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Jim Schwartz Monday Press Confrence Recap: Many Contributions Drive Detroit Lions’ Road Win

September 23rd, 2013 at 2:21 PM
By Max DeMara

Following a clutch victory against the Washington Redskins, Jim Schwartz wasn't terribly interested in talking about his apparent disdain for headsets. What did thrill the coach, however, was how his Detroit Lions found a way to win in Washington after getting contributions from several different players.

'Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings 2012/09/30' photo (c) 2012, kdoebler@att.net - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Schwartz was pleased with that diverse effort, the impact of Ziggy Ansah and his team's perseverance through a litany of issues against the Redskins. The coach also applauded Joique Bell, shed some light on how the team will replace injured Jason Jones and refused to talk about the "bullpen" issue with rookie Darius Slay and Rashean Mathis. All that, and much more from Schwartz one day after the team's first win in Washington.

After The Game, You Destroyed Another Headset. What's Behind That And Why? "I didn't pay much attention to that after the game. I'm surprised about what gets attention on the sideline. Does there have to be something behind it? If I stand there blank, I get criticized for being too calm. Look, it's a tough week, It's tough to win in the National Football League. There's a lot of things we had to persevere through on Sunday, and it's a tough road win. I don't make any apologies for that."

Speaking Of That Perseverance, How Did The Team Adjust To Not Being Able To See Photo Images Of Washington's Defense? "They didn't work the entire game and we were flying by the seat most of the day. Everybody had to pull double duty, get to the bottom of things. We talked before about how they'd run schemes we'd never seen before or weren't experienced with. Offensively, they did some of those things. I give credit to our coaches for being able to make adjustments without having those pictures."

On Matthew Stafford's Ability To Adjust On The Fly: "Matt's a smart guy and (offensive coordinator) Scott (Linehan) is smart. They blitzed a lot, they crowded the middle of the field. I thought Matt played an outstanding game. His completion percentage wasn't great, but we were 8.8 yards per pass play. That's really high. That's sort of what you have to do against that style of defense. It's going to be big plays and your ability to make them down the field. We were able to because Matt played outstanding football"

How Good Was Joique Bell? "I thought Joique played an outstanding game also. He set the tone on our first scoring drive. Particularly, the way he finished, bouncing off tacklers, finishing off a touchdown strong. There wasn't an easy run for us the entire game. He was good in pass protection, I thought he picked it up and played well."

Explain Bell's Recent Success, Especially After Bouncing Around The League Early: "Some of that's the way he started, he was an undrafted player. All I know is what he's done here. He's steadily improved. He carved out a role on special teams. I think the biggest thing he's done is secured the football. You saw that on Sunday in a tough game with plenty of hitting. I think that's an important part of his improvement, as well."

Is There Still A Role For Mikel Leshoure After He Was Active, Yet Saw No Playing Time? "Well, in this game, Joique was handling that (rushing) load and Theo (Riddick) was handling some of the passing stuff we were doing, it (Leshoure playing) just never came up. We have a lot of confidence in Mikel. When he plays, he'll play well. We can only have one running back at a time, though. That's how it is." 

Reggie Bush Said He Could Play, Yet Was Benched. Explain. "We're going to make the decision to put in the 46 players who give us the best chance to win the game. That's all that needs to be said. Every player can play, but you have to do what's best for the team. You have to try to make the best decision you can. Reggie worked extremely hard to get ready for the game, but as a running back, you can't control hits and getting rolled up in the pile and stuff like that. I appreciate how hard he worked, but as running back, there are things you can't control. We talked about it, and there's no point of contention."

On Sunday's Injuries: "We lost (defensive end) Jason Jones for the year, we have a lot of bumps and bruises, probably have a lot of guys who will struggle to get on the practice field, but we'll see."

Would Bell's Impact Have Been Just As Big If Bush Had Played? "Every player's independent. We want as many players on the field as we can get. If Reggie was what we felt was able to contribute, he would have been out there regardless of confidence we have in Mikel or Joique."

