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Head Coach Jim Schwartz Post-Practice Quote Sheet

Posted Dec 16, 2009

On if he has an update on QB Matthew Stafford
“No. He’s probably in the same boat that he was. He’s making progress. We’ll see, but he’s not likely to play; things can change, but he’s not likely to play. His status really hasn’t changed. He’s still making progress. He’s getting a little better but he’s still a ways away.”
On if the amount of injuries this rookie class has suffered will affect their evaluation
“Well, I mean, lets save the evaluations for after the season; but as far as missing time on the field, sure it hurts. Matt’s missed how many games now? Four? Matt’s missed time and when you’re a young quarterback that time is extremely valuable. You can’t buy those kinds of reps. (Brandon) Pettigrew was really coming on. He was becoming an integral part of the offense that we knew he would and for him it’s not just a matter of his missed opportunity. Missing those games affected our offense by taking a playmaker away. You can just look at his stats three weeks before he was injured and that’s been a big thing. Delmas has missed a little bit of time. He had the one game with the infected tooth and the other one with the ankle, but he’s still got a lot of ball left to play. For the most part, they’ve been able to get on the field. You know every rep is crucial but really the biggest one was Pettigrew with the season-ender.”
On if he thinks Pettigrew was becoming an offensive asset before he went down with a knee injury
“Pettigrew? Oh, absolutely. I think – and you’d have to go back and check, I don’t keep track of all those things - but I think in the previous three games to the Thanksgiving game, I think he had 15 catches in those three games and I think it was two or three touchdowns? It was double-digit receiving average and when you have a guy like Calvin Johnson and teams take away the outside part of the field you need a tight end that can split the defense and (have) five catches a game, touchdown numbers and things like that. That’s what we expected from him. He wasn’t just playing a part in the offense, he was becoming a weapon in the offense.”
On if RB Kevin Smith tore his ACL and MCL
“He has an ACL. All of the other stuff we’ll see as they get it open and do everything else. He’s actually walking around great. He’s doing great. He’s doing outstanding. He had significant swelling afterwards. The swelling is out. He’s moving around. Walking around without crutches and doing those things. Things have changed a lot when they do ACL surgeries. Just from 10 years ago. It used to be that they would operate the next day and try to get the operation as quickly as they could to get as much time as they could healing and they found out that it was better for the long term healing if they let all of the swelling get out and get the range of motion get back before they operate it. That’s one of the reasons they cut the recovery time down so much. They’ve done so many. They know how to rehab them. They know what to do, so he’ll be in that boat. Brandon Pettigrew’s in the same boat where you get all the swelling out, get the range of motion back, and get operated on it. It seems like you’re being set back, it seems like it’s been forever since the Thanksgiving day game, but that’ll help him in the long term if we get him to that stage before the surgery.”
On Arizona’s offense
“They’ve been a little bit up and down this year. They’ve had some really good games and some impressive wins and the some other times when they haven’t looked so good. I think a lot of it is turnovers. When they turn the ball over, their results show. Kurt Warner is obviously a good quarterback, but it doesn’t hurt to have Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald out there, and (Steve) Breaston. You can go deep and deep. I think that really the big change from them last year (is) they got into the playoffs and to the Super Bowl based on their passing offense. Their defense struggled at times (and) their running game wasn’t consistent the whole year. I think really the big change this year has been they can throw with the best of them and go four wide receivers with the best of them, but they can also power run with the best of them. (Tim) Hightower and Beanie Wells are really impressive and they’re splitting reps but they’re running the old power running game, you know, strong side G-play, the weak-side lead, that down-hill mentality and that’s something that’s sort of new and that’s one of the things that’s helped the defense. Their defense has given up some rushing yards this year, but one of the things that helped them get better on defense is their ball control on offense.”
On if he thinks CB Brian Witherspoon will return kicks this week
“We wouldn’t have claimed him if we didn’t think it would help. We’ll see when we get to Sunday. He was out there about halfway through today. But, that was the whole idea of claiming him is he was a guy that can immediately help return kicks. He’s returned punts. We’ve got to see how quickly we can get him up to speed in a lot of our other packages and see if it makes sense to get him on the active 45 for Sunday. We didn’t make that move for next year. We didn’t make that move for anything other than improving this team this year.”
On if the decision to put TE Casey FitzSimmons on reserve/injured was because he wasn’t getting better
“It wasn’t that he wasn’t responding at all. It was going to be a significant amount of time and we are very aware of the issues with concussions and things like that and we’re in a position where we were going to put a guy back on the field too soon. The NFL has new rules and protocols, and things like that for concussions. This had nothing to do with those protocols. This was the right thing to do. He’s had concussions in the past. He’s had some struggles with this one and it made sense to do it.”