NEWS

Postgame Quotes: Lions at Buccaneers, 12-19-10

Posted Dec 19, 2010

HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ

On breaking the streaks:
"It’s the second week in a row. We talked about finishing the way that we want to finish over the last four games. We’re going to have some teams battling for playoff spots, probably three weeks in a row. Green Bay, obviously Tampa Bay, and Miami next week. We need to respond the right way.
"I can’t say enough about Drew Stanton today. He hurt his shoulder early in the game and battled through and played probably his best game since I’ve seen him. Defensively, we lost Amari Speivey in pregame warm-ups. Then C.C. Brown, and then Louis Delmas got dinged in the head. John Wendling had to come in and play. We didn’t always look great on defense, but we came up with a couple stops. We held them to some field goals when we needed to and found a way to get on the scoreboard."
On WR Calvin Johnson and RB Maurice Morris:
"Yeah, there were some huge performances. The two-minute drive at the end, no timeouts. (Tony Scheffler) makes a big play in there. Calvin makes a play in overtime that puts us down there; great toe-tap on the sideline. But Maurice Morris was our lifeblood today. He kept on creasing them in the run game, running strong, ran hard. We knew we were going to have to run the football today. We had to do it a little bit different.
"Like I said, Drew got dinged up a little bit. We weren’t able to do as much of the run game that he’s used to, but we could lean on Mo. Mo was battling through. Mo had a rib injury out there. Probably the biggest thing we did is we managed our special teams. When you have all those injuries, it’s easy to plug guys in on offense or defense. But the hits start coming on special teams and I thought Danny Crossman did a great job. Then Dave Rayner kicks the two big field goals at the end."
On the play of both lines:
"The field was a little bit sloppy. Footing wasn’t great. We had a hard time getting their quarterback on the ground. Like I said, those guys made the plays that we needed. Our offensive line did very well. It’s really a big win for us. We talk about a lot of different things, going on the road and winning. Like I said, we’re used to playing close games and that’s something this franchise hadn’t been used to for a long time. I can’t help but to think that we’ve won these last two games in ways that maybe we wouldn’t have early in the season. So I think we’re seeing some good things and we’re becoming a little bit more battle hardened."
On the team playing so hard despite only having four wins:
"Well, it’s easy for me. But it’s a difficult thing for players to go into situations, particularly when our expectations were so high this year and then to not be playing like these other teams are, for playoffs. But our guys have a chip on their shoulder. They know where we’re going to be in the future in this franchise and they want to finish this year the way other teams are finishing on playoff pushes. We don’t have to be in a playoff push to win our last four. We’re two games down and we need to go a couple more."

QB DREW STANTON

On the game-winning drive in overtime:
"I told them even going into overtime: when we needed to get that drive it was going to be on the offensive line. It’s those guys up front, pushing the pile. We were doing it all day and I couldn’t be happier with those guys and Mo. That was one of the gutsiest performances I’ve seen. He was hurt in every single play, taking deep breaths, trying to take his mind off of the pain. That’s the type of player he is and it was fortunate, we just kept moving it and moving it and obviously (Dave) Rayner to get in there and make that field goal. It feels pretty damn good."
On the play of WR Calvin Johnson:
"He’s a pretty good football player, so we tried to get the ball in his hands. That last third down-and-long, I just kind of threw it up, threw it to a spot and trusted that he was going to be there and Megatron came through for me."
On if he felt more comfortable today than he did last week:
"Yeah, I think going back and watching the film and evaluating, I just never got into a rhythm. My feet were always off, I was a little ahead of everything. You know, just come in and trust what I can do and believe in the abilities in the people around me and let them make the plays. I think I was pressing a little bit and we came in here and settled in nicely. We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times, but that was the only time we really got stopped when it was self-inflicted wounds. It feels so good to come away with a win and put another streak behind us."
On snapping their road losing streak:
"It’s real big, but it’s bigger for the guys that have been here and had to endure it for a long time. Guys that put so much into this organization and are there countless hours, Jeff Backus and Dominic Raiola, those guys that give everything they possibly have and to finally have it come to fruition for these guys. That’s what is so much fun about playing this game and being able to be a leader of this team for the time being."

WR CALVIN JOHNSON

On the offense as a whole:
“We didn’t really kill ourselves with penalties and we had a killer instinct going on offense today. It was a totally different attitude out there today and it just felt great playing with those guys today and we got a big win for it.”
On where that came from:
“I think it’s the week of practice. Coming off the win last week, and then that brings a lot of confidence. Then we were able to carry that on down here.”
On how much the road losing streak bothered them:
“Actually – honestly – I don’t even know what the streak was, but it’s definitely good to bury it. We buried two demons in the last two weeks – so that’s big.”
On what Coach Schwartz said to them after the game:
“Schwartz was just high on our effort. We stayed in there, we played 60 minutes plus some. That’s one thing he keeps preaching. He was hard on us this week and I think that’s the best thing he could have done and we came out and responded.”
On the running game:
“We were gashing them up the middle. Mo, Jahvid had a couple runs in there, but Mo was definitely was gashing them up the middle. He was hitting the hole real hard. I was sitting there sometimes – I’m able to get out there and block … sometimes I’m cheating my head and watching Mo running the ball and he was just hitting the hole extremely hard. That’s the reason he gets to the next level.”
On if there was fear that they lost Stanton:
“I didn’t know exactly what the situation was, but I know Stanton. Like I said, Stanton’s my dude and he’s a warrior – he’s a football player first before he’s a quarterback.”
On how far Stanton has come in four years:
“He’s come a long way, but he’s gaining a lot of experience with this playing time. The only way you gain experience in this league is through playing time. The more and more playing time he gets, the better he’ll become.”

S JOHN WENDLING

On stepping on defense unexpectedly:
"It was definitely a surprise today, but you go in to every Sunday preparing to start in a backup role. It was just one of those weeks I finally got a shot to play."
On defending Bucs RB LaGarrette Blount:
"It wasn’t the great tackling expo for us today, but you got to give it up to Blount. He’s a tough runner, big guy. He ran really hard today."
On if winning on the road is big for the team mentally:
"Unbelievably. This team has just been fighting all season and to finally have a road win under our belts, as tough as this season has gone, we really needed this one."
On if he will sleep well tonight:
"I hope so. There could’ve been some things I could’ve done a little better, but just happy we got a win today."

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