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Lions Postgame Quotes - 8/27/2011

Detroit Lions players comment on their Preseason game against the New England Patriots from Ford Field on Saturday, August 27, 2011.


On scoring 30 points in each of the three preseason games:
"I hadnt really thought about that. Obviously we have some offensive firepower to be able to do that. I think the thing I liked the best about it is the scoring has come from all our groups on offense. It hasnt just been the first group or second group or third group or anything else. Weve gotten production out of a lot of different people on offense to be able to put the ball in the endzone and capitalize on those. I think thats probably the most encouraging thing thats come out of it."

On the perspective of this being a preseason game:
"I mean, its preseason. Youve got to be careful the way you look at it. I think that, other than the final score, weve got to look at individual match-ups. There were a couple plays that wed like to have back - we dropped a couple touchdown passes - putting more points on the board. We say a lot of times in preseason: you want to see players win, you dont want to see scheme win. I think we saw some good match-ups today and not just our first group against their first group, but a lot of times our twos matched up against their ones on defense and sometimes some of our threes matched up and we won some of those battles; same thing defensively.

"We played a number of snaps today; we played about 30 snaps. (With) six minutes left in the first half, we were at 30 so we pulled them. Other than a blown coverage, our seconds matched up well. Played a lot of man-to-man. I think thats the most encouraging thing to come out. You throw the score away, you get a look at how the match-ups went. I thought we rushed well, I thought we covered well. The one big, glaring error we made was a mental mistake, not a physical mistake."

On the offensive line:
"I think, particularly protection-wise, theyve done a good job keeping our quarterbacks clean. Weve taken very few sacks in the preseason. Took a couple at the end of this game that werent good ones to take, but I think for the most part theyve done a good job of keeping the quarterback clean. Weve run the ball effectively when its sort of been game planned that way. Theres been other times that weve specifically ran the ball that in the regular season we wouldnt. But I think theyve played well.

"We've had a lot of different guys play a lot of different positions. Jeff Backus came back today. He got about 20 reps and then Corey Hilliard played a lot of different positions: played some left, played some right, played some guard in this game. So weve got a lot of different combinations in there and thats what you want to do to be ready for a season."

On the defensive line:
"I think youve got to go past the front of the first four. We didnt have Vanden Bosch out there today - Kyles going to be a big part of what we do. We didnt have Fairley out there today - hes going to be a big part of what we do. Even guys in the rotation like Sammie, I thought rushed very well and Willie Young I thought did some good things today - that was good to see him match up on some of their offensive tackles. Again, thats not just a front four. You can probably go front seven, front eight when you talk about our defensive line."

On what QB Matthew Stafford can do better:
"Hes been pretty efficient. You judge quarterbacks by their ability to get you in a good play, to make good decisions, throw accurate passes and lead teams to scores - hes done that. Those are the biggest things that hes done. They tried a lot of different things today, it wasnt vanilla game plan, obviously, by New England. Blitzes and things like that; blitzes, he took a hit, got the ball to Calvin; Calvin made a play down the field. I wasnt one of them, but I know there were a lot of people who kept asking about, 'Do you want to see him take a hit? No, not really. Its things like that. Obviously, he was able to hang in there and knowing that hes going to get hit in some fashion, to be able to get a ball out there and give Calvin a chance on it. Weve felt very strongly about Matt since we drafted him. Hes played very well, particularly last year and to this year when hes been on the field - we just have to keep him that way."


On feeling good about the movement of the offense:
"Yeah, we did a good job. Left a couple points out there; had some chances on some plays. Our O-line played great again. Took advantage...theyre an aggressive defense, so we were going to be aggressive on offense and it worked for us."

On if the hurry-up offense will be a part of offense moving forward:
"It can be; thats the beauty of it. We wanted to get some work out of this game and guys stepped up (and did) a great job. (Its) part of our game that we can implement at any time. Its not something we have to talk about going out on a drive (and) say, 'Hey were going to meet, and (then) hurry up. We just get into it, get back out of it, and then get back in to it - it makes it tough on defenses."

On putting this game and preseason in perspective:
"Its been positive. Weve played well; threw and caught the ball well for the most part tonight. Really, all groups out there; all four quarterbacks, all 1, 2, 3s, 4s, whoever is out there playing, weve done a great job. Its a testament to our coaches; theyve done a great job of preparing us and guys are stepping up and making plays."

On the importance of recovering after sacks:
"It was more important to you guys than myself, I think, but no, it was good. Its part of the game of football-you got to be ready for that, and we were."

