LIONS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL
*On what he learned about his team in the third preseason game: *
"Well, you know the way we started was something that just obviously we just did not perform well. Almost in every area you turn it over, you give it back to a pretty explosive offense, they move it down and score on you twice within a short period of time. I think in all phases, too many penalties. That first quarter, we were too sloppy. And then we finally got things on track a little bit where we finally got a couple stops defensively and started to move the ball. The way the guys fought back in the second half was good, but we got a lot of things to work on. We just were not as sharp as we'd like to be."
*On if there was a most frustrating part about trailing 24-0: *
"No, I mean it's a collection of things. We just were ineffective for a stretch there, in all phases, really. Too many penalties on special teams. It backed us up in situations where we may have had a play or two here. Not really sharp as we'd like to be on defense. They moved the ball on us pretty easily. And then obviously turning the ball over on offense. Those things were not like what we want to see. We looked a little bit, in some cases particularly kicking game, we had to waste a timeout. You know, a substitution issue. So, it wasn't pretty. But like I said, that part of it was tough, but the guys kind of got settled down and got their feet underneath them and we had three scores in a row in terms of drives. So, they've shown what they've always been able to do is come back and get themselves in position and at least give us a chance, which they did."
*On what he takes away from this game about QB Jake Rudock: *
"Yeah, he played well. I mean he made good decisions. They moved the ball consistently with his group and I thought he managed the game well. He was patient and took advantage of opportunities where he could use his legs. He runs well, obviously. But he also delivered a lot of passes along the way. (Jared) Abbrederis made some nice catches for him. Jace Billingsley made some nice catches for him. They had a number of guys that – Tim Wright had a couple here and there. I thought overall he did a nice job. And then obviously Dwayne Washington had a big one to finish it off. He showed some power and elusiveness, so thought that was a good stretch."
*On what he sees from RB Dwayne Washington now opposed to when he first came into the NFL: *
"Well, yeah, I think so. I think he's getting a little bit better because we've always seen that when he came out of college, we saw that he had the power and speed and the elusiveness and the ability to break tackles and those kinds of things he did from time to time. He did it a little bit more consistently today. He ran behind his pads really well. He had some good, tough yardage. And I think he just continues to get better and better and better. So, he's headed in the right direction."
*On how Patriots QB Tom Brady was exploiting the team: *
"Yeah, one of the things, you know, he's as good as they come. I mean, in particularly he's got some guys he can get the ball to. He gets the ball out quickly. He makes quick decisions. You're not going to show him anything he hasn't seen before. I mean, he's just an unusual guy. What you got to do is keep him out of the end zone, which we didn't do. He's going to complete some passes on you. I mean, there hadn't been anybody that's stopped him since he's been in this league. But to be able to slow it down, keep it in front, not have a bunch of mistakes and penalties, and a couple times when they hurry up, they got a couple of advantages on us from just a leverage standpoint which shouldn't happen."
*On what he saw from LB Jarrad Davis: *
"Yeah, I haven't looked at it in detail, but I saw a couple of them, probably the same thing you guys saw. You know, that were the isolated on the inside, and a guy beat him across his face, that kind of thing. But those are the things that you learn. That's what preseason is for. It gives you a chance to look – I don't think anybody's ever said that he's going to be absolutely perfect. You're going to learn along the way. And that's the thing that guys have to be able to learn to deal with is guys that have skills, speed, quickness, size, coming at you nonstop takes a little adjusting. But I think obviously, I think we have some young guys that I think learned a few lessons and we'll get better for it."
*On LB Tahir Whitehead's injury status: *
"I wouldn't know exactly until we have an opportunity tomorrow to sit down with the doctors and kind of see where he is."
*On TE Cole Wick's injury status: *
"Yeah, same thing. He's been evaluated and we'll kind of see what happens."
*On how much of a step forward tonight was for RB Theo Riddick: *
"It was good. It was good to get him in there and give him a chance to move around a little bit and I thought he was in position. He had a couple, he had a pretty big one coming and they get a little block at the line of scrimmage. I think (Alan) Branch got his hand up and knocked it down, but Theo I thought did well for his first day out there."
