Lions Postgame Quotes: 11-13-11

Posted Nov 13, 2011



Opening statement:
"Obviously you're not going to win very many games with six turnovers, with three returns for touchdowns including a punt return and there's nothing else that happens in that game that's going to change that. We're leading the NFL in turnover ratio, we were scoring a lot of points in the second half, not giving up very many points in the second half. Both of those things changed today."
On QB Matthew Stafford's finger:
"Well, his finger has been listed on the injury report all week. I don't think his finger had anything to do with it. He had a good grip on the ball, it was more of the wind then it was anything else. The ball was moving… the one interception that he threw, moved about three yards on him when he threw it. It was very unpredictable, the wind, it seemed like it was gusting at all the wrong times. The same thing with the kicking game. All of a sudden it came time for a field goal attempt and it seemed like for them the wind died down and for us it would kick up, but there's no excuses."
On the performance in the redzone:
"They were playing very physical defense at the line. They were playing a lot of man-to-man coverage. We just missed too many chances. You can start going early in that game, dropped the ball that was right in his hands - I think we had about three or four drops, including a couple in the redzone. At that point in the game, they had made a difference. When you look at the final thing, it doesn't look like it, but at that point in the game it wouldn't have made a difference. Not as much zone, a lot of man, but that was more of the game because of the wind and things like that. We did a lot of the same things on defense."
On whether Stafford's interceptions were based on miscommunication:
"Literally, it was just the ball moving. I don't think there were any miscommunications. There were times where he was throwing to a different spot or things like that, it was mainly physical. It was more accuracy with passes."
On punting to WR Devin Hester:
"We tried to sideline that ball, but have you ever played golf? You try to hit the fairway, it goes in the woods. We wanted to sideline him, but with that being said, our coverage wasn't very good. We got stacked up, particularly on the long one, he didn't catch the ball cleanly, there was a lot of ground, but our coverage distribution was poor. We didn't do a good job in our return game either. We let the gunners get down field and get in space the whole game. It was very unpredictable with some of them going short and some of them going long; but it's one thing trying to get the ball out there and it's another when you don't have a good handle in the wind or know where it is or how much it's going to gust doing that."
On not recovering the DE Cliff Avril forced fumble:
"We have to jump on that ball quicker. If we show clear recovery we can get that ball back. They missed a field goal and at that point it was 20 seconds we were going to need on that ball anyway, so there was really no difference, but it was an incomplete pass, they ruled incomplete pass on the field and our players it as such; but a lose ball, you have to jump on it quicker. If you can show clear recovery quickly, then they can go, but even then with them shutting the play down, I don't know if they would have given us the ball back to where the spotter was."
On why they didn't take a shot at the endzone at the end of the first half:
"I mean, the odds of having something good happening there as opposed to having something bad were a lot different. At that point it looked like we had stopped the bleeding in the first half, we had been in that situation before, going into halftime, getting a defensive stop which we did and then getting a chance to score. Unfortunately we turned the ball over again at that point. We could have gotten a quarterback sack-and-strip, you could throw an interception for a touchdown, you know how football is. There are a lot of things that could happen. The odds of completing a pass that long in six seconds, I mean, that's a recipe for having something… they knew there were six seconds left, they were going to back guys up. It's not like they were going to blitz or anything like that."
On playing a physical team in Chicago:
"I think we stopped the run very well, I think the tale of this game is turnovers and returns for touchdowns. It has nothing to do with physical play. I'd match-up our guys against their guys anytime. That is a tough, physical team. We're a tough, physical team. But this game turned out the way it did because of turnovers and the return game."
On whether he's concerned about Stafford:
"You're always concerned about your quarterback, but again, we're leading the NFL in turnover ratio and in games that people talk about the quarterback not playing well, we still didn't turn the ball over - this was out of character for us. You're always concerned, but I know that a guy like Matt Stafford is going to bounce back because of the way he played in the eight other games."
On coming off of the bye week:
"I don't think that had anything to do with it. I thought we had a good week of practice, I thought our guys were focused and everything else. The tale has been turnovers and that was the biggest thing."
On being 6-3:
"Yeah, but also we have to own up to this game. This didn't not happen. We put it out there and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again. We are 6-3, we don't want to forget about that, and we had a chance to put this team way behind us, and we didn't, we let them back in it. We still have seven games to play, we have a long way to go and how we bounce back from this game in the long run will be more important than what happened today."


