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Detroit Lions Postgame Transcripts

Detroit Coach Jim Schwartz 

A: You guys know that I generally don't start with injuries but we heard from the hospital that Zack Follett is getting some tests done now.  We don't have any results of those tests, but he does have feeling in his extremities and was getting some of that before he left off the field.  There are still a lot of other things that we need to test and we need to see with him so let's keep him in our prayers.  And I'm not sure if he's going to travel back with the team or not.  He may be staying here, he may not.  We are still waiting on some of the tests.  Shaun Hill has a fracture in his forearm.  It's his non-throwing arm, and he wanted to be able to go back in but he was having a hard time just, no matter how we splinted it or anything else, him trying to be able to take a snap and do those kind of things so we went the rest of the game with Drew [Stanton] and Matt [Stafford] was ready if he went down.

Q – Can you talk about Drew Stanton's performance today?
A:  Drew is a competitor, and that's tough because they have an outstanding pass rush.  We had very little run game, you know, they played a lot of plays designed to take the run game out.  They run a lot of eight man fronts, lining up linebackers on the line of scrimmage, they were going to make it very, very difficult to run the ball.  Particularly, they were doing it early, but particularly when Drew came into the game and that's tough when you're a quarterback and you can't go to your running game.  But I thought he battled.  We had the ball and a chance at the end, and that's…we didn't get it done all the way, but I thought that he made some good throws and he kept his composure.

Q:  What about the penalties?  Peterman, Avril, Suh - those were huge in the game.
A:  Suh, with the hands to the face, that happens a lot of times, guys are trying to get in the chest and they slip up and he just has to get off that just a little bit quicker.  Peterman's hurt us.  We were able to get back into field goal range I believe on that one.  That was big, and to be able to overcome that.  And Cliff [Avril's], Cliff had a guy that wouldn't let him go and he unwisely took a swing to try and get the guy's hands off of him, and you know, we need to play smarter than that because you're always going to get a second guy in that situation and it hurt our team.  I thought one of the biggest ones was the personal foul at the end of the game, on the punt.  Our guys were aggressive; they had been jamming their gunners up the whole game.  They lost track of where they were, they ended up hitting the guy out of bounds and it cost us 15 and yards were very, very critical at that point.  That was a tough one to have to overcome when we had no timeouts left.

Q:  On the Follett situation, was that the scariest you've seen?
A:  Any time they bring a backboard out for a player it's a scary situation.  Our players were very concerned.  I gathered them up on the sideline to let them know what we knew so far.  Again, our thoughts and our prayers go out to Zack.  He's a valuable member of this team.  He's a favorite in our locker room, he's a favorite across the city of Detroit and rightfully so, and we'll keep him in our prayers and hope for the best.

Q:  What is your feeling on helmet to helmet hits?
A:  The league does a good job of officiating helmet to helmet hits.  You're not going to be able to officiate all of them out of there.  There are penalties on defensive players, but it's a tough game.  You never want to see something like that happen.  Player safety is obviously one of the biggest concerns of the league, it's one of the biggest concerns of the coaching staffs, it's one of the biggest concerns of players, but sometimes things happen and you can't plan, you can't officiate everything, you can't legislate everything.

Q:  With Shaun Hill's injury, is that something he can play with at some point?
A:  We'll see.  I don't know what the course of action will be, whether it's going to be to cast or whether it's going to be to screw to put a plate in or something like that, but yeah, it's something that he should be able to come back from.

Q:  Stafford was ready to go if needed; can we assume he'll be ready in 2 weeks?
A:  That's our plan.  That's our hope.  But we still have a long ways to go there.  We have a bye week next week and then we have another week of practice before we go there.  We've had him out on the field throwing and he felt good enough that we had him as our emergency quarterback today.  It was very nearly an emergency for him to go in the game. It wouldn't have been an ideal situation, but he could have gone in and thrown it.

Q:  How close was he to getting out on the field?
A:  Drew [Stanton] got the wind knocked out of him one play, so we were close.  If Drew hadn't been able to go, if Drew had been hurt or something that he couldn't finish the game then Matt [Stafford] was ready to go in.

Q:  Did CC Brown suffer an injury?
A:  He did.  He went back in and played.

Q:  With injuries and penalties, you guys were able to hang in there.
A:  I don't know if you know our team very well, I mean that's nothing we take consolation in or take pride in, the fact that we can hang in games.  This team plays to win and we're going to battle that way.  This game resembled a lot of our first four when we started 0-4…in it until the end, a play away.   There were some really good things; there were some things that caused us to be on the wrong side of the score.  And again, particularly big plays on defense – a long pass, a long run.  Those are things that hurt us.  And then, turnovers on offense, you know fumbles and things like that that put us in bad positions.  We fight to overcome them, but you're not always going to overcome those.

