LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOE LOMBARDI QUOTE SHEET
On offensive expectations: "I think every game plan is different, so hopefully every week you look at us you're seeing something a little bit unique certainly as far as the personnel we're using and formations and such. Not sure we've held back a whole lot but I still think that we will be a surprise to teams when they play us."
On RB Theo Riddick's role in the offense: "We only have three tailbacks on our active (roster), so I think all three of those guys are going to get work."
On how much FB Jed Collins will play: "I think every game will be different and some of that will be determined by the flow of the game, but he'll be significant."
On pushing to get a fourth tailback: "Not a ton, I was pleased that George Winn is with us and so that gives you a fourth kind of (running back) into your building."
On not having a 250-carry, feature running back: "I think a little bit is that each tailback has a specific skill set and you just try to get the right guy in there for the right plays. I think we got a little bit of that here, so I would expect that the work load would be distributed some and they did that here last year as well, so I don't think it'll be anything new to those guys."
On mapping out RB Joique Bell and RB Reggie Bush's touches: "I think you kind of map out which plays they're in for and just depending on the flow of the game we'll determine that."
On FB Montell Owens' offensive role: "You know he gives you a little bit of a comfort level because he has a lot of flexibility, so whatever reason we needed him to go in there on third down and be a nickel protector he could do that, and certainly if we had some injuries he can run the ball as well. He's one of those guys, you know, your question about four tailbacks, he can fill that role a little bit if you've got some injury situations during a game. He's kind of that reserve for every position if that makes sense."
On QB Matthew Stafford's freedom in the offense: "Certainly last year I think they even expanded the things he did pre-snap so, you know maybe a little bit different emphasis of the things that he is in control of, but he's very comfortable I think with making some decisions at the line of scrimmage. He's done that in the past and continues to have some of that flexibility."
On RB Joique Bell's development since New Orleans: "We really liked him in New Orleans and when the Lions came and took him in 2011 we tried to talk him into staying because we saw that he was going to develop into a really good pro. He's just continued to mature and become, I don't want use smarter because he's always been smart, but just experienced and able to do a lot of things. You just see the maturity of a player that you see in most guys as they spend years in the league."
On similarities between Bell and New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas: "He's probably a combination somewhat of like a Pierre and then maybe you know (NO RB) Mark Ingram. Meaning, he's a very good screen runner, he's good at picking up protections which is some of what Pierre did, but he's also kind of our bruiser back as well, so he's got a lot of things he does well."
On the offense getting traction: "I hope that we come out firing, but realistically we'll get better. We'll find out how good we are early, but regardless of where we are I expect to improve as the season goes on."
On using RB Reggie Bush without wearing him down: "I think some of the nature of the offense will hopefully handle some of that because we do have three talented running backs, so we don't have to just put all of the load on him. He is what he's always been. He's a match-up nightmare for defenses at times. The thing I've been impressed with from my experience is he's become so much more decisive as a runner. He's a guy that's always been good when you get him in space and continue to try and do that in both in the running game and the passing game."
On ball security: "It's something that I think every coach in every league at every age level is always trying to find the way to get those guys to just understand the importance of it and get in the habit of always clutching that ball. We tell them that we got plenty of good plays in our game plan, so those two extra yards you might be trying to fight for aren't worth it, so it's just the continued emphasis of how you carry the ball and knowing the journey's over. We don't need to be doing crazy things to get an extra two yards."
On T LaAdrian Waddle winning the starting right tackle job: "It's close and we'd be comfortable with either one of those guys, and that's just the overall evaluation of what those guys have done their body of work."
On in-game accountability: "You know fumbles, I don't know if anyone's made a season without any of them, so if it becomes an issue then it's obviously something that you have to address. If it happens one time it's not going to be where we're benching the guy for the rest of the game and I've got confidence in all three of those guys that they're pro's and it's not going to be a repeated problem over the course of the season, but certainly we'll hold all those guys accountable."
On RB Reggie Bush and RB Theo Riddick working with WR group: "I don't know if it's confusing because so many people are doing those kinds of things, but it's just a matter of finding those personnel groupings and formations where you get the matchups that you want because those guys can go out there and be very effective in that position. When those guys have receiver type skills they don't have corners covering them usually, so you can try to shave the percentage points in your favor a little bit."
On adjusting to technology being used in game: "I think it's really convenient to be able take your work with you and do some study on airplanes and buses and all of those things. Those have been great. You get them and it's pretty cool, different from in the past where you would get the packet of pictures at the end of the drive and kind of go through it. Our coaches up in the booth, they can kind of get the play as it happens so once the play happens the picture kind of shows up so I can say, ‘Hey what just happened on that play?' They can look at the tablet right away, you don't have to wait for the end of the drive. It's pretty cool. You can save a play, a picture and kind of put it in a different folder and go back at halftime and say, ‘Here's the looks you want to show the team,' plug into a projector, so it's a really neat deal."
On keeping four interior offensive linemen and the versatility of C Travis Swanson: "He's been real good. He's a very smart player, especially for a rookie being able to handle everything he's handled, so we've got confidence. I like our depth at the offensive line with (Corey) Hilliard, his ability. Like I said, those two are so close they're at the right tackle position and they can flip over to left and we've got Travis inside, so I'm really pleased with our depth at offensive line."
LIONS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR TERYL AUSTIN QUOTE SHEET
On how difficult it's been to figure out what the Giants offense may do on Monday: "I think it's the same both ways. You just do the best research you can by looking at as much film as you can from the preseason and anything going back to Green Bay, which we have some familiarity with. We just go from there. We put our scheme together and it's kind of a guessing game, but we'll see what happens on Monday."