On how much of a factor was his injured finger in the loss to the Bears:
"Finger, not that much, I think wind more than anything. We just put ourselves in a tough spot. We had to come out in the second half, throw the ball and try to get back in the game. Wind was blowing the ball around. They had a tough time throwing it and we had a tough time throwing it. It’s just part of it. We can’t put ourselves behind early on like we did and expect to come back."
On what is wrong with his finger:
"It’s fractured but it’s not bad."
On if he can describe why the fight broke out:
"He kind of blocked me and I just trying to get him off me the best I knew how. I guess he didn’t like the way I did it and he wanted to ask me about it."
On if he threw down CB D.J. Moore because of frustration:
"That game was a tough game for us. We’re not going to turn the ball over six times, many times in a game. It was a tough game. I just did what I thought I had to do to try to get out of the way to try and make a tackle."
On if he felt comfortable with the glove throwing the ball:
"I felt fine with it. I felt that I made some real good throws with it and obviously made some tough throws with it."
On if when he released the ball if he was at the mercy of the gust:
"It you look in the first half, on the one that didn’t get picked, I was trying to throw one away. I rolled out and threw it and I turned around and it went two yards and just kind of got blown. It was tough. It was tough to throw the ball out there today. We put ourselves in a tough spot. That’s on us as a team. We didn’t play well enough on any phase of the game to win the game. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to Chicago. They’re a good football team. That’s the way it goes."
On how disappointing it is knowing that if the Lions would have won, it would have put them in great position to make the playoffs:
"It’s tough. Anytime you lose a division game. Especially a team that’s right there behind you. We had a chance to put them in the rear view but we didn’t do it. A lot of football left in the season. We have to learn from this tape, put it behind us and move on to a good Carolina opponent."
On if he usually wears gloves in cold weather:
"No. I didn’t wear it for any other reason than to try and help me grip because of my finger."
On if the fracture is on the right hand:
On if the interceptions were do to miscommunication:
"The first one was pretty bad wind. I threw it and it started right out in front of Tony (Scheffler) and just completely went. It went right behind him and the guy made a good play. (Charles) Tillman did a good job on the slant the next time. They were playing man coverage and just sat inside and was pretty physical with Calvin (Johnson). I thought it was kind of a borderline pass interference call or that kind of thing. It was tough. The other ones, we had to try and take chances at the end of games to get yourself back in it. It’s part of the game. When you’re ahead, you can be safe and careful with the football. When you’re behind, you are trying to do anything you can to get back in and you’re trying to make plays. It was a tough environment and try to come out and do that tonight."
On if the Lions lost composure due to the conditions:
"I don’t think so. I think we did a great job in the first half of battling. Things weren’t going our way. We were moving the ball, and then we turned it over. We were moving the ball then we turned it over again. We couldn’t have played any worse in any phase of the game. I think our defense did a great job of really keeping us in it. We outgained them almost 2:1 and those guys fought up there and did a great job of keeping those guys out of the end zone. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot on offense."
On if he had any certainty that when he was throwing the balls they would end up where he wanted them due to the wind conditions:
"It was tough. Obviously, in the wind, the throws that you can drive, you have a little bit more control. The stop routes and the slants and things like that, even today there were some tough gusts in there. This pro football and we can make those plays. I got to do a better job of giving them a chance. I obviously didn’t play my best football tonight. I’m going to learn from this tape and I’m going to come out against Carolina ready to go."


On the wind effecting the game:
"It had some effects. You could see where it moved the ball pregame and stuff. I’m not going to blame it on the wind. We moved the ball a little bit."
On the fact that nobody could have expected this game to get out of hand that badly:
"That’s all I can do is agree. That’s all I can do."
On how the Lions can blame this loss turnovers:
"I mean we did turn the ball over too often. We started and I had one on the first drive. We came back and had another one. Way, way too many. It falls on everybody though. I take responsibility and we each got to do that and come back next week."
On if he feels like the Lions missed opportunities:
"Yeah. That was what I was saying. We have to take responsibility. A lot of missed opportunities. In football things happen and we just have to put this behind us. We have to watch the film first. We have to put this behind us and make sure we have a good week of practice."
On his take on the whole situation of the scuffle:
"I saw it was going crazy over there on the sidelines. You can’t try to hit our quarterback and except us not to come back at you."
On what was missing for the Lions today:
"Fast start. We kind of hurt ourselves there at the beginning."
On if he said that it falls on everybody:
"I didn’t say everybody. I just said we have to take responsibility. I fumbled early. We can’t have that. Especially on the first drive. We were moving the ball. It’s something that we can’t have."
On if the Bears played the Lions differently than the first game:
"Not really. Chicago does what they do. They don’t change for nobody. They play their coverage."
On if the Bears’ safeties played any different than the last game by being deep:
"They got deep sometimes, but they weren’t like that all the times. Yeah, they were deep sometimes.

