Head Coach Tom Coughlin
Q: Looks like you got a bunch of guys back today.A: Like who?
Q: Like Keith Bulluck?
A: Bulluck was running around a little bit better, yes.
Q: How much did he do?
A: We are going to list him as limited. But you see when you are in shells it is – everybody is pretty much full. He did have a limited number of snaps. That is the way it is.
Q: What about Osi Umenyiora?A: Osi is the same – every Thursday.
Q: Is it the kind of thing where he might be limited in practice here and there but will be playing on Sunday?
A: Yes, that is the goal.
Q: Shaun O'Hara also?A: Shaun's better. We gave him more snaps. He did better. He felt better this morning. So that was good to see.
Q: What does he have to do to play on Sunday?
A: I think he just has to keep feeling better after having worked. He really hasn't pushed on anybody yet. That will be an interesting one. But he just has to improve that way and the medical people have to give him some kind of clearance.
Q: Will he do that tomorrow?A: Do what?
Q: Push on somebody.A: He was pushing against the wall afterwards. It will be the same kind of practice. We are not going to chance the practice.
Q: Any update on Mathias Kiwanuka?
A: No. Supposedly at the end of the week they are going to do something else. But I don't have any more than that.
Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell
Q: Can you talk about the contribution that Barry Cofield is making this year because he's kind of the guy under the radar on that line?
A: Barry is not under the radar. He's probably the smartest defensive lineman – those other guys wouldn't admit it, but he's probably the smartest defensive lineman that we have in the room. He understands blocking schemes, he understands what the opponent is trying to do to him, he's got that sixth sense and he's able to make plays through not only his talent but that sixth sense, and he's a guy that can bring the guys together, but he does it in his own way. It's the Barry way. But I'm very excited about how he's playing, his recovery from his knee injury, and how he's going out and going about his business on a day to day basis. I talk to him about little things and he's able to tell me about the little things about football, so I'm excited about that.
Q: How much input do you take from the players about the schemes and how they're working for them?
A: It's a give and take. Sometimes I see things that they don't see and sometimes they see things and we talk about what they did in previous weeks that we can change up, so there's a lot of dialogue going on – I can't say that it's 50/50 or 60/40 or 80/20 or anything like that, but we have good dialogue.
Q: Is the scheme so rigid that it stays as it is or are you willing to make adjustments?
A: Oh no, it's not a rigid system. It's a player friendly system.
Q: Are the things that you're asking Antrel Rolle to do different than what he did in Arizona?
A: It's a combination of probably what he did as a corner and what he did a little bit as a safety, but it's kind of a new frontier for him because we're exploiting his talent and we're taking advantage of all of the little things that he can do from a defensive back/corner standpoint as well as from a safety physical standpoint, too. So it's kind of a new frontier for him.
Q: Are you moving him down almost to a linebacker's spot?
A: I won't say. But we're taking advantage of him. We're using him in ways that a lot of people would like to use their personnel.
Q: Are you going to give his position one of those names like The Falcon or something?
A: It's kind of a hybrid right now, but we haven't given it a name or anything like that, but we're trying to use him in a creative way.
Q: Seems like he's really responded to that.
A: He has. He has and the biggest compliment is that he said, "Coach, I had to go home and study last night." So that was a good compliment.
Q: The other day Tuck was saying that since those guys know each other so well and feed off of each other so much that sometimes you don't even have to call blitzes, they're just going to go get that pressure. How does that affect what you're doing?
A: It's lovely. I can go over to those guys on game day on the sideline and I can say, "Hey, should I do this or should I do that?" And they say, "We've got it." And I know that they're charged up, they're ready to go, and I can work the back end and do some things that I normally wouldn't do, so that's a very, very comforting feeling for a defensive coordinator and a football coach.
Q: The pass rush has been huge. What has that allowed you to do?
A: I can play coverage instead of coming to get you all the time. I can do a multiplicity of things from not only coverage but pressure and give different looks and disguises and movements, so it allows me to be a lot more versatile with what I can do with the players, because I don't always have to bring four. We've been getting good pressure out of a three-man rush, too.
Q: Is that the result of the learning process and learning the pieces that you have?
A: No doubt. It's a learning process for all of us because this is our first time working together. Obviously I've seen their talents from afar in the past, but to be up close and personal and see what they can do and how they can do it – yes, it's definitely a learning experience and it's a growing experience for us. It's a journey. We're going to get better and better as times goes on.
Q: As much attention as the pass rush has received, what's working with the run?
