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Lions notes: Coaches speak at Thursday press conferences

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Coordinators Joe Lombardi and Teryl Austin were available to the media on Thursday, as was head coach Jim Caldwell. Highlights from the press conferences follow.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi

  • Lombardi has had plenty of heat on him for the first two weeks of the NFL season given how the Lions have played. He admitted Thursday that the playing calling has not been good enough so far. He also cited mental and physical breakdowns as contributing to the failures thus far.

  • Speaking of that play calling, what about the lack of targets for Calvin Johnson? Joe Lombardi said that the lack of deep balls for Megatron isn't a sign that he's worried that Calvin can't get open anymore. Nor is he worried about Golden Tate's capacity to be open down the field. On a similar note, the lack of deep throws is not, according to Lombardi, connected to the team's effort to cut down turnovers this season.

  • Where does Joique Bell fit in with the offense right now? Lombardi thinks he'll be "fine." He argues that there is a small sample size on his runs. In that sample size was the failed 2-point conversion, which Lombardi attributed to a missed block.

Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin

  • Austin feels that the failure to prevent Minnesota's run game comes from a specific place: "No edge, no chance."

  • Teryl Austin spoke on the matchup this Sunday against the Denver Broncos; specifically, in planning for Peyton Manning. What's up the sleeve for the elder Manning? "I don't know. He's probably seen it all." Austin believes that the Lions aren't going to be able to fool Manning. The key, Austin says, will come from out-executing the Broncos, to win more plays than Manning will make.

Head coach Jim Caldwell

  • Caldwell was up to the podium next and spoke first on a question regarding LaAdrian Waddle. With no microphone on the reporter, it was hard to hear the question, but it was clear the reporter had gotten some news on Waddle. The coach smiled (OH GOD) and wryly replied, "journalism's changed." He expects Waddle to play, but naturally, nothing is for certain.

  • What about Rodney Harrison's comments on the Lions? "Not going to comment. That game's over and done with."

  • Matt Prater will be going up against the team that he spent seven years with on Sunday. While one would assume that emotion isn't exactly something a well-trained athlete will find working against him even in that sort of situation, the question was asked, and naturally Caldwell doesn't buy into it. He called Prater a professional that doesn't go through those types of emotional swings.

  • With Stephen Tulloch's role reduced, several questions were floated in regards to the subject. Teryl Austin stated earlier in the day that the decision was a result of packages, in which he feels the Lions have multiple guys to play those. Caldwell didn't make much mention of those packages. Instead, he said Tulloch responded to the reduced role as a competitor.