“Yeah, it’s tough. In the league, you’re not going to get behind guys when they are playing that deep."

On if Stafford’s accuracy was disrupted by just the wind or if that was just him being inaccurate:
"Matt is an accurate passer. It’s got nothing to do with his accuracy. We just had some bad breaks today."
On how he is doing physically:
"I’m cool. Got my bell rung a little bit, but other than that, I’ll be fine. I’ll bounce back."


On seeing WR Devin Hester with the ball:
"It’s not helpless, you know. Again, we have the ability to overcome a lot of things throughout the game and I mean, we just didn’t do it this week. You know, I think it’s for this team going forward to get off to a fast start. We’ve been a good second half team for most of the season, we just can’t expect to come out of big deficits every week. In the game today, we just couldn’t get out of the hole."
On the game being disheartening:
"Yeah it was a huge game, you know. But I think this team thrives in the underdog role and I think you know, a lot of people will start discounting the talent of this team and you know, not really appreciate that we’re still 6-3 and I think going forward, we kind of feed off that and this team’s kind of made up of underdog type players."
On the wind:
"Oh it was windy, but it doesn’t affect you on defense. I think there’s other areas of the team that it affects, but we just got to go out there and play our defense."
On three personal fouls on defense:
"I don’t know. I don’t feel like mine should have been a personal foul, but you know, it is what it is. We’re an aggressive, physical defense and we’re going to continue to pull the trigger. We have a shot and you know, we don’t want those penalties—penalties like that. Especially, it felt like we played well defensively today. If you keep drives alive it can hurt you, but you know, I think a couple of them were pretty close."
On being involved in the fight on the field:
"I wasn’t involved. I think it’s unfortunate, things like that shouldn’t happen. You don’t….I think obviously the most important player on our team is the quarterback and when they’re doing things to take shots at him, I think as a team you take offense to that and you stand up for him."
On having two games back-to-back with playing on Thanksgiving:
"We’ll worry about Green Bay when it comes up, but you know, this team (has) played Thanksgiving every year, so we know how to get ready for it and how to prepare for it."
On losing the turnover battle:
"Yeah, yeah that’s the key. You know, when we’ve gotten in the hole earlier this season, defensively we made a big when we needed it and it kind of got us going, got us some momentum and that didn’t happen today. But we can’t offensively, defensively, we can’t get off to a slow start. We have to start faster and not rely on the fact that we can come back and you know, it’s just one of those days where nothing went right and it happens. But I think we have the right people and we’ll respond well next week."
On penalties being a fine line between aggression and frustration:
"I don’t know that any of our penalties were frustration penalties. I think we’re aggressive and we’re going to continue to be that way. We got a chance to hit somebody, we’re going to take it."
On where this game puts the Lions:
"Yeah it puts us at 6-3, but I think, honestly, this lockerroom thrives in the underdog role. I think a lot of people around the League and especially media will probably discount us after this game and that’s fine with us. We don’t need to be out in front and everybody talk about how good we are. We have a lot of fight and you know, I think if anything, it will increase our sense of urgency and you know, make us prepare harder and play better next week."
On “just living with” penalties:
"You don’t ever want penalties, especially dead ball penalties—those are the ones that hurt you. But you know, throughout the course of the game and in the season, sometimes they happen and you know, I think as a defensive player and the way this scheme is built—it’s built to be fast and aggressive. You would rather see guys being aggressive and making shots than guys sitting on their heels and you know, teams taking it to us and I like that attitude, (inaudible) and I don’t think we’re going to change that going forward."