On the emergence of LB Tahir Whitehead: "When you think about Tahir, he showed up a little bit in the spring. You can see he's got a great burst, he can really run and is a strong guy and moves well. So, we were wondering if he can put all of that together in the new scheme and he flashed for us in the spring. As we got into camp, he played really well and that's end of story. He just performed well and we anticipate him doing the same once the season opens."
On S Jerome Couplin and S Isa Abdul-Quddus and making them a part of the 53-man roster: "When you looked at Q (Abdul-Quddus), he did a great job around the ball and was very active. He's smart, attentive and did a lot of good things for us in the preseason. So, he earned his way onto the team. The same thing goes for Coup (Couplin). He had the usual rookie mistakes, but what you saw from him was, he's a thick hitter, he's got really good length and range and he can run. We think he's got some upside and again, he's earned his way on. Now, what they do from here on out is going to be up to them."
On if the team will get back S James Ihedigbo and S Don Carey back for practice today: "Well, that'll be based on the injury report and what happens there. I'm not going to talk about all of that stuff."
On what DT Nick Fairley has done over the past couple of weeks to earn his trust back: "Well, what Nick has done is basically, he's worked harder, he's practiced harder, he's doing all the things, and so, consequently, he's playing better. That's what's earned our trust is that he's playing better. I think it all goes back to how he prepares. When he prepares well, he plays well. As long as he continues to do that, he'll be our starter. And that goes for any position, not just Nick Fairley. You have to prepare well to play well. If you don't prepare correctly or prepare well, then I'm sure somebody will be playing better than you and it'll show up over time."
On if Couplin and Abdul-Quddus are ready to play some minutes on Monday if need: "Absolutely. We trust everybody on our 53 (man roster). If they have to go in, we anticipate that they'll go in and play well. We have no reservations about it."
On if S Glover Quin is able to move from a strong safety to a free safety: "Yeah, he's done that his whole career. I don't think moving and playing different safeties would be a big deal for any of our guys. If any of them had to move, I don't think that's a big deal."
On how pivotal Fairley will be for the defensive line this season: "Nick is really disruptive and he's explosive and he's got a tremendous amount of talent. If he's playing well inside, then that makes it harder for teams just to double or get up on our linebackers and do those things. The better he plays, as we've said before, the better our defense will be. We're anticipating him playing well."
On if it's fair to call Fairley an x-factor for the defensive line: "I don't know what you call him. We need him to play well."
On where DE Ezekiel Ansah is as far as progression: "It's been unbelievable. He's a really bright guy, but he was here. I know he didn't take the physical reps, but he was here for all the OTA's, all the mini-camps and so, he was able to see it all, learn it all. He just had to do it on the field. He's done a tremendous job since he's been out there."
On if Ansah is where he needs to be conditioning wise: "Oh yeah, absolutely."
On if he's seen the Giants' running game perform better with RB Rashad Jennings and RB Andre Williams: "Yes, absolutely. I think that's one thing that when you look at their film. I know they're throwing the ball as they're getting used to the timing of the new offense that they're putting in, but really the emphasis when you watch is on how effectively they're running the ball. They're doing a great job, they're knocking people off. They have a fullback that'll knock you flat on your back in (Henry) Hynoski. They do a great job upfront in terms of how they're taught and blocking guys. There's a renewed emphasis and they've done a good job in the preseason of running the ball. I would think that's what they're going to do moving forward."
On how opportunistic he has to be when facing a QB like Eli Manning, who threw a career-high in interceptions last season: "I think for our guys, and we tell them this all the time, that's what we want to do. We want to turn the ball over. It doesn't matter who the quarterback is. We know you'll get probably three or four opportunities a game to really turn the ball over and we have to take advantage of it. That's what we talk about. We don't talk about anything special or about, ‘Hey, he's done it this many times.' All we know is, when we get our chances; let's make the best of them."
On what he knew about DT Ndamukong Suh now before coming in: "He's a pretty engaging guy. He's been great. He's personable and he's not going to go out for everybody and be everybody's friend. When you talk to him he's engaging, he's smart and he asks good questions in terms of what we're doing with work related stuff and he also has some off the field things. It's been great."
On how much he's revealed as far as what the defense will do this season: "You think I'm going to tell you that? All I know is, we're going to play our defense. What we put in and what we did in the preseason is going to be the nuts and bolts of what we do. Like anything, you'll always have game plan wrinkles, but what you saw in the preseason is essentially going to be what we do. We just have to do it better than the other team."
On if CB Darius Slay is ready to be a playmaker on the edge: "We anticipate it. I thought he had a heck of a preseason. He has the ability to shadow and cover receivers and now he's got to take it to the season."
On how happy he is with the depth of his cornerbacks: "I'm fine. The thing that everybody has made a deal about is our secondary and what they can't do. When you look at the secondary, they're like the offensive line; they have to play well together. It doesn't matter if you have a superstar or two superstars back there. If they don't play well together, if they don't communicate, they're not going to play well. So, if our guys play well, communicate, know what each other are doing, take care of their business and take care of their jobs, they'll play well. I don't worry about it. I don't worry about the depth. I have complete confidence in those guys."
On LB Kyle Van Noy being placed on the IR and how it sets back his development: "We'll have to figure that out when he gets back. I don't know where he'll be when he comes back, but he was making good progress. We'll just see when he gets back."
A recap of Joe Lombardi and Teryl Austin's comments from Friday.
LIONS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR JOE LOMBARDI QUOTE SHEET