On being satisfied with his preseason record:
"I think were playing pretty much mistake-free football the last couple games as far as turnovers go. I think as an offense, were doing a good job of not turning the ball over and when you do that youre going to have a chance to be in some games. If we can do that, we have enough talent on the outside - explosive guys all over the field -that (if) we can just get them the ball weve got a chance to be pretty explosive."

On beating a team like New England:
"It was big; every game is big. New England (has) had some good recent history, but we beat them pretty handily tonight and that was something you can look at."


On what being 3-0 in the preseason means to him:
"Nothing. It is an opportunity to get some good work in, live action of course, getting after quarterbacks. But when it comes to preseason, it is a good opportunity for us to put work in, things we have worked in throughout camp. Record-wise, of course we want to be 3-0 in that type of situation, especially when we are playing good teams like New England, but I find that it is not going to help us in the regular season."

On if the pressure got to Patriots QB Tom Brady:
"To be honest with you, I didnt pay attention to his emotions. My job is to continue to rattle him, get after him, and be in his face. When he starts yelling at me like leave me alone, that is when I know I have completed my job.... He didnt talk too much today. He is a good player and I respect him a lot. Ever since we played against him last Thanksgiving and I had a conversation (with him) after the game, I have a lot more respect for him. He is a great player and he keeps it in house with whatever is going wrong with him, if anything."

On the variety of pressure along the defensive line:
"That is what we want. We want to continue to press the quarterback with everyone having their shot at any point in time. Whatever the front four that is in is going to make a play. So one of us has to make a play. Whether it is myself, Cliff (Avril), Kyle (Vanden Bosch) when he is back, or Corey (Williams) and even going to Sammie (Hill) and (Andre Fluellen) and Nick (Fairley) when he comes back, all those guys. We want to be able to have a consistent front and at any point in time whenever four guys are in there, we are affecting the quarterback and people are taking their shots."

On if the defense is ready for the regular season:
"To be honest with you, I cant really tell you where we are as a defense.  I think we are in a good progression going into the regular season. I can really speak on the front four that we are starting to gel and have good camaraderie and more or less know where each other are going to play together and how we fit as a unit, especially me and Cliff being on the same side. When (Lawrence Jackson) comes in, I have a good feel for him. Me and Corey playing together inside, of course we know where each other are and know how to play off each other. So I think thats the biggest thing that we - especially our front in the defense - have continued (to grow with) the more work we get together in live situations outside of practice is better."


On playing as well as they did against a team like the Patriots:
"We try not to put so much emphasis on last year, playing against them, because this is a preseason game and we want to do things that help us in the regular season. Preseason is just glorified practice or scrimmage and we want to keep it as that. Obviously, playing against the Patriots, its a good test for us, being on national TV, crowd being sold-out, all those things added to the excitement of the game. Im glad that we were able to go out there and execute the things weve been doing in practice."

On running the no huddle and keeping the Patriots on their heels:
"Ive been asked the question, basically every week, after every game, What do you guys need to work on? The running game was one of them, improving our tempo was the second one, so I was glad to see that what we are doing in practice is paying off. We do quite a bit of running. Im not sure if people realize the amount of running we do. To go out there and not have any fatigue issues, to keep defenses on their heels, thats a big benefit for us to go into the regular season with."

On having more weapons by using the no huddle:
"Teams are trying to make adjustments. Theyre trying to sub guys in. If we keep them on there heels and also have the ability to pass, run, and screen, at any given time, its tough to game plan for. You can game plan for traditional offenses that huddle up, and get back out, because you can make adjustments. When youre on the ball, moving fast like that, its almost like a controlled two-minute drill. It keeps defenses very cautious in their play calling."

On whether people will start recognizing them being a different team and how they keep all of that talk in check:
"The way we can keep that in check is knowing our past. I said it before, if you know your past then youll know where you want to go in the future, and thats what we need to do. We cant get too hyped, too overconfident because weve realized that we havent done anything yet. The perception is that we still are the old Detroit Lions. Until we change peoples minds, with actual wins, playoffs, and championships, then we havent done anything yet. I think that alone will keep us humble and keep us grounded."


On the defensive lines pressure on Patriots QB Tom Brady:
"We did a good job, all around I think. The biggest thing for us was we were feeding off each other. Once one guy made a play, the other guy felt like he needed to make a play. We all just fed into each other and were making plays together."

On the play of the secondary forcing Brady to hold onto the ball longer:
"Definitely - I think also it was the (defensive) tackles. Once we made him step up, he didnt have a lot of stepping-up room so he tried to slide out a little bit to the ends and we just made the plays. But definitely the (defensive) backs did their thing also."

On if this game was a measuring stick:
"I think we can take some positives out of it. We have a long way to go I think personally. We made a lot of plays but there are also a lot of things we have to work on. We took some steps forward, but we still have a long journey ahead of us."

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