*On if RB Ameer Abdullah is one of the bright spots in this preseason: *
"Yeah, I think he does what he does. He creates being able to get in seams, tight seams, and he creates yardage for you. He'll make a guy miss here or there and I think that he's been just coming along, and you can see he's got his quickness and those things, his elusiveness back. So, we're pleased with where he is."
*On RB Zach Zenner and S Miles Killebrew not playing much tonight: *
"Yeah, both cases they had a bit of an injury, so we'll see what happens."
*On if he liked the information that he gathered about the team from playing against QB Tom Brady: *
"Yeah, I think that's what preseason is for. I think even during the week when I told you guys that this team is going to challenge us in every single way, so you get a real good barometer of where you are. If you're going to be a real good team in this league then there are some things that you're going to have to deal with consistently and they're going to show them to you, and they attack you in so many different ways that—I think we learned some things, but we know exactly what we have to work on."
*On the progression of LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin: *
"I think he's naturally instinctive. So, he finds himself around the ball quite often, and I think it's just a matter of him kind of get him accustomed to how we do things, and he's learning that. He studies and obviously made a really good play on the screen, backed up in their own territory, so he was able to break on the ball and get a pretty good hit on the receiver. So yeah, he's got some talent and got ability, we just got to keep working with him, keep him going."
*On how to make the opposing quarterback more uncomfortable going forward: *
"You'd like to be able to obviously get your pressure with your front four. If you got to bring linebackers and perimeter guys obviously that's all part of what we do as well. But we'd like to get a little bit more pressure on him, which we didn't early on. He gets the ball out pretty quick, he's not one of those guys that holds the ball, he's going to get it out. He changes the tempo of the game, so you have to be rather creative in that regard."
*On the ongoing process of finding a return man: *
"Yeah, fortunately we have one more week, one more week to kind of make those decisions and we'll kind of look at it and see who we need to see more of, make our evaluations form this game, and try to get in position where we can come to some final conclusions here shortly. So, next week's going to be a big week for us."
LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
*On the team's tough start in today's game: *
"Yeah, too many three-and-outs. They played us in dime and quarter a lot and weren't able to run the ball successfully there early, where we felt like we had some favorable looks. And then, just weren't converting on third down. I got to do a better job, you know, really everybody does, of keeping those drives going."
*On how he progressed through the game playing into the third quarter: *
"We finished off the first half nice, and then obviously came out and got another touchdown second half first drive, which was good. Just hate to start the way you did, but you know, it's football and you just have to find a way to keep battling and we did that."
*On RB Ameer Abdullah's play so far this preseason: *
"Yeah, I think he's done a nice job. You know, he's a talented runner, obviously. Got on the edge a couple times later in the game today for us and did a nice job. Early on, tough sledding a little bit in there, but finished the game nicely."
*On his chemistry with WR Marvin Jones Jr.: *
"Yeah, you know, I think there's always room for improvement, from both of us, and we'll continue to try and keep getting better, but you know, it's nice to throw and complete some balls down the field."
*On what he learned about the offense from this third preseason game: *
"You know, just got to be better on third down earlier in the game. We go to stay on the field. Obviously, the turnovers hurt us, the fumble, and then obviously, the one—the ball that I threw that got tipped and ended up in their hands, so just got to do a better job of holding on to the ball and converting third downs."
LIONS RB AMEER ABDULLAH
*On what he can take away from the offense's performance tonight: *
"You know what, I feel like we did a good job staying composed, got the running game going a little bit and started doing what we know to do. We started converting third downs, that's huge. I feel like we're a really good third-down team and early on we weren't that great. So, I feel like we kind of settled down. We didn't let things get too big for us. We just settled down and just went back to what we knew how to do. It's convert, get all the blocks, make all our right reads in our run plays and it came along."
*On looking like he is getting into his groove: *
"My groove is coming along. I don't think I'm all the way there, yet. My eyes haven't been the best to my standard. It's coming along and it's encouraging."
*On what RB Dwayne Washington showed tonight: *
"He's a dog. I mean, I've said it before. I feel like he's athletically a very good player. He's a guy who hasn't played running back that long. He went to (the University of) Washington to play receiver and then later in his career he started playing running back and he's still learning. He's molding into the player he's becoming, the player you all saw tonight."