Minus Calvin Johnson, the Detroit Lions had a humbling experience on the road against the Green Bay Packers, as per usual in their series history. Despite missing his best player, though, Jim Schwartz wasn't going to make any excuses for his offense's putrid performance on Sunday afternoon.
Monday, it was all Johnson all the time, as Schwartz fielded a series of questions regarding his superstar wide receiver. Schwartz explained how a lack of execution hurt his offense yesterday, talked about what Johnson means to the offense, deflected questions about his readiness for practice and discussed allegations of hate speech from Dominic Raiola. All in a days work following a tough loss. Here's more from Monday's shorter meeting with the media.
Updates On Injuries From Sunday: "Obviously, Calvin (Johnson) didn't play in the game. We'll see where he gets this week. He's improving every day. Jason Fox didn't finish the game, and there's no new information there yet. Too early to determine if he will miss any time. Theo Riddick left with a concussion. He was diagnosed with a concussion, so he'll have to go through protocol to comeback. We've got lots of bumps and bruises, but nothing else."
Explain What The Loss Of Calvin Johnson Meant To The Offense. Was That What Doomed Your Team? "It's all about execution. We had some opportunities. You look at that game, it was 6-0 at the end of the second quarter. We were able to drive there, had a first and ten, got called for holding, it turned into at third and 15 and we had to settle with a field goal. We had a couple lost yardage runs, a few more penalties than we have had lately. We didn't turn the ball over, but we didn't get any either, so that was a wash."
Did Having Penalties Hurt You On Third Down Defense? "Any time you get on third down, you don't want any penalties. I think Bill (Bentley's penalty) was on fourth down. Sometimes, you get bad technique, that happens. We converted almost 50 percent of our third downs yesterday. For holding them to field goals, that play in the third quarter where Randall (Cobb) took a hand off and went for a long run, we end up getting him down and hold him to a field goal. Those plays can put you in position. With those guys (the Packers) it's about stopping touchdowns. It was unfortunate to give the one (touchdown) up the way we did against them. We had a couple shots at turnovers, and they would have given us a big boost. The Packers did a good job of protecting the football and not giving any away."
Would There Have Been Any Value In Keeping Johnson Active And Using Him As A Decoy? "If he's not healthy enough to play, we certainly aren't going to put him out there to play. He has to be healthy enough to play. He's got to be able to run routes, take hits. That wasn't an option at all."
Why Take A Timeout Late In The Fourth Quarter With The Game Basically Over? "We were gonna rush the punt, if we block that punt right there and score, we're trying an onside kick and trying a Hail Mary shot at the end zone right there. There was some game to be played at that point. Particularly, when they were having to punt, we still had a chance. We're going to play hard to the end, everybody does."
Assess The Play Of Newcomer Kevin Ogletree: "He only had a couple days of practice, which makes it tough, even though he's a veteran player. We had some stuff, two of his catches were on the same play. We didn't have a big offensive package with him. I thought he went in and made a couple nice catches in short notice there."
Does Johnson Not Practicing Effect Him During Games? Will He Be Ready To Practice This Week? "We'll just see how it comes. He set an NFL record last year and had little practice time."
What Caused More Breakdowns Yesterday, Shaky Offensive Line Play Or Something Else? "Certainly, you have to give credit to the Packers. Neal was a huge matchup. They rushed well, they covered the receivers longer which played into it. Sometimes, it's not about an offensive lineman versus a defensive lineman, it's about a wide receiver versus a corner. I thought it certainly had an impact on the game. We avoid a lot of lost yardage plays when we've been successful, and we didn't do that yesterday."
The Detroit Lions Are Investigating Reports Of Dominic Raiola Using Hate Speech To The Wisconsin Band. What Do You Tell Your Players About Going On The Road And Ignoring Taunts? "When you go on the road, there's hostile environments, Certainly, you've got to rise above it. I didn't hear that on the field, no other coaches did. I'd be disappointed if it did (happen). Certainly, that's not the character that we want to display. Again, I'd be surprised if that happened in those circumstances, but we're going to look into it. If it did happen, we'd be disappointed in that behavior."
Did The Packers Play Different Defense Without Johnson In The Game? "Honestly, it wasn't that different than what we saw with the Washington Redskins. We just didn't make plays on the outside like we did that day."
Is Johnson's Injury Something Which Could Put His Career In Jeopardy Or Linger For A While? Was That Why He Didn't Play? "We signed him to a long term contract, so we want to do what's in his best long term interest. I think those question would be more relevant if we played him. We didn't get the job done. It's not because Calvin didn't play. As a team, you have to look at the team and not one person who played or didn't play the game. Certainly, we're long term on him. We're not going to sit any of our players out just to sit them out."
Will There Be Discipline If Raiola Is Guilty Of The Accusations? "We'll certainly address it for sure."
Overall Thoughts On The Impact Of Johnson And The Lions Without Him, And The Hits He Will No Doubt Take As A Star Player: "You're adding another guy to the equation. Everyone knows what number Calvin wears, he's tough to handle. A lot of big receivers are. That's what goes along with being a number one in the NFL. Same thing with running backs, tight ends. It's football, you're gonna take some hits."
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