Postgame Quotes: Lions vs. Rams

Posted Oct 10, 2010


Opening statement:
"After the first quarter season, after the first four games, I think we knew where we were as a football team and we had played well in spots but we hadn’t played well enough to win. We had some obstacles. We had a lot of games on the road. We had some injuries that we needed to overcome. Even though we had played well in spots we had never validated it with a win. I think today was good validation. The team that came in played an outstanding defense, allowed 13 points a game. We scored in all three phases, offense, defense and special teams and did a nice job of accomplishing what we wanted to do in the game. We wanted to stop the run particularly early. A lot of those runs occurred late. It might get a little bit skewed. We wanted to score to make this team play from behind, which they haven’t had to do. They hadn’t allowed a point in the first quarter. We were able to go in and put points on the board right away. Like I said it gives some validation. When you’re not getting wins, it’s hard to point to anything other than that but I think this win helped us."
On how it feels to be on the other side of a blowout:
"I don’t know. I just worried about trying to finish the game when we were out there. We had a lot of injuries. We had a lot of guys stepping in and filling a lot of different roles. We were trying in that last quarter just to try to get as many players off the field as we could and not put them in a situation where we might get somebody hurt. It’s a difficult situation to be in. We emptied about as many guys as we could but we still had guys like Cliff Avril go into a full body cramp from rushing the passer so many times."
On the emotion he showed on the sidelines:
"It’s a lot easier to do when you’re up 44-6 than when you’re down. I wanted to keep the guys going and make sure they finished out the game. I think that was the first time we haven’t allowed a touchdown since probably about four or five years. I wasn’t here for them, but that’s what Bill (Keenist) tells me."
On the rookies stepping up:
"Our rookies have been contributing all year. Our second year players have been contributing. It hasn’t just been veteran players. I thought maybe the biggest play of the game, and it maybe gets overlooked a little bit was the opening kickoff. They tried an onside kick to try to sneak one in there. Amari Spievey did a great job of stepping up and making that play. It put us right in field goal (range). We got one first down and we were in field goal range. We were able to get the first points they allowed in the first quarter and get the lead in the game. I though Amari did a great job of making a tackle on Steven Jackson in the open field also. You get an interception by Ndamukong Suh. – a lot of those things. (We have) a lot of guys stepping up and playing."
On if they were prepared for the onside kick at all:
"We had some situations maybe in the preseason and things like that with different personnel in there, not with the guys that we’re playing with right now, where we had some guys leave early and things like that. We were ready. What they do is they run a little surprise. They pretend like they’re pacing it off and then turn around and try to get it quick. We’ve practiced that. I thought Danny Crossman did a great job of recognizing that and training the players for it. Then our players did a good job of executing it."
On if S Amari Spievey is in the safety rotation:
"He’s earned playing time. As well as he played physically early, he also didn’t play so well mentally early. In those first couple drives we were struggling on a lot of things. The decision today was made with Amari because Amari practiced the whole week and C.C. had a thigh issue and missed all practice time this week. I think he did some individual and did some very limited reps, but Amari had gotten that practice time so we wanted to go with it. C.C., I don’t know when it was, but it was fairly early, but we got him back in there. Amari has, like I said, he’s done a good job. He’s done a good job at just about anything we’ve given him, whether it has been special teams, whether it’s been a role on defense. He’s a tough kid. He’s made some plays for us."
On having Nate Burleson back:
"That was huge, getting Nate Burleson back. With what they wanted to do coverage-wise, to try to take Calvin out, you saw Nate really make them pay on some third downs. He was moving those chains and scoring touchdowns. You saw how wide open the middle of the field was. The reason the middle of the field was wide open was because they were over top of Calvin. We’re starting to get our players back. I mentioned early on we had to deal with some things. You know, getting Nate Burleson back on the field. Our tight ends have been very productive. We need to get back to full speed. We need to get back some of those guys. I think when it is, we can do a lot of things on offense, because no matter how you want to play us, we still have an answer for it."
On if Alphonso Smith has locked down the cornerback job:
"He did an outstanding job. I think he has interceptions in three straight games. He’s always been a ball hog. We talked about that with him. He did a nice job and he’s earned the right to get out there and play. I thought that Vasher and Jonathan Wade both did a good job in our nickel and dime packages. Jonathan Wade came up with a couple big plays for us today. So, it’s a difficult situation for Jonathan because Alphonso gets the playing time, but Jonathan did a great job of preparing this week and when his number was called, he had a couple big time plays for us."
On WR Calvin Johnson’s injury:
"He wasn’t able to finish. He landed funny. We’ll see where it is. It was in the shoulder area. I haven’t heard anything back yet, but he wasn’t able to finish the game."
On KR Stefan Logan’s kick return touchdown:
"Well, we talked early about how close he was. It’s one of the things we talked about last night. We talked about it last Monday, last Wednesday. You can see on the film that so many times we’re one block away from getting him sprung. He’s a guy that can go make a play. We just need to do a good job of getting all 11 guys moving the same direction, with not one person breaking down. But it was not only that. It was outstanding individual effort on his part. He’s short but he’s not small. He’s strong. I thought he did an outstanding job, not just on that but making good decisions. He’s covering very well too. It’s not often that you have returner that can go score a touchdown that’s also running down on kickoff cover and breaking wedges and things like that."
On the fans:
"The crowd affected the Rams offense today, particularly on third down. I thought that gave our players a boost on the field. I don’t know what our third-down percentage was, but it was very difficult for them to communicate. It was very difficult for them to audible today. We need that crowd. I talked about playing on the road. It’s tough to play on the road in the National Football League. We experienced that in three out of the first four weeks. Both games that we’ve played at home, the fans have made a difference for us."


