A snowy night in Green Bay left the travel weary Jim Schwartz a little testy at this week's latest press conference. The questions didn't drag on for long and the responses were pointed as Schwartz attempted to explain what went wrong with the Detroit Lions in their 22nd consecutive defeat at Lambeau Field, this loss seemingly more frustrating than most in Wisconsin.
These Lions just can't get over the hump in 2012 in general, and despite that, Schwartz says he's still focused on next week's game against the Arizona Cardinals and not offseason planning. He also commented on Nick Harris' punting, Kris Durham's debut, a mysterious penalty call during the game and the Lions' efforts within the NFL's safe driving program.
General Thoughts On The Loss: "We've talked a lot about slow starts. This week, we came out and started fast, but let them right back into it. In a game with weather conditions, taking care of the football is paramount. Early, we got points off their turnovers. Then, we didn't take care of the football. There are a lot of critical plays, but I thought those were most critical."
Is There Anything Left To Play For At 4-9? "The only thing we can work on is Arizona right now. We can go out and compete hard and try to win."
The Cardinals Just Lost 58-0. Does That Give You Confidence Heading Into This Week's Game? "Well, we've lost five games in a row, so we're worried about ourselves and not our opponents. It's more about us and us ending our losing streak than what they're doing. Nobody's sorry for anything or anybody in the NFL."
Do The Lions Discuss Safe Driving Programs To Prevent Problems With Drinking And Driving? "Yes, we do an awful lot with our players reminding them to make good decisions and how to make better decisions. There's a lot of pressure being in the NFL and there's a lot of things that come up, but that's no excuse for bad decisions. Those things are avoidable. Players have a lot of options and tools at their disposal thy need to take advantage of."
Did The Lions Abandon The Run Game Too Soon In The Second Half? "I don't think so. I think more credit goes to Green Bay for doing a good job of stopping it. When you're not able to keep drives alive, you're not able to run the football. I think that was probably more the case than anything else. We were more committed to it."
On Tony Scheffler And Joique Bell Combining For A First Quarter Celebration Penalty: "Not very smart. The league gives leeway, but when you get into choreographed stuff, that's where they draw the line. It was one guy (Bell) coming in, not making a good decision. We paid the price. I thought we did a good job on the kick and in coverage, but it's still something that's avoidable."
Do You Discourage Players From Celebrating Plays On The Field? If So, Why Not? "Here's the thing. Emotion and excitement is part of this game. If your guys make a touchdown and nobody high fives or celebrates, they probably say you're playing without emotion. That's a young player (Joique Bell) who's done a lot of good things this year, but it's a bad decision like that which could limit his playing time going forward."
On Matthew Stafford's Block During A Reverse: "It was a reverse and if there's anyone to clean up, he can do it. He's 230 pounds and if he has to take someone out, he can do it. We're out there trying to win."
Ndamukong Suh's Roughing The Passer Penalty: "We were already offside on the play which wasn't good, but the quarterback is out of the pocket, usually we get a little more leeway there. It was a bang-bang call. If Rodgers pulls that ball down and starts scrambling forward, you're asking me why we didn't do anything to stop him. He (Suh) pushed him, they called the penalty and you gotta live with it."
Are Guys Now Playing For Jobs In 2013? What's The Plan With That And Free Agency? "Certainly, every player plays the game for a reason. Every time you step on the field, play is important. It's too soon to tell on turnover, and I don't want to start to get into offseason discussions now."
Is Nick Harris Going To Be Replaced This Week? "We'll have to see. I thought Nick's done a good job for us, unfortunately, when we've had the chance to back teams up at critical moments, we haven't been able to do it. Every player's got something they to do better, and he's a part of it."
On Specifics Regarding The Miscommunication Between Stafford And Durham During A First Half Interception: "You've been here long enough to know I'm never going to give you that. I think it's safe to say they were both thinking something else. This comes down to the price you pay for losing three receivers. It's Durham's first game. We didn't have him in the offseason or in training camp. Those are things that come with experience with a player, and it wasn't a good play."
What Has Durham Done To Supplant Other Options At Receiver? "He's done some things in practice, but he's also brought some size to the equation. He's got size and as you saw last night, he's got hands."
How Do You Prevent The Team From Picking Up A Mental Drag After Losing Four Straight Close Games? "The same way you do anything else. You keep your focus on things you can control, you keep your focus on things within the game. It's very difficult to lose in professional sports but it's even more difficult to lose when it's close. Our focus on individual plays and finishing will help us through."
What Kind Of Pressure Is On Stafford To Perform These Next Three Games? "Same as any other player. We're all paid to go out and perform. No matter what circumstances they're played under, there's games that are scheduled. We've still got a lot to accomplish, including getting some wins."Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Jim Schwartz, Joique Bell, Matthew Stafford, Ndamukong Suh, NFL, Tony Scheffler
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