The snowman that was Detroit Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz thawed out on Monday and made it back to Michigan in time to hold his weekly press conference. During that meeting, Schwartz discussed what it was like to play a serious football game in a venerable, white out blizzard.
Additionally, Schwartz rapped on the causes of the Lions' lousy run defense, talked about the impact several questionable penalties had on his team and discussed the mentality of his players going forward. Schwartz emphasized that despite another tough loss, his Lions are still looking ahead to the next three weeks, and three games which will determine their playoff fortune. Here's more from Monday's press conference.
Some Players Said The Defense Was Soft And Got Comfortable Yesterday. Is That True? "Well first, I don't think anyone was comfortable. That was a very difficult game to play and no matter what happened, (teams) were one play from the scoring being flipped. I don't think we played our best defense, but I wouldn't call it soft. LeSean McCoy did a good job with those conditions and we did not. I think we're a big, tough, physical team and we have played the run well. That game, we didn't play the run well."
Is There A Solace In Losing Given Detroit Still Controls Its Own Destiny? "Well sure, I know that over the next three games we won't have to worry about 8 inches of snow on the ground or 50 mile-per hour winds. I think our focus is on the next three, starting with the Ravens on Monday night."
The Common Denominator In The Last Three Losses Has Been Fourth Quarter Collapses. Explain. "Well, you want to hold on to leads in games. All three are different. I've never been around conditions like yesterday, where guys were almost knee deep in snow, that was a bit unprecedented. I think each one is so different it's hard to comment on them. Like was said, we had the lead and couldn't hold it."
Missed Tackles Were A Glaring Problem, With Players Running Into Each Other. Has it Been A Problem All Year? "Well I mean, the reason they were running into each other was footing, I thought we've been a very good tackling team. We've tackled well other times in the year, we didn't tackle well this time. 180 yards rushing came off of, or after missed tackles yesterday. There's no excuse for it, but there's reasons it happened."
Talk About The Cleats Your Team Used. True Or False, They Weren't Long Enough? "I don't know what (other cleats) they would have changed to. We wore the longest possible cleats that were available. I mean, unless they (the Eagles) had snow shoes or something like that. The conditions effected everyone other than (LeSean) McCoy and Jeremy Ross. Those guys were elusive and hard to tackle in those conditions. We had some guys change after pregame warm ups or halftime to stay dry. We were already wearing longest available cleats."
Would Reggie Bush Have Been A Difference Maker Considering His Elusiveness? "It's hard to say. You get guys that are elusive and put field conditions the way they were, they can make a difference. But, (Bush) wasn't available to us."
Is Having A Stronger Fourth Quarter Mentality Something That Can Or Should Be Coached? "You look at us with ball security, we fumbled twice when we had command of the game, so that wasn't mental toughness or an issue of letting the game get away. The other time, the ball got snapped before quarterback was ready. Our guys were trying to tackle, maybe to a fault, but it wasn't like we were letting up or giving up late or anything like that."
Did The Defense Get Deflated By A Few Questionable Calls? "Those were a couple tough calls. I think the biggest thing penalty wise, was sort of, players knowing what they did wrong and being able to learn from it, whatever. In those cases, I don't know what to tell them. It's not our job to officiate. We didn't do a good enough job finishing our game. We gave up a couple passes on their first scoring drive, but the passing game didn't have the affect the running game did."
Were Those Penalties Bad Calls? "I don't want to get into what I saw because I'm not a referee, I'm not an official. One of the things we try to do with penalties is learn from them. In these cases, I don't know what to tell Nick Fairley or (Ndamukong) Suh on those plays. They got called. We just live with it and we've got to keep on playing."
Is Darius Slay's Knee Injury Long Term? "Well, he did have knee surgery on Friday, but he's just classified as week to week, day to day. We didn't put him on injured reserve, so that answers your question."
Do You Have An Issue With Chris Houston's Play On DeSean Jackson's Touchdown? Did He Quit On The Play? "He turned inside and DeSean Jackson stopped. He saw his foot up on the plow area and then stopped. Earlier, we had Joique Bell called out of bounds on the sideline plow area on what would have been a 80 yard touchdown. DeSean stepped on that same area and it was called a touchdown. They were judgment calls. I don't think he quit on the play. Chris was running with him, he lost the receiver, but I don't think he quit on the play."
Injury Updates On Ziggy Ansah And Reggie Bush: "Ziggy had a shoulder. Reggie aggravated his calf in warm ups and wasn't able to play. Neither of those guys are long term, and both are day to day."
What's This Week Looking Like With Monday Night Football Next Week? "We'll be on a normal progression. We'll have some meetings on Wednesday and a walkthrough. We'll stay pretty much close to the same schedule that they've had, in addition to having a day of physical rest."
On The Monday Night Atmosphere The Last Time In Detroit: "Our fans knew what time it was and they responded. We're going to need them to do them the same thing. We had a couple issues with crowd noise at the end of the Philly game, one being the bad snap late. If we can get a couple plays like that on our side, maybe that can help us in this game."
Would Weather Like Sunday's Taint The Super Bowl, Which Is To Be Held In New Jersey? "I would hope that a championship game, the weather wouldn't be a factor in it. But it's probably going to be, whether it's snow or rain or slippery conditions. Usually, a clean field is used to help determine what two teams are the best… I'm way out of my lane talking about Super Bowl right now."
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