Q:  You said this resembled the four losses, were you hoping this wouldn't be a repeated pattern?
A:  Well, there's only so many things that you can do that way.  It's not like the big play was blown coverage.  It's not like we weren't in the position to be able to make the play on the long run.  It's one thing for guys to be in position, it's another thing that they need to be able to make them.  And they made plenty of plays today.  The Giants made one more play than we made in all phases.  They made one more play than we made.  I think that that's the only thing that I can say there.  It's nothing that you say, 'oh, ok that was a, you know, a missed assignment.'  Something that was correctable that way.

Q:  You tied your own record of losing 24 straight games on the road.  Do you think that's something that is mental?
A:  We've done it.  I don't think it's mental at all.  We haven't won very many games at home in those times, so when you don't win very many games at home, you're sure not going to win very many games on the road.  Obviously we need to get over the hump, we need to get road wins, but there's no magic formula for that other than to have good players playing in a good scheme and keep going that way.  There's no other mental process to it.

Q:  Did you think about challenging the fumble?
A:  Yeah, I thought about it.  Our coaches in the box thought it was pretty clear it was a fumble and I thought we needed to hold timeouts which we did.  Usually when it's a close play we'll challenge, but we didn't think that was close enough to be able to challenge.

DetroitQB Shaun Hill

Q: What happened on the play you got hurt on?
A: I don't know. It was kind of one of those freak deals. Just going to the ground, tried to brace myself, that was it.

Q: This has got to be frustrating?
A: Yeah, yeah. It's part of the game. It is frustrating. We'll keep our spirits up and you know this team is going to keep battling. We're going into the bye. We're going to get Matthew [Stafford] back. Other guys that have been playing hurt are going to get healthy and we're going to try to make a run at this thing.

Q: Have they told you how long you'll be out for?
A: No. I have no idea.

Q: Did you know right away?
A: Yeah, I thought so. I felt a pop. Obviously I wanted to give myself any chance to stay in the game, test it out and stuff. There was just going to be no way I could handle the ball at the point. It would hurt the team.

Q: Were you bracing yourself?
A: Yeah, just bracing myself. That's all I know.

Q: You didn't come in for one more play after that?
A: No, no. I kind of tried to stay in and then the coaches kind of noticed the way I was acting, called a timeout, came over, saw the trainers and at that point just realized that there was no way I could handle the ball. I came in, took pictures just to see, and that was that.

WR Nate Burleson

Q: You guys have lost twenty-four straight on the road now. How much does that weigh on a team?
A: To be honest, I don't really care about streaks and records because as soon as we get a victory on the road, it will be forgotten. We were just trying to win games. We weren't thinking about that. That wasn't motivating us coming into New York. We came into New York to win. We played well at certain points in the game, but we didn't do our job throughout the game. Statistics or streaks don't matter, good or bad.

Q: Did you think you were down on the play you fumbled?
A: I really don't know. I just said that at the end of the game it's my fault regardless if I was down or wasn't. I have to come up with the ball and hand it to the ref. That way I don't put him in that position to make that call. So I accept full responsibility for that mistake.

Q: Was that a big momentum turn?
A: For sure. 100 per cent. We were headed down to score. This loss is frustrating, but to have a fumble at that point in the game, for me, it's going to be tough to get over. I have a good week to work on ball handling and security and to create some hunger inside of me and to take it out on the next team we play.

Q: Are you getting good reports on Zack Follett?
A: Yeah, I heard he's moving his extremities, talking. Hopefully he's okay.

Q: Can you say what happened on the fumble, did he just get his helmet on the ball?
A: Yeah, it seemed like it. I tried to get down. I saw him coming. When I was on the ground, I thought the whistle had blown. I really didn't know, but, like I said before, regardless if I was down or not, whether it came out late or before, I have to come up with that ball throughout the whole play. Get off the ground, hand it to the ref, that way I don't even put the ref in the position to make that call. I don't know if I was down or not, but at the end of the day it's my fault. I take responsibility for that mistake, 100 per cent.

Q: Can you talk about that touchdown?A: Actually, it was a slant call. Hank, or Shaun Hill, we call him Hank, but Shaun Hill saw something in the defense, his leverage. He signaled a nine route to me, which is a go and we were on the exact same page. I have to give all the credit to Shaun. He saw what he saw and then he made a great throw, right where it needed to be. I just had to do the easy part, that was run and catch the ball.

DetroitC Dominic Raiola

Q: Is mental weakness something that plagues this team?
A: I don't know. It's just little things, so little. It's good that we've come to this point, where it's so minute. We're not coming here and getting blown out. That's a totally different game than I've seen, you know, other teams come in here and get blown out. We're not getting blown out this year and that's good to see. We have some people healthy. 5 (Drew Stanton) did a nice job. He came in and gave us a chance to win. Like I said, we beat ourself. Not taking anything away from them. They're a good team, but we did a good job helping them.

