September 14, 2022
Opening Statement: “We signed (Lions RB) Justin Jackson to the active roster, so he’ll be the – for the 53, we put (Lions DL) Levi (Onwuzurike) down last week, and so that’s that, and then everything else is getting ready for this next week with Washington. So, they’re coming off a good win. Those guys played hard. They’ve got some weapons on offense, and this D-line’s pretty dang good, so we’ve got our hands full.”
On how the Lions being favored to win for the first time in a while affects the team’s mindset: “Yeah, those things – I just try to tell these guys that all of that doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t. I mean, you’re supposed to win this, you’re not supposed to win this, you’re favored here, man, you’ve got to play good. You’ve got to – we have to play better than we played last week. We have to – our details have to be much more precise, on point. The effort was fine, I mean – but man, the details and the discipline have to show up because it doesn’t matter who you play, if you don’t do that, you’re not going to win. And if they do it better than we do, they’ll beat us.”
On how different Washington’s offense is after adding Commanders WRs Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson to their roster: “Yeah, it reminds me of when we were at Carolina – I mean, when (Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera) he was at Carolina, and we were at New Orleans. They had (Panthers RB Christian) McCaffrey then, but they had a number of weapons, they had Samuels. And so there’s a number of things that I know that (Commanders Offensive Coordinator) Coach (Scott) Turner likes to do, and he’s got plenty of weapons there. He’s got gadgetries, he’s got slots, he’s got – (Commanders WR Terry) McLaurin can play inside, outside, Dotson can do a little bit of both. So, these guys are explosive athletes, and they have speed. They’re not the biggest guys, but it gives them a lot of versatility offensively. And then with (Commanders RB Antonio) Gibson in the backfield, I mean this guy’s a – he’s a big man that can run, and so we cannot let him get going. We cannot let him keep going.”
On monitoring Lions C Frank Ragnow’s health status and if they will manage his workload this week: “Yeah, Frank’s a little sore, and we’re going to be – he won’t practice today, so we’re just going to monitor him and see how he feels. It is, it’s kind of a day-to-day, and see where we go with it.”
On his evaluation of Lions G Logan Stenberg’s first start and if they would like to start building continuity at right guard with Lions G Halapoulivaati Vaitai on Injured Reserve: “Yeah, I would say this, at the end of the day, overall it was positive. It was a positive showing by Stenberg. Inside of the positive showing was ups and downs, alright. But overall, I thought there was more good than there was not so good, so it’s definitely something to build off of. He knows it, he’s got an unbelievable opportunity. I mean you can’t ask for anything better right now, and it’s his for the taking. And if he wants to continue to help us and continue to improve, that would be great for him, great for us.”
On if there are any updates on Lions G Halapoulivaati Vaitai and if he needs surgery: “Yeah, actually, Vaitai as of yesterday evening has had surgery in Dallas, had back surgery.”
On if his surgery means Lions G Halapoulivaati Vaitai is out for the season: “Well, that’s a monitor. I mean he certainly will be out for a little while here, but we’re not ruling out that he’s done for the season.”
On how important it is to capitalize on the momentum and energy brought by the fans Week 1: “Yeah, listen, it’s very important because I don’t take it lightly. I know that – I understand. I understand, and it’s hard to pull yourself back into it and want to have hope, and you’re all in, and then man, if you don’t give it to – if you don’t show it early enough, we’ll lose it quickly. I understand that, and so I think it’s vital. I think it’s vital. And getting close doesn’t count. Getting close doesn’t count. We’ve got to close these games out, and that’s how we keep the support. We keep it loud, we keep them coming. I mean that’s ultimately that we have to do.”
On if he believes Lions CB Jeff Okudah played well in his first game in almost a year: “Yeah, I agree with that. I thought he did. I love the fact that he went up there and challenged. He challenged plenty of times on the perimeter, challenged the receivers in the pass game. He came up and tackled. I thought he played physical. Listen, he certainly wasn’t perfect, but first time out of the gate in a year, live game, full reps, took quite a load. It was a positive. It was a positive, so it’s certainly something to build off of. He came out of the game good, which is another positive, so he’s trending in the right way.”
On if he liked the tempo on offense Week 1: “Listen, it’s a good starting point. We’re always going to want it to be better. It started pretty good, and then at times, it didn’t. We just needed a little bit crisper, but for first time out of the gate, I wouldn’t say it was something we were disappointed in. It was – I felt like we were able to dictate to the defense a little bit, and were certainly able to get into a rhythm once we stayed on the field, got a first down. But I was pleased with it.”
On how much of an emphasis there is for the defense to create shorter fields for the offense: “Yeah, I mean – and that falls under special teams too now. Special teams is a big part of that. I mean we had – one of them, (Lions WR Kalif Raymond) Leaf has a good return and we get a hold on it. I mean that just crushes us. But yeah, it’s – yes, for the way that game was going, yes, it would have been – we needed that. We needed that. But they’ll – then there’s going to be these games where, I mean look, we get in the fourth quarter, and our defense got a stop. They got two stops, and we scored on one of them, the other one we didn’t. We fizzled out until we got it back again, so our defense started to give us the ball back in pretty good territory, and then we didn’t capitalize, but I think every game has its own kind of situations to it, and sometimes your offense is going to have to have the big hats, sometimes your defense. And it always is going to help if you can get a short field offensively, absolutely.”
On if there is any increased pressure to perform against Washington in order to maintain high fan energy: “Well, I don’t want to get that far into it because listen, all we can control is our own details, effort, discipline, all those things. And so, look, that’s what I told the team. I’m not even talking about winning to them, and they know that. I’m talking about playing better, and let’s clean up our details. Because if we do, that winning is a byproduct of that. That’s got to be our sole focus, and so man, let’s just play better than we played last week. To a man, let’s coach better, I’ve got to coach better, our coordinators have got to coach better, the positive coaches, and the player’s got to play better. And if we’ll just – everyone of us get a little bit better and clean up these issues, and the same issues that have bitten us or bit us last week, they don’t show up again, we’ll be that much better. That’s all we’ve got to worry about it.”
On if a quarterback not getting called for intentional grounding because he was outside the tackle box is challengeable: “You’re talking about the intentional grounding that wasn’t intentional grounding? Yeah we turned it in, it was – they said they were wrong. But no, you can’t review that.”  

September 14, 2022
On if there is anything on film from the Eagles game that stood out and he wants to correct: “Yeah, I think the stuff that we loved was we scored every time we got in the redzone and we were really efficient on third down. And typically those numbers are resulting in wins and ultimately, this one didn’t. But I think if we can