A: They've made a commitment. They just made a commitment to destroy the run. So when those guys know that they can make a team one dimensional and they can destroy the run, they can have a lot more fun in what we do.
Q: Is that the main thing? Buying in?
A: That's a large part of it and I think the players are smart enough and they know that if they can make a team one dimensional, then obviously there is room for rushing and sacking the quarterback and that type of thing, but they have really made a commitment to each other, to the defense, to be the best that we can be as far as destroying the run.
Q: Why is it that Jahvid Best is leading the NFC in yards after the catch?
A: Because he's talented! I mean, this guy reminds me of the number 44 that we have, but he's faster. He's got good hands, he can cut on the dime, he's a good bounce runner, screen game, he's really good, so he is a talented young main. Again, if you watch him on tape he looks like our 44.
Q: Are there things about Osi that you've learned from coaching him that you didn't know about as an opponent?
A: Oh, yeah. Osi is an interesting guy now. I tell you this – he probably doesn't get enough credit for this: he's an intelligent football player. He came prepared…really last week and taught us something last week. He can give input. Osi's a leader in his own way. He can look at the guys and he can say something to them and they respond very well. Osi is a very intelligent person and a very intelligent football player and I've learned a lot about Osi.
Q: Everyone viewed this year as a big year for him to show that he's back to a high level of play. Have you sensed the commitment level he has to demonstrate that?
A: It's a commitment, number one, because Osi is really injured to a certain degree from his knees and that type of thing and he's coming out and he's practicing. If that's not a commitment, then I don't' know what a commitment is, and that's what I didn't know about him. When he comes to practice, he practices. He's into it and he wants to do it right. I think that probably after his knee injury…maybe last year…I don't know what happened and all that…but I know that this year he's been phenomenal. He's come in, he's bought in, he has given input. I can't say enough good things about him.
Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride
Q: Tom said yesterday that the turnovers have got to stop. How concerned have you been about the turnovers, particularly Eli's count?
A: It's something you talk about and there comes a point where you're emphasizing it so much that you're actually contributing to the cause and that's what we've got to be careful of, but certainly whether it's the fumbles the game before with the running backs or his picks this game – the problem is that you're moving the ball, doing a lot of good things but it kind of stops you from finishing a drive or takes away from what otherwise would have been an outstanding performance and that's the thing that's disappointing.
Q: Is it bad decisions or poor throws?
A: I think it's a matter of just maybe trying to get more out of play than is there and that usually is the cause, whether it's the runs with the running backs or the quarterback throwing the ball – they're trying to get more out of something that wasn't available to them. On both of them he got flushed out of the pocket, he's scrambling, it's a tight window – we probably would have been better served just throwing the ball away and punt the ball under those circumstances.
Q: One thing the Detroit defense has been doing well this year is forcing turnovers.
A: Right. No, I think they're a good defense. I think they've got a very, very good front, their corners are good players, they play hard – very aggressive – so I think that we certainly are going to have our hands full and anything that we give them will aid and abet their cause and hurt us, but it's not like it's something that isn't preached or discussed and it's not something that the guys are trying to do, it's just happening and again, I think it's a matter more than anything else, sometimes when you try to get more out of a play than is available, that's when you're opening yourself up to those kinds of developments.
Q: Can you talk about Hakeem Nicks' development from the end of minicamp until now?
A: He's getting good. He's getting to be a good player and I think that we always knew, again, that he had good hands, he was very good after the catch, it's just a matter of consistently getting open against the different things that happen in a game. Is he there yet? No. Is he getting better? No question. He wants to be a dominant player so he's very attentive when you're in the meetings, he's listening to the corrections that are being made, he's trying to implement those things. Usually if you've got some skill and you have that kind of desire, good things are going to happen to you and they're going to continue. The problem is as you go on, then you're confronted by additional challenges, whether it's the quality of the player, the quality of the opposition or schematically they start doing things to make what you've been successful in very difficult if not impossible to do. So that's why I say that you've got to continue to grow and develop so that you can become a complete receiver. I think he's trying hard. It's not going to happen overnight, but he's trying very hard. He's all ears and eyes in the meetings trying to get better. He tries to work on it on the practice field. So we see a guy that is little by little using the skills he has growing to a point where he is becoming more and more efficient as a player.
Q: What about the chemistry that's building with Eli on plays like the deep touchdown pass? Do you see that forming into something special?