On the reaction of grabbing their first win of the season:
"Yeah, I wish so badly that it didn’t take so long to get this feeling, but it does feel great to get a win in the way that we did. Everybody scored: offense, defense, special teams – everybody. It was a fun one."
On how it helped to get WR Nate Burleson back:
"Yeah, that helped a lot. I think you guys were able to see what he can do with the ball in his hands. He played a great game for us and made some big plays for us and we needed them."
On the offensive game plan and how they were able to exploit the Rams’ defense:
"Scott (Linehan) had a great game plan for us. In the first quarter we actually didn’t execute as good as we would have like to have, but we stuck with it, just kept going and things started getting there for us. Week-in and week-out he has a great game plan for us and everybody believes in it and it’s up to us to execute it and we were able to do that."
On the scoring drives:
"Those were great drives. I can’t say enough about how great the offensive line played today. That’s a group that gets after the passer; they bring a lot of different pressures; Dominic (Raiola) did a great job of seeing stuff and when they didn’t pressure, guys held up. That last touchdown to Brandon (Pettigrew) there right before halftime, I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much time on a pass play to be honest with you. (It was) just incredible, the way they played."
On WR Stefan Logan’s touchdown return sparking the game:
"Yeah, no question. That was a huge play for us. I believe that put us at 10-3 and at that point it was a tied ball game and we were looking at possibly going on an 80-yard drive or somewhere there about. Instead, you turn it around and it’s 10-3, a seven point lead. The defense held and we got the ball back and now we’re rolling."
On getting the ball to WR Calvin Johnson:
"I get a lot of questions about this and to be honest I don’t read or watch anything during the season, especially when I’m playing. I could kind of guess by the questions I’ve gotten, where things are going, but you guys have to understand, when we play teams, their No. 1 objective is to take No. 81 out of the game for us. When they give us match-ups on Jahvid (Best) or Brandon (Pettigrew) or (Tony) Scheffler or Nate (Burleson) or Bryant (Johnson) – anything like that – we have to take those and whenever those things start exploiting defenses, then Calvin is going to open up and I think that’s what you saw today. They were really concerned about some of those guys inside and we were able to get some match-ups on Calvin and try to exploit those. This is a team sport and whatever they’re going to give us, we’re going to use all of our weapons on offense to get it done. We know that 81, whenever he gets the chance, we know that Calvin is going to be ready and make a play for us."


