasn't in there. We're going to run our defense the way our defense is set to run."
On what type of challenges Jets RB's Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson bring: "I think they're two different types of runners. (Chris) Ivory I know they said he's probably going to get a little bit more work this week but he is a downhill physical back. He's going to be very similar to the guys from Carolina in terms of how he runs, he is a tough tackle. We're going to have to put bodies on him and have to swarm around the ball. Chris Johnson gives them the speed element and he still has the speed if he gets outside he's going to make it a long day because he can run still. They give you a little bit of difference and we got to make sure we put bodies on them and we keep them corralled inside and not let them get outside our defense."
On the importance of making teams one dimensional: "We go into every game and we want to do that. We want to stop the run and it starts with our guys up front who've been doing a great job this year. That's what we want to do because if we let teams run then the play action opens up, the drop back opens up, everything our guys don't rush because of the run game. It opens up a lot of things if you don't stop the run. That is our number one deal we go into the game and we want to make sure we stop the run and we do whatever we have to do to try and stop it that week."
On how much does he coach trying to force turnovers: "No the thing with us is in camp you do turnover drills and circuits and things like that. What we do with every practice obviously we're not going to tackle our receivers we're not going to take them to the ground but when they catch it we try to knock the ball out. We try and strip it we try to do some things like that it keeps us active keeps our hands active when we get near the ball. That's the way you have to do it when you do it during the season. Some weeks are better than others."
On planning for any packages that may include Jets QB Michael Vick: "I think you work it but I don't think you dedicate all your time to it. It's in there and you know it's going to be in there but it's a small part of what they've done. So you prepare for the things that'll actually beat you. That's the running game the receiver getting behind you those things. We're focusing most of our energy on making sure we get the run bottled up and going from there."
On if LB Tahir Whitehead will be prepared to get the defensive plays called out: "Absolutely and he's done it before I think he did it in preseason so it's not a foreign issue. A lot of these guys might seem like it's the first time that they've done it but it's not. He had the microphone I'm sure in the preseason and called defenses before so I don't think it's an issue."
On why LB DeAndre Levy called the plays instead of Tahir Whitehead when Stephen Tulloch got hurt: "At that point we felt more comfortable with DeAndre doing it. Tahir's first game so we said, "hey listen why put added things on him? Let DeAndre finish it."