How Will You Cope With The Injury To Jones At Defensive End? "We're gonna lean on Devin Taylor there. He played well at times in the preseason, but he has to grow up quickly. Ziggy (Ansah) was beat up a little bit, but was able to return to the game. I don't think we had anyone who was able to finish that didn't."

How Has Ziggy Ansah Progressed? "He makes plays whenever he goes in the game. I don't know if it's progression, to tell you the truth. He has that knack for being able to make play on the field and this game was no different."

On Willie Young's Impact: "I thought he did some good things. I thought he did a good job on run front. Made his impact felt going against Trent Williams, a good tackle. He's on the right path."

Why Didn't Darius Slay Play Against Washington. Why Isn't He Being Given Time Somewhere Else, Like In The Nickel Package? "It's a completely different position. We want him to progress outside. His learning of the scheme and opponents scheme, we want him to concentrate on that. Rashean (Mathis) went in and played well, made some good plays for us."

Who's Your Starter At Right Cornerback? "I don't talk about the depth chart, really. We'll see if (Mathis) plays more. I know it would be good for you guys to know, but if you did, then the Bears would, as well. We'll keep those cards close to the vest."

Is This Game Against Chicago Bigger, Being That It's For First Place? "It's too early to be thinking about things like that. We just came off a tough NFC road win, this is an NFC North game. Nice to get back home, but you can't worry about standings this time of year. Continuing to progress and correct mistakes is all we're worried about. There's plenty of time to worry about standings later in the year. We need to improve in a lot of areas and the urgency's there to prove we can."

Won't The Bears Prove A Great Test For The Team? "They all are (tests). They're all games we're trying to win. However we get a win, that's our objective. We're trying to do whatever we can to win the game. It sounds boring, but that's what we do. I'm certainly not downplaying the importance of this game, but they're all equally important."

Early Impressions Of Bears, Who After Winning In Pittsburgh Behind a +5 Turnover Margin Are 3-0:  "I didn't watch much of that game. We're just right now wrapping up the Redskins' game, trying to correct our mistakes. We know a lot of their personnel, obviously new head coach, different offensive scheme. Be it Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, though, there's some big time players. We said Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo can wreck a game last week. The Bears have some similar guys. I was impressed with our tackles, Riley Reiff and Corey Hilliard. We only gave up one sack. A lot of those big play to wide receivers were made because we had time to find players down field."

Discuss Nick Fairley's Impact. Was He Rusty? "He showed a little bit of rust from missing practice, but I thought he graded out well."

On Kris Durham's Impact: "He has played on special teams, mostly. We need to play better on our return units. We need to improve, but Kris has found a role on those, and he's made big catches in games. His catch, that kept that drive alive. The fourth down and touchdown to Calvin Johnson doesn't happen without that. Against Minnesota, we won because we had a lot of contributors. You saw some of the same things in this game. Ryan Broyles, Nate Burleson, Joe (Fauria) had a touchdown catch. I think that's when we play our best is when we can get contributions from lots of different guys."

On The Impact Of A New 18 Game Schedule Where Players Would Participate In 16 Games: "That would all be speculation. I don't know what I think of that. We play 16 right now. If that were to change, we'd abide by the rules. I've got enough to worry about without worrying about hypotheticals."

How Has Ryan Broyles Looked? "Every time he's gone in the game for us, he's made plays. He had 17 or 18 plays in this game, and we talked about that being a pretty good "pitch count" for him. He was able to do that and come back in the second half. Every day he gets better and into a groove. Coming into this game, a lot was made of their quarterback (Robert Griffin III) and his recovery from an ACL injury, but we've got one too and he's still working his way back."

Max DeMara is the managing editor of Lions 101. You can find him on this site's Twitter @detroitlions101

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Tags: Detroit, Detroit Lions, Devin Taylor, Football, Jason Jones, Jim Schwartz, Joique Bell, Kris Durham, Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Nate Burleson, NFL, Reggie Bush, Ziggy Ansah

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