Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday following a tough 13-10 loss to the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday. Campbell and the Lions have to flip the switch quick due to a short week with their Annual Thanksgiving Day Game on Thursday against division rival Chicago.
Here are all the key questions from Campbell's Monday presser:
Is there a health update on quarterback Jared Goff?
Goff's strained oblique muscle that prevented him from playing Sunday in Cleveland felt better Monday, Campbell said. Goff threw in the morning, and it went so well the Lions felt good about allowing him to get some limited reps in the team's walkthrough later on.
Campbell said Goff looked pretty good throwing the ball and the plan will be for him to throw in the mornings on Tuesday and Wednesday, take part in the walkthroughs, and just see how he progresses closer to Thursday's game before making a decision to start him or not. Campbell said backup Tim Boyle will be ready if needed.
How much does Campbell reflect on the Week 4 loss to Chicago and all the missed opportunities to win that game in preparing to face them again? Can it be a motivational tool?
The Lions lost that first matchup with the Bears, 24-14, but they turned the ball over four times in the red zone. Campbell said they did some good things in that game, but admitted Monday the turnovers were killers for his squad.
Campbell said it's important heading into this week to be smart when they get down into the red zone and give themselves a chance to score points.
What are a couple of the positives that Campbell can take away from the first 10 games, despite the 0-9-1 result?
1. Defensively, the Lions have started to increase their turnovers. Detroit's got 12 takeaways on the season and five have come in the last two games in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Campbell said getting takeaways can be contagious among the players, and he's seeing that right now.
2. He also said his team has to have the most play time logged, or the second most play time logged, among rookie players this year. He described it as invaluable growth. It's something he hope bodes well for them, not just in the future, but in the final seven games of this season.
How is defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn getting the most out of this young defense despite all the injuries?
Detroit's one of just three teams in the NFC that have allowed fewer than 20 points per game over the last two weeks. We already talked about the increase in takeaways. It's really been the defense that's given them a chance to win the last two weeks.
"I just think AG (Glenn) is a hell of a teacher," Campbell said. "I think he's a hell of a coach, hell of a teacher and I think he's a hell of a motivator."
Detroit ranks 30th in points allowed and 27th in total defense, but it's the contributions they've been getting from some unlikely sources, along with consistent play from some veterans like safety Tracy Walker and cornerback Amani Oruwariye, that has been really positive.
Campbell said he has a ton of faith in Glenn and the whole defensive staff.
How has Campbell evaluated his play calling so far?
Campbell said there are certainly some calls the last two weeks he'd like back, though he didn't go into specifics.
He does like what the team has done in the run game the last two weeks with D’Andre Swift.
Campbell defended being conservative in the pass game with Goff being hurt in Pittsburgh and Boyle making his first start Sunday in Cleveland, though he said he has gone back and forth on the conservative nature of his approach to the passing game the last two weeks.
"Certainly there are things I wish I could have back, but I'm growing at it as well," he said.
What's Campbell's best memory of Thanksgiving?
Campbell was a player for both the Lions and Cowboys, so there's a long, rich tradition with Thanksgiving. He also grew up in Texas, so even as a kid, football was big, and Thanksgiving was a part of that.
Campbell even shared his perfect Thanksgiving plate: Turkey (smoked), no dressing, no cranberry, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn cut right off the cob, green bean casserole and homemade rolls.