On a new found passion for this rivalry:
"Yeah. I mean, I’ve only been here three years, but for some reason I feel like I’ve been here 10. You know, rivalry between these teams is very high. A lot of emotions going into the rivalry and respect. You got to tip your hat down to your opponent when they win like they did today, but at the end of the day you know you got to fight your hardest."
On matching up well against Chicago:
"Obviously not today, but I think you know, we do have a lot of potential to match up physically and I do think, at times, we could be a better team. But obviously, I’m not taking their thing away from them. Today, they were the better team."
On making sure a loss doesn’t happen again:
"You know what, you just put this one behind us starting from now. The minute we walk out of this lockerroom, we put it behins us as far as Chicago. And the minute we get to Detroit, we watch film tomorrow and we put it behind us right then and there and you know, get started on the next weekend and not let it happen again."
On being chippy on the field:
"Of course. You never want to see your teammate have to take on a whole team. You know, just him by himself, so therefore you don’t want to see one of your warriors on the ground. You got to try your best to get him out of there and obviously, that will draw a lot of attention then. You’ve got to support one another."
On what he says to teammates when the mentality seems to “give up”:
"You know what, I don’t think a lot of people gave up on that play, I just think that they didn’t know what to expect if that ball from the ref. Nobody blew the whistle, nobody knew what to do, so once he picked up the ball, then you know, the whistle blow. So, therefore, they were doing the right thing, but you know what, you play til the whistle blows."
On playing two games in the next eleven days:
"Yeah, yeah, very important. I think it’s important that we put this game behind us and get a grip on this game and the only way we will be successful next week is if we do a good job looking each other in the mirror and know what we did wrong today and try to work on the positives."
On so many turnovers:
"You know what, we’re a team. So therefore, they get a turnover, then we gave (up) a big run and you know, we get the touchdowns going. It’s their job to go out there and score touchdown and it’s our job to go out there and stop the drive. I think they did a great job of going back out there and keep competing, keep competing. The outcome didn’t go like planned. None of us went out there and gave up. We still gave it our all and I think that’s most important now."
On if it’s frustrating when the defense plays well enough to win, offense comes up short:
"That would frustrate me if I was just playing for myself, but I’m not. So therefore, you know, this is a team and we live by team, we die by team. We win, we lose by team. So therefore, we lost by team today. You know, I’m not going get into a thing and say the offense gave up this many points over on their board or we gave up this many points for the other team. We all came in here together, we rode on the same bus, we rode on the same plane together. We put on the same uniform on, therefore, we lose, we lose."


On why the Lions went downhill quickly early in the game:
"They’re a very good team. We’re a good team. Obviously, we have beaten them before. I don’t know. We just can’t turn the ball over like we did. You can’t come back from six turnovers. It’s impossible. You look at our offense and I thought our offense came out quick and I thought we were going to get going. We were going right along and then all of a sudden there would be a turnover or something and it would just get us. Turnovers are on everybody, the offensive line, quarterbacks and receivers. We all have to work together."
On if they just burn the tape and move on after a game like this:
"I’m sure we’re not going to burn it. I’m sure we’re going to watch it tomorrow and figure out exactly what happened and what we could have done better and things of that nature. After that, you got to put it behind you. That’s not this team. It was very uncharacteristic of us and it was a very uncharacteristic night."
On if the bye week had anything to do with the loss:
"I couldn’t say so. I think we just came out and didn’t play our best. I think it’s that simple. We were there for three days before he let us go. We got a lot of work done that way. I think everybody was safe and smart out there on their bye week. I think it was the rest that we needed. I couldn’t say why. I couldn’t say the bye week had anything to do with it."


On if he is disappointed because the Lions could have put some distance between the Bears with a win:
"Yeah. That’s the disappointing part about it. That’s done now. What we can do now is move on to Carolina, beat them and get this ball rolling again. We got two at home and we lost our last two at home. We have to win this game at home. This is big. It’s big to capture our fans at home and get back off this slide and put this behind us and see what happens from there."
On if he got a sense of how strong the wind was:
"I’m not the one dealing with the wind. I don’t see the flight of the ball. I can’t answer that question."
On his thoughts of the overall game:
"The first few drives, we got the ball across the 50 and we turned the ball over. You can’t beat the Bears doing that. Their momentum is capitalizing on turnovers and they did, points off of turnovers and Devin Hester. That’s what happened today. I thought our defense played well, well enough to win. We didn’t do our job and that’s that."