Q: How devastating is another streak of 24 straight losses on the road?
A: I didn't think about the streak until right now. We're close. That's what it is right now. We're close and we're going to make that turn. We're not going to lose anything in this locker room. I'll say the same thing I said in Green Bay – we're going to come back, go to work this bye week, and get ready to play in front of the home crowd. We're finally going to get some home games coming up and we're going to take advantage of it.

Q: You guys couldn't seem to get the run going?
A: Yeah. One thing here, one thing there. There were a couple drives there where we were eight, nine yards a carry and then we got the late hit and that was bang, bang. I don't know. We're not far.

Q: For you guys to lose the backup QB and Zack [Follett]…
A: I don't think anyone blinked. We just put our head in the ground and kept digging. This isn't the first time this is happened to us. We lost our franchise the first week so this is not the first time that that has happened. This team has overcome a lot. That's a non factor.

Drew Stanton

Q: Can you talk about your last drive specifically?
A: I knew that we needed to get the ball down close to the end zone and a couple shots at the end zone and try to get a chunk down to the 20 or 15 (yard line). We had four verticals and Mike opened up that way and I just tried to get him and as soon as he cleared, I just put a little too much on it and it sailed a little bit and unfortunately it was picked.

Q: What about the penalties in today's game, how much did they hurt the team?
A: You know penalties hurt any team because the people that you are going against are so talented and you start to dig yourselves into a hole that's harder to dig back out of. We know that and we have to be more conscious of it but we know that we're so close and that we just have to keep fighting through it.

Q: What were you thinking when you let the ball go to Calvin (Johnson) on the long one?
A: I knew it was two man and we knew what they were trying to do because we saw it on film when they played Chicago. Jay Cutler got that safety to drive on that tight end taking the middle and then he got it out to Hester. So, like I said, it was a little bit different coverage with the two man but I wanted to give Calvin a chance to get up and get the ball because you can put it in places where only he can make plays and he did that and took it a long way for us.

Q: What was the mood like after Zack (Follett) went down?
A: It's unfortunate because you're out there trying to win a football game but then reality sets in that we're just playing a game when something like that happens. You hope he's alright and all signs point in that direction which is great. It takes a little bit of time to realize what's going on and his livelihood out there but we have got to come together and make plays out there.

Q: What happened to you at the end of the game when you guys called timeout and the trainers ran out?A: It was a two minute warning and we only had one timeout luckily. I just didn't get the ball out quick enough and Justin Tuck got a pretty good run at me and caught me square and that's just part of playing this position.

Q: In other words you got the wind knocked out of you?
A: Yeah.

Kyle Vanden Bosch

Q: Can you talk about some of the things they did up front on the offensive line to eliminate you guys? At times it seemed like they had seven linemen protecting the quarterback.A: Yeah, they did. It's kind of what's been happening the last few weeks. We started hot and got a lot of pressure, got some sacks the first few games and teams are doing things to try to neutralize our rush so we've got to keep working, we're not the first team that has faced this so we have to continue to find ways to get there with our rush and when we get one on one opportunities up front, we have to win.

Q: You obviously saw these guys on tape, was there anything completely different that caught you guys off guard out there?
A:  It was a lot of what we expected and again we played well at times but it's the mistakes and the big plays on defense that are killing us and something that we need to fix.

Q: How tough was it to play after Zack (Follett) went down?
A: I think we responded well. I think what everybody appreciates about Zack is that he's going to give you all he's got. So when he went down I think that everybody wanted to play harder and I think defensively we went out and got a stop and then another stop so I think we responded well. At times it can be difficult when a guy goes down, doesn't get up and you don't know his status but I think as hard as it is to move on and block it out and focus, I think we did a pretty good job at that.

C.C. Brown

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to Zack (Follett) when he went down?A: That's a sad situation. At some point they have to outlaw that wedge on kickoff. I mean too many people are getting hurt as you can see today, it's just another person getting hurt. I wish they would outlaw that wedge.

Q: Is it the wedge or the helmet to helmet?A: It's the wedge, period. You got 200, 300 pound guys coming to you and they want you to hit the wedge. At some point the league has to realize it and outlaw it, they have to take away the wedge.

Q: Did he say anything when he was down on the field?A: I didn't stand over there because I don't like looking at people like that so I try to keep my distance from it.

Q: Was it hard to play after that incident?
A: A little bit but it's football and it's the NFL so you have to overcome things and that was another obstacle that we had to overcome.

Q: Do you feel like you gave Eli (Manning) some motivation with the comments you made earlier about calling him erratic?
A: I just spoke the truth. I called a spade a spade. Today we gave him his plays. Don't get me wrong, he made some plays but we also gave him some plays.

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