On getting first win of season:
"It’s a good feeling; it definitely feels good. Whatever it may be is over with, and we can really focus on and check out the good things that we did and the things we need to work on and still getting the win. Definitely a good feeling to have this win under the belt and continue to go and get more."
On the biggest key on getting to Rams QB Sam Bradford:
"Yeah, we definitely wanted to put the game in his hands. We wanted to take Steven Jackson out of checking the ball down to him and allowing him to run the ball. I think we did a pretty good job of that. Although, he did make some plays, I think we limited him pretty well and forced Sam Bradford to make plays with his arm, getting out of the pocket. We didn’t sack him as much as we’d hope, but we definitely got after him I felt."
On his interception:
"It feels good. In college, I had two chances to run the two-back, but that was thanks to my good friend down in Jacksonville, Zack Pollard, so I improvised and did it on my own. It was just reaction, and thank God; thank my mom and my dad for blessing me with that talent, and I’m just happy to make a play. I should have followed my blockers."
On what was going on in his mind when he made the catch:
"I mean, look down field and find some way to get down to the endzone, make a play."
On everyone contributing to this win:
"Yeah, without a doubt. This was a total team effort. That’s what I said earlier this week, we need to put all cylinders together which I think for the most part this week, this past game, we did that. Every phase of the game that we did well, we did a lot of good things. We eliminated our mistakes on both sides. Penalties on offense and defense and then on special teams we didn’t get, I don’t think we had anything wrong with special teams. Just all around game, that’s what we need to continue to do and this is how the score should end."


On his kick return for a touchdown:
"It was kind of unique. Coach challenged us this week and told us that we are so close on breaking a kick or punt return, we just wanted to make it happened. Our kickoff and punt return team, we believe in ourselves, and we know that we can get the job done. Once we got back there, and I caught the ball, the off returner was like go ahead and was trying to keep me in, but once he saw my momentum was going forward he was like come on let’s just roll with it and try to get as many yards as we can."
On how big of a momentum shift it was after the return for touchdown:
"It was a big momentum swing. I think that’s what got it started. We just kept it rolling, and we put some points up on the board and like Kid Rock said, (when we) eliminate the penalties, we are one hell of a team, and we play hard. I’ve never been around a group of guys that go out each and every day, the way we practice the way we play. We’re having a lot of fun out there and we just got to keep this drive and keep this win and we need to keep moving forward."
On how it felt scoring on the long return:
"It felt good. I wanted to do it so bad, because my parents were out here and I wanted to show off to my parents. My dad, he’s sick, so he can’t just come up and just come to a game every week, or every other week, so he has to take time to come out and support his son. So, I wanted to do that for my parents, and I’m sure they are happy and I’m just waiting to see them when I get out of here."
On how good it feels to have a win:
"We got over the hump; we got that first win. We’ve got to keep it rolling. We know what we’re capable of. We eliminated the penalties, like I said, and we played hard. We came out there from the start and we showed them that, we the Lions, are the underdogs, and we’re going to fight all the way to the end. We’ve proven that for five straight weeks, and that’s what we’re all about. We’re going to keep fighting each and every game and prove it."


On getting the win over the Rams:
"It was a long time coming, you know. We know what we’re capable of. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. It’s just one win, but it’s sweet."
On all three phases of the game coming together:
"All three phases, throw in special teams. I think that’s what started everything. He took that kick back and it was like an avalanche after that."
On KR Stefan Logan returning a kick for a touchdown:
"It was super huge. I mean, I can’t explain it. You saw what happened after that. It speaks for itself."
On what they need to do going forward:
"Go to New York and get a win. In New York, on the road and break that streak. Go into the bye at 2-4. That’s the best we can do right now."