A: Yeah, you're always hopeful that that's going to happen. I think chemistry is when a guy's open, you throw him the ball and I think more is made of that than it really is. The scheme gives you a chance. We happened to see that the safety was going to jump underneath so we kept the post on, which normally, versus a two deep is an interception, but this guy was particularly aggressive, wanted to get involved in that tight red zone area where he wanted to get involved and underneath crowds and of course it gave you a chance to throw a post over the top.
Q: What is Suh bringing to the Lions now as a rookie?
A: You see a guy that is a very powerful, very strong, very powerful guy, very explosive and that's not an everyday combination – usually you're either big and strong or you're very explosive and fast. He's kind of got both. He plays hard, he's looking to be disruptive and he does, so it's somebody that you've got to be aware of – it's not like we can just focus on the ends and not worry about the tackle, he's good enough and he's playing hard enough and he's making enough plays that he's somebody that we have to contend with.
Q: How many double teams is he seeing now?
A: I don't know if double… Are they just committing two guys to him more than anybody else? I don't know that that's happening yet, but as you know, if you're sliding, the center and guard are sliding and those three including the tackle are blocking the most dangerous tackle and only two guys are there, it'll turn into a double team. Was it designed to double team him? I don't know. I don't think that you can quickly slide away to go help the end. I think you've got to be cognizant of his ability level and I think he's just going to get better and better because he's got some natural strength and power and he plays very hard, so he can be disruptive. There's no question about it. We're certainly concerned with him.
Q: The other day Brandon Jacobs was saying that he understands his role a little bit more now. Is he running like a different back?
A: I think he's running well. When he's running the way he's running now, that's what you'd like to see – more decisive and I just think he got more opportunities. He actually had been doing a good job for us – those short yardage plays, he's been very effective. We get him back to the line of scrimmage and he's been able to power his way over some people and make the first down for us, keep us on the field, so I see a guy that's playing pretty good and hopefully it'll continue.
Q: Is he getting back to the powerful back that he used to be?
A: It isn't going from a scatback to a powerback. It's the same guy. I think what he's doing, he's being a little bit more trusting of his reads and of his decisions, and when he does that and he turns himself north-south with the correct read, he's a special guy. I think right now he's been making good decisions and that coupled with his determination and his size has made him effective for us.
Q: What did you see from Bear Pascoe is his first game at fullback?
A: Tremendous contribution for us because there's no fall off in terms of knowing… he's excellent with his assignments, he gives you a very versatile guy that can not only just line up in the traditional fullback position, but can line up in the two tights and motion or stay two tights, so the flexibility gives us the pass receiving ability we kind of expected, but what we did see was that when he was the normal fullback position, he was basically flawless in terms of his assignments and his execution, so that was great to see. He played very well for us.
Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn
Q: Has taking the holding duties away from Matt Dodge helped relax him at all?
A: It'll help him. He has to focus on one job.
Q: How'd Sage Rosenfels do last week?
A: Pretty good. Good hands, confidence. He's used to running a huddle and handling guys at the line of scrimmage, so it's easy for him to do.
Q: Was that Matt's best game, and was it because of him not holding?
A: I don't think that played into it or anything. Yeah, they're two different jobs so one doesn't carry into the next.
Q: How do you get the return stuff going? Coverage has improved:
A: Just have to keep pressing, keep working. The kickoff return has been a lot better than punt return. Punt return is not doing much of anything there. Have to keep working on it and hope we get one. Just keep doing what we're doing on kickoff return.
Q: Are you not getting enough of a hole on punts?
A: It's a little combination of everything. We're pretty aggressive on fielding balls, so we're catching everything there. It's one factor, and you have to do a better job. Last week, the hang time and distance were very, very good so it's hard to get anything going.
Q: Are opposing teams paying a lot of attention to Jason Pierre-Paul?
A: I don't know because all schemes call for someone to be doubled. A lot of times, it's him, but they'll change it around.
Q: Is he better on special teams than you even anticipated?
A: He's been good. We didn't use him at all in the preseason, but he's very willing, conscientious, and he's got a very good skill set. It's a good combination to have.
Q: Ramses Barden almost blocked a punt last week, is that probably the best way to contribute on special teams?
A: He's got to be able to do everything, but one of his better teams is punt return. It fits his profile as far as size and speed. He does a good job there.
Q: What's the determining factor in putting someone like Jonathan Goff on special teams?
A: It's the use of the 45-man roster and the best guys from the team out there. You can't use them all, but he's a guy who has played on kickoff and him and Michael (Boley) alternate that spot. So they're both out there. It's what they do well, so it's just trying to highlight that on punt return.
