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After a summer off, Jim Schwartz has once again taken his rightful Monday place at the podium. Today, the coach chewed on some bits from the Detroit Lions’ first win of the season. He discussed the elements of the clutch comeback, the play of his defense, the status of some injured players and this weekend’s highly anticipated rematch with Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers.
Here’s all the thoughts from the first press conference of the new season.
On The Performance Of A Secondary With Four New Players: “A lot of it goes beyond those four guys. The defensive line also did a good job with Suh, Fairley, Sammie Lee Hill; it was a team effort. Jacob Lacey, Bill Bentley before he went out and Drayton Florence did a good job in the backfield. We had one miscommunication, but Florence was able to have a big play for us and bat the ball down, so those guys all did a good job collectively.”
What’s The Status Of Louis Delmas And Chris Houston? “Both of those gys are getting better. They’re closer today than they were on Friday. Each case is a little bit different. Those guys are two of our better players, they’re veterans, but they’re not selfish. When they’re ready, we’ll get ‘em back out there.”
On Nick Fairley: “He played a nice game. His best play wasn’t necessarily his sack, but the plays that fall below the radar. He did a nice job in the run game, so give him credit for all of that.”
How Good Were The Defensive Tackles? “Corey WIlliams had some big plays, some pressure, some sacks. His biggest plays were when he dew two holding penalites. Stuff like that won’t show up in the box score, but is still important. Corey had a great game. Ndamukong Suh stopped Steven Jackson with one arm, and you gotta be a strong man to do that. All our tackles played well and Suh is no exception.”
Assessment Of Kevin Smith: “Kevin is a veteran player. He made some good plays, had some good runs. He also had some drops, but you knew he was going to come up with the big play when we needed it. The drive to score before that was his most impressive of the day. He put his head down at the goal line and scored.”
Is There Confidence For The Defense Towards Stopping Frank Gore After Shutting Down Steven Jackson? “I think every week is different, but there some good things. Thier first play St. Louis ran was a WAM play that gave up a ton of yards to San Fransisco last year. They came out and tried it and we stopped it. I think all the experience helps, but different players week to week don’t necessarily matter.”
Thoughts On Matthew Stafford: “He just had a couple bad throws and bad judgements. We drove right down the field, and he should have thrown the ball away. A few of his things were just pressing. There’s a fine line between pressing and being aggressive. Matt can make the tough throws, but sometimes he tries to get greedy. What mattered was the way we played in the second half and particularly the fourth quarter. That was more important. Matt wasn’t conservative late. The only way we were going to score is if he fits balls in tight coverage, and he got it done.”
On The Play Of Detroit’s Own Joique Bell: “We have a lot of different packages. We actually had a Riley Reiff in at tight end on that play. We needed a bigger back in the big package and he was able to break though. I think he kept running right out of the end zone right to Wayne State’s campus (laughter). It was nice to see him score in his home town.”
On Jahvid Best’s Health: “He’s doing real well but he has to pass a protocol to come back. He’s got some hurdles, but he’s coming back.”
On Titus Young’s Struggle With Penalties: “We’ve made some progress. We had three penalties in the game, two of which should have been avoided. One of them was Titus’s play. It set them up to be able to mess around with their kickoff. We’ve gone a long way to putting stuff like that behind us. But, we’re still a work in progress. Titus contributed to the game with a nice catch and a nice reverse, but that play wasn’t his best moment. We’re playing better football, and this will be a week to week thing.”
Prior To The Game, The Lions Raised A Banner For Their 2011 Success. Your Thoughts? “Well, I was busy thinking about the game honestly. I don’t know. It’s been a long time since we have been able to put a poster up for anything, much less a banner. As a coach, it’s not about what you have done but what you’re going to do. Banners are nice for fans, but coaches aren’t concerned with it.”
Did You See San Francisco’s Win In Green Bay? “I didn’t see it, but I’ve prepared for them today. At the end of tonight, 16 teams will be 1-0 and 16 will be 0-1. Not all that are 1-0 will make the playoffs and not all that are 0-1 are headed for a losing season. All we have to do is put this in its proper place, learn from it and move on.”
On The Impending Hype Of Handshake Gate: “I’ve seen him (Harbaugh) a bunch of times since then. It doesnt suprise me that people will make a big deal about it, the NFL is a very scrutinized thing. As someone said, today is “overreaction Monday.” There’s something to the scrutiny in this league, but it will happen. That event is long in the past, and when these two teams take the field, that’s not going to be on anyone’s mind.”
How Did The Handshakes Go At Those Events You Mentioned? “Without incident!” (laughter).
On San Francisco’s Rowdy Night Game Atmosphere: “We’ve done a nice job of adjusting everywhere. I don’t think there’s a more difficult place to play than the Metrodome. No matter where you are, these games are all difficult to play. The fans will be ready and we’ll be ready.”
How Did Jonte Green Play? “Well, we gave up a touchdown pass with him in, but its tough, he’s one on one, maybe a few technique things there. But, it was a nice catch. I think when he got in Jonte represented himself very well.”