Another week brought another rough performance for the Detroit Lions offense. Jim Schwartz stood at the podium hours after his team quite literally fumbled a game away in Chicago, and addressed this week's biggest issues. Schwartz rapped on why his offense has struggled, the fumble problems at running back, Ndamukong Suh's unjustly criticized clean hit and what it will take to rebound.
Suffice it to say the coach isn't happy with his team's below average 2-4 record, but that doesn't mean he's giving up. Here are more thoughts from today's meeting with the media.
What Is The Explanation For All The Offensive Problems? "Number one thing we failed to do on offense was score, and that was due to turnovers, particularly turnovers in the red zone. When you face a tough opponent on the road, that's not a good recipe to win. The two fumbles were critical breakdowns and you cant afford to do that on the road."
Now That Nate Burleson Is Out For The Year, Who Steps Up? "Broyles plays in the slot, Tony Scheffler plays in the slot, Titus Young moves up. I think one of the encouraging things about our loss last night was seeing Titus Young and Broyles make plays. They've been working hard, and those guys can help fill in Nate's loss. You can replace Nate on the field, but off the field, Nate is a very good leader, a very good guy in the locker room. We'll need to pick that up."
How Is Ryan Broyles Physically? Any Lingering Concerns From His Knee Injury? "We haven't considered him injured since after the bye week. We just view him as another player. He had to work through training camp, but after we got to the season, and particularly after the bye week, that was beneficial for his recovery."
On Fumbles By Mikel Leshoure And Joique Bell. Did They Try And Do Too Much? "You never want to tell a guy not to fight for yardage, but you have to be ball secure. Joique's was on second goal, that wasn't fourth down so he might not have needed to dive for extra yardage. There is a fine line there, but particularly in the red zone, and ball security is important."
Did You Use An Up-Tempo Offense To Your Advantage Soon Enough? "We went to no-huddle a lot earlier in the game. Again, we failed to capitalize on missed opportunities. The Bears had a good defense and made it tough on us. But, we moved the ball, and we have to score given those opportunities. We had more physical errors than we had tempo problems."
Should Your System Be Considered In Jeopardy After All The Outside Criticism? "Well, I mean, you have to not pay attention to it. The thing that matters most is how we feel and our ability to work through it. What we need is a win. It's the NFL and we're judged on 16 games. We haven't had the start we wanted, but we're 2-4. We can't overreact to certain things. Do we scrap a system because we fumbled three times? No, you emphasize ball security and you try to improve. Our defense kept us in the game, again, you can bounce it a million different ways. We didn't get it done, and we can't overreact or underreact."
How Is Matthew Stafford A Better Quarterback Now? Has He Regressed At All? "He's more experienced. Every bit of experience is important. I wouldn't say he's regressed. As an offense, we're working through some things right now. We have some firepower and we're certainly capable of turning it around."
What Does A 2-4 Start Really Mean? "Our margin for error is thinner. It's a lot less. But, we need to put last night's game in it's place and move on to Seattle. We've got a home game coming up and we're a team that needs a win."
Have You Given Up On Stefan Logan After All His Return Problems? "The thing we need to try and be is more ball secure. (Mikel) Leshoure, Joique (Bell), (Stefan) Logan, (Brandon) Pettigrew, they all put the ball on the ground. Chicago is a good team at forcing fumbles, but we need to make better decisions with the ball, especially in the return game. Logan can make plays for us, but there's a fine line between being over aggressive and trying to make something happen when you just need a fair catch. We're still confident in Stefan, he's made big plays for us and we haven't lost any faith in Stefan Logan."
What's The Status Of Amari Spivey, Who Left Last Night With An Apparent Concussion? "Well, he's out right now. If I've learned anything in this game, it's don't expect anything with concussions. If we get him back soon, we get him back soon. If not, we don't. Time will tell. He'll be watched closely because of last year's (concussion) problem, but his protocol for return will be the exact same."
On Other Injuries To Ronnell Lewis And Dwight Bentley: "We tried to extend Bentley, but as Sunday came, we realized he wasn't going to be able to go, so we signed Justin (Miller) for a little speed. That was the decision."
Have The Issues From A Tumultuous Offseason Carried Over Into The Regular Season, Causing The Lions To Struggle? "I mean, I don't see that coming up. We're talking about fumbles. I don't see how that carries over. We want to avoid things like that and minimize distractions. The team did a good job from moving on from that, and our play on the field is what matters."
On Nick Fairley's Evolution: "Well, he's taken more reps as a starter. He's showing what we saw of him in college. He's been healthy, practicing and playing. Nick took advantage of Corey Williams' injury and has done well."
Evaluate Alphonso Smith's Play: "He stepped in and did a nice job. He had a couple big pass break ups. Some things he can do better, but coming back, he did a nice job and made plays. There were a couple plays he could have done better with, but our defense bent and only gave up 13 points, giving us a chance to win late on the road."
Is Nick Harris Injured? "He tweaked his knee and he's fine."
Should There Be Panic In Detroit? "I think that you look at things and say, 'what are the reasons we didn't come up with a victory?' This year, you can come up with specific things. We have confidence in our players. We have confidence that over the course of 16 games, they can make those plays. Biggest thing is, we have a home game this week against Seattle and we need to win it. All of us can play and coach better and we can get out of this."
Are You Concerned With Slow Starts In Games? "It's always a concern, you want to start fast and you don't want to begin with three and outs. But, we've also rebounded, made adjustments in the game, put ourselves in scoring position and found a way to get some stops."
Have You Talked To Bill Ford Jr.? What Are His Opinions Of This Start? "I saw him on the sideline last night, I didn't see him today. I think this has been difficult for all Lions fans and the organization. But, we've seen how tough things are in the NFL and that doesn't change our outlook. We have to go out and win."
What Was Your View Of Ndamukong Suh's Sack? Was It Dirty, Or Just A Case Of A Player Playing Hard? Does His Reputation Hurt Him? "Seeing it from the field, I would say that. Cutler was hard to handle last night, he was scrambling around making plays of his feet. Ndamukong got him buy the shoulder sleeve and threw him down. We're going to get him down any way we can. It's just part of the game. Didn't hit him high, didn't hit him low."
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