Q: How are the Lions on special teams?A: Very good. They have a very good group, and I call them the Detroit All-Stars because they took what seems like the best special teams players from each team, and now they're all on one team. They're very effective. They've got a very good returner who was with Pittsburgh last year (Stefan Logan), and he's tough. He runs hard and is extremely quick, and they do a very good job blocking for him.
DE Justin Tuck
Q: How important is it to improve as a defense every week? You guys have had two fantastic weeks back-to-back.
A: It's very important. I think obviously you never want to be stagnant. If you're stagnant, someone's either catching up with you or they're passing you. So we just go out there every day and work on the things we're not doing well and try to improve those, and the things we are doing well, we try to do them even better.
Q: As a defensive captain, is it important for you to hone in on that with various players on this squad?
A: I mean regardless if I was captain or not, it would be important. So, yes.
Q: You guys have a bit of an opportunity this week with Detroit. What do you look at in terms of continuing your trajectory and what that might mean going on to the rest of the season?
A: I don't know if we changed anything. We've got an opportunity every week. That's how we approach it. Detroit isn't any different from last week as far as the opportunity goes. We understand that we've got to still play a great game to get a win out here. They're playing well, and they were the more confident team last week when they were 0-4. Now they've got a win behind them. Obviously they definitely want to keep the good times rolling in Detroit. For us, it's all business and it's all about what we do. We can only control that, and we've just got to go out there and play our game to make sure that we don't come out lackadaisical or thinking that these are the Lions of old. This is going to be a hard-fought game and I expect it to be all four quarters.
Q: Are you aware of their road losing streak?
Q: They've lost 23 straight games on the road.
A: Just trying to make it 24.
Q: You're not aware of it, but when a team is losing or winning, there's a certain pressure to not be that team.
Q: Is there certain pressure to not be that team?
A: It's the same pressure not to be that team any week. It's no different in the fact that they had won 23 straight or lost 23 straight - we're still approaching it the same way.
Q: Jahvid Best leads the NFC in yards after the catch. What is it about him that allows him to break tackles?
A: He's a small back, very quick and elusive. He reminds me of our 44 (Ahmad Bradshaw). I think his low center of gravity and just the fact that sometimes he can get behind those blockers on screens and things like that and you don't even see him. And then his burst is probably one of the best in the league as far as going from one point to the other one. He does a great job of seeing the defense before he gets to a move. I've seen the little jump-hop he does - I mean he's made guys look bad. So the first thing we've got to do is just run to the football and make sure that we get more than one guy tackling him at the same time. Then if we're there by ourselves, make sure that we break down and just fundamental tackling - that's going to be huge in this game.
Q: Barry Cofield is playing at a very high level.
A: Barry is probably our most consistent defensive lineman. I don't know his streak of consecutive games, but ever since he's been here I think he's missed one game and that was because the coach sat him down. So he's a tough kid, and he's just continuing to work on things and everyone knows about how good he is against the run, but this year he's definitely improved his pass rushing abilities. I really feel as though he's a true strength for this defense.
Q: It seems like he's always gotten pushed out of the way. They bring in free agents. They draft guys at his position, but he's still hanging in there.
A: Well, that's the reason why he's been the starter here for four straight years and he's being physical. There's a reason behind that. He's a great football player, and whatever reason there is behind the fact that they keep bringing defensive tackles in, I don't know. Maybe they just like depth around here on the D-Line. But as far as I go, I probably feel more confident about him lining up beside me than I do any other guy.
Q: You just said he's a "great football player." "Great" is not a word associated with him. That's a hard word to live up to. Why is he great?
A: Because he does all the small things that people don't notice. All the stuff you all do notice, that's good and dandy. But the things you all do not know are tremendous. The things that he allows other people to do as far as taking on the double team or being unselfish on a rush and allowing Osi (Umenyiora) to kind of go get our sacks and things like that. I really put a high regard on a person like that because he kind of lives in our shadows sometimes. We're kind of like the big name guys, I guess, and it's harder for him to kind of break that spotlight. And he doesn't mind it. He just goes out there about his business, and I think that's a lot harder than what I have to do everyday.
Q: Because if the deal could have been worked out with the Saints, he wouldn't have been here.
A: And that would have been tragic.
Q: Strong words.
A: I'm full of strong words today. Keep talking about Barry Cofield, and I'll give you some more strong words.
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