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Jim Schwartz Monday Press Conference Recap, Week 6: Run Defense Fix Pushed Detroit Lions

October 14th, 2013 at 2:12 PM
By Max DeMara

After a one week hiatus, the Detroit Lions got back to being road warriors on Sunday, rallying from a 10 point halftime deficit to throttle the Cleveland Browns. Monday, Jim Schwartz attributed that comeback as much to adjustments with run defense as a fiery halftime speech by linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

Schwartz also talked about how the team slowed Jordan Cameron, commented on what has driven the ability of his defense to intercept the football and gushed about the production of rookie tight end Joseph Fauria. Limited injury updates regarding Rashean Mathis, Tony Scheffler and Montell Owens were also provided. Considering he took time to joke about FirstEnergy Stadium's "streaker drill," it's clear the coach was feeling better this week.

Injury Update On Rashean Mathis: "Nothing new. We're still waiting on some stuff to come in, but I wouldn't anticipate anything being long term."

Seeing Anything Different From DeAndre Levy This Year Given He's Making More Plays? "Not really. He's been a guy who's always been good with the football. He's made those plays over the course of his career. He's making more this year. I think the step that he's taken is understanding opponents' offenses and taking that step. I think he's anticipating things really well now, and benefiting from being in the same system for five years."

How Did You Stop Jordan Cameron? "He's a good player, His biggest play was when the game was out of reach at the end. He was a big part of our defensive game plan in trying to limit big plays. He's made a lot of them. We didn't play well overall on defense, but we did limit his plays down field, maybe at the expense of Josh Gordon. He lit us up pretty good. We were able to make a lot of plays to win the game, but not we're not satisfied with defense."

How Is Calvin Johnson's Knee After Playing? "He was sore after the game, but he's been sore after practice. Too soon to know if it's worse or any better than it's been. It was encouraging that he was able to get on the field with us. He made a couple big first down plays. He affected the coverage and opened up some other guys."

Did Stephen Tulloch's Speech Motivate The Team To Come Back? "He was finished by the time I got in the locker room. You want stuff from your players. It's always better when it comes from players on the team. I think that's a sign of true leadership. He said what he had to say, we moved on, made our adjustments. Everyone knew we weren't playing well. Offensively and defensively, we could play better. There was no panic. Nobody wins a game because of a speech. Adjustments we make occur after every series. We played better in the second half and that's the main part of that. If that had to do with him gathering the team, I am all for it."

Will Joseph Fauria Begin To See Tougher Defenses Because He's Catching Touchdowns? "Well, I think that would depend. If he starts to get more attention, someone has to get less, generally that's Calvin (Johnson) for us. Not many defenses do that. I think the dynamic between those two (Johnson and Fauria) in the red zone particularly, can force defenses can be spread thin. Any time you have more play makers on the field, it makes it harder for defenses to defend everything."

Does Fauria, Despite All His Red Zone Scoring, Need to Do More To Get Into The Complete Offensive Game? "All of our players can do more. There's plenty of things he's working on. Sometimes people miss what he's working on because he's been having success. He had a couple receptions against Minnesota before we got into the red zone, so certainly, he's in the game plan there. We're just trying to use guys and put them in positions where they can succeed best. He brought something to us, and that was difference making."

Will Tony Scheffler Be Heading To Injured Reserve With His Concussion Problem? "Him and (Theo) Riddick are still being evaluated, They didn't make the trip. Travel is something that can set guys back with pressure changes in the air and a stadium, so both of those guys didn't travel with us this week. That's all I'll say about that."

Injury Update On Montell Owens: "He's not eligible until after the bye week, but I'd expect him to be on the practice field and he has been doing a lot of stuff with the trainers. I'd expect him to make an impact for us."

On The Play Of Ryan Broyles: "He's a slot receiver. He was out there a bunch for us, he had one opportunity to make a catch in this game, and you'd like to see him make that, but you could say that for a dozen receivers yesterday. He's working hard, getting better and he's going to make some plays for us."

How Did Darius Slay Play? "I thought he did a good job. I think Rashean (Mathis) is helping him a lot. Physically, he's done some good things but mentally, he continues to improve. I thought he made a really good play on that pass breakup. It ended up being called pass interference, but he got a hand in there."

Your Team Is Tied For League Lead In Interceptions. What's Caused The Turnaround? "A lot of it has to do with the guys up front. Levy's first interception, (Ndamukong) Suh got the first assist on that one, he's barreling in on the quarterback, he's got to get rid of it, and Levy intercepted it. On the second one, (C.J.) Mosley got on the quarterback. Good things happen when you put pressure on the quarterback. When you look at our four wins, you look at the turnover battle. When we've won that, we're in position to win. it's the lifeblood of our defense."

On The Runs Affecting The Defense: "We gave up the reverse, a few quarterback scrambles, they all count the same, whether it's a run, a pass or a penalty. We're still working hard to improve there. Gunther Cunningham and the defensive staff did a good job to put out some fires in the running game. We were a little leaky. I think that was a big part of us turning it around. Getting that run stopped was a big portion of that. We can play that reverse better." 

What Has Been The Biggest Difference On Kick Coverage This Year? "Honestly our kickoff coverage, you could have 10 guys named Schwartz and Sam (Martin) kicking it, and those would be touchbacks. A lot of the credit there goes to Sam being able to hang the ball in there. When teams have tried to bring it out, we've tackled them inside the 20 a bit. The punts have been a good team effort. It's been a significant improvement for us this year."

Did You Know Sam Martin Could Kick Off As Well As Punt? "We knew he could kick off. We researched him real well. i know a lot of people questioned that pick when we picked him. I'd like to see those people right now. We knew kicking off was part of his skill set. (David) Akers can still kick off, but, at this point in his career, it's better for him to concentrate on one thing (place kicking). He did a nice job yesterday. That's not an easy field to kick on and Akers made that 51 yard field goal for us. If he misses that, the game is different. We've got a lot of confidence in him."

Could A Flack Jacket Like The One Michael Vick Used Be Given To Joique Bell Given His Rib injury? "There's padding that you can use for those things. You can protect a guy's ribs, but the question is with movement. The jacket wouldn't help with movement skills, but it's too early to tell on that."

Is Mikel Leshoure Still A Big Part Of Team Moving Forward? "Yeah, no question. When Leshoure went in there we handed him the football. He's a big part of what we do. We wouldn't have him on the team if we didn't think he could play. He works really hard in practice. All these guys are professional and work hard."

Thoughts On Cleveland's Stadium Security Working On A "Streaker Drill" Before The Game? "It was an issue the last time we played them. It actually caught me by surprise because I didn't think it was a drill at first. (Laughing) I'm glad they work on that so none of our guys have to help out."

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

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Tags: Calvin Johnson, DeAndre Levy, Detroit, Detroit Lions, Football, Jim Schwartz, Joique Bell, Joseph Fauria, Mikel Leshoure, NFL, Ryan Broyles, Sam Martin, Stephen Tulloch

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