LIONS HEAD COACH JIM SCHWARTZ
- On his strategy against the 49ers defense:
- “We needed to be able to run. They were taking the approach of playing deep safeties to take away the big play, which they were able to do. When people do that, you need to hurt them underneath and you need to hurt them with the run. I thought at times we ran the ball well. We knew there were going to be sometimes where a one- or two-yard run was a good play, but we had a couple that missed cuts. We bounced a couple outside that we should have been sticking up in there."
“But I think that those are things that we needed to do. We didn’t do a good enough job in any phase, whether it was the run game, the pass game, defense, special teams. We need to play better in all phases. We left a lot of opportunities on the field. We missed a field goal, we turn around and we give them a second chance on one that turned into four more points."
“That’s seven points right there in an eight-point game. We have three chances to stop third downs at the end to get the ball back when we were eight points down. Our offense proves that we can move the ball late in the game like we did and we weren’t able to get them stopped there. We missed a lot of tackles, we did a lot of things that aren’t typical for us and we can play a lot better.”
- On the third-and-long plays:
- “We were in different coverage in each one. One, we were blitz(ing), two of them we were in zone – in different zones – didn’t get the job done in any of them. But they were all different ones.”
- On how much the missed tackling hurt them, particularly in the Vernon Davis touchdown:
- “They were bad angles. Bad angles on those plays. (Vernon Davis), he’s a good player. He can make you miss, he can run after the catch. We have a lot of guys that can do that, but, like I said, that’s not typical for us. We’ve got to do a better job of playing team defense. When the first guy misses, get him on the ground. Last week we did that, this week we didn’t.”
- On the clock expiring before a play was run:
- “I thought the play clock expired a couple times. On one it wasn’t the play clock, it was the quarter clock. But I’m not an official, I’m a coach. I don’t make that call.”
- On having three DTs in at once:
- “There were a few times we had four defensive tackles in there. They use a lot of extra offensive linemen; big Leonard Davis and a defensive tackle at fullback and an extra offensive tackle and different things like that and we were just sort of fighting fire with fire there. We obviously didn’t do a good enough job.”
- On how much of a shot to the team confidence this is:
- “This is a 16-game season and one of the things you have to do over the course of the season is you’ve got to be able to negotiate all the highs and lows that go into a season. This felt as if it was a playoff game. There’s two teams that have high expectations that are good teams coming in, Sunday night game and everything else, but it’s not a playoff game. "
“We’ve got to play next week and the teams that are going to do well are the teams that can negotiate the highs and lows in this league. I think you saw, we got an opportunity to watch a few of the games this afternoon while we were waiting to play and you saw it all across the league: there were teams that won the first week – won maybe convincingly – that turned around and lost this week. Those things are going to happen.
“It’s 16 games, you need to be able to bounce back. We need to be able to put mistakes behind us and we need to improve over the course of each game. Like I said, this wasn’t our best game in any of our phases. We can play better in all of our phases. We lost by one score on the road even considering we didn’t play well. I won’t pull positives from it, but we’ve got to be able to bounce back and play. We can’t turn one loss into two.”
- On if they were isolating S
John Wendlingand LB DeAndre Levyto move the ball:
- “There was nothing tricky. We knew when we blitzed they were going to throw the ball to the tight end. There was no isolation there. I mean, there was, but you’ve got to be able to blitz and things like that. It wasn’t a new thing. We didn’t play some of the run plays well and, like I said, we didn’t have good angles, didn’t tackle when we did - when we had opportunities to get them off the field, throw them for losses and put them into some other second-and-long or third-and-long situations.”
- On if he needs more from his other receivers when
Calvin Johnsonis taken away:
- “We need something out of everybody, no matter who’s on the field. Like I said, they were going to try to take away deep passes – there weren’t going to be very many opportunities to make big chunks, we had to work for everything that we got. Not all of them are going to be easy, that’s sort of the style that they play, but there were going to be opportunities. We didn’t make enough of the opportunities we have. That’s not just Calvin, that’s everybody.”
- On what he said to Jim Harbaugh before the game:
- “I don’t want to go into those kind of things.”
- On QB
Matthew Stafford’s play:
- “Yeah, the interception, I actually even thought it was a tipped ball, but I think it just got away from him. Sailed it high and then, the defense, I thought, did a good job of getting a stop there and I think that was the one that we roughed the kicker. I think that you saw Matt make some throws, then step up and play really tough in some areas, but I’m sure there’s a couple throws that he can throw a little bit better and he will.”
- On Stafford starting off the season with four interceptions in two games:
- “The only thing we’re worried about right now is (the) Tennessee Titans. We’re 1-1 and we’re looking to go get a win.”
LIONS QUARTERBACK MATTHEW STAFFORD
- On not being quite in sync yet:
- "I don't think we were reading different things. I don't think as an offense we had hit our stride yet. We moved the ball really well at times today against a really good defense and then didn't take advantage of our opportunities in the red zone like we need to. Against a team like that every point counts and every point is crucial. We had too many times when we were kicking field goals at the end of drives. That's unlike us. And we understand that we didn't play our best game in any of the phases today. I'm proud of the guys for fighting and hanging in there but we've got to put some effort into coming out and trying to play a little bit better."
- On trying to run the ball against this defense:
- "It was important. We did a heck of a job. That's a good defensive front. And our guys up front kept me clean all night and really opened some holes for our backs too. So I thought we ran the ball well. We were looking for three- and four-yard gains against this defense to try and stay efficient and for the most part we were able to do it. I don't know if we had maybe one lost-yard run or negative run so we moved the pile forward which was good. We just didn't take advantage of our opportunities in the red zone."
- On strategy:
- "That's kind of what you have to do against a team like this. If you just go in and just try and air it out. They have a good pass rush with guys that can really play two-man, stick on receivers, have help over the top, jump everything you throw underneath. In the second half, we knew it was going to be a game where we were in the second half. Those runs that were one and two in the first half, are gonna be four, five and six and we were able to do that in the second half. I thought we ran the ball really well. Get down to the red zone and you're kicking field goals all night isn't going to get it done. I'm missing guys. That's a good defense. I have to give them credit too but we can play a lot better than we played."
- On the San Francisco defense:
- "I think it's a good defense. I think we can play a lot better, put up more points. We moved the ball really well for the most part of the night. We just didn't score in the red zone and you have to give them credit for that but there were guy one-on-one that I missed and I didn't play my best."
- On the interception:
- "I tried to pull it back and that's why I just slung it up there. I wish I would have pulled it all the way down or reset."
- On this being a blow to the team's confidence:
- "You know it's one thing if we come out here and play our best football and get blown out of the water. We played poorly, had a lot of penalties and didn't capitalize on any opportunities. It's a one-touchdown game at the end of the game so you have to take the good with the bad. You have to learn from wins, learn from losses. It's just the way the NFL is. We're not going to get too high, too low. We just have to keep grinding and try to find a way to just play a little better in all three phases.
- On RB
- "He did a good job for us and I was happy for him. He's a guy that obviously doesn't have a lot of experience but was in there. Tough runner, physical guy, obviously showed a little bit of speed on that screen there late in the game. I was happy for him. He's a guy that works hard, a competitive kid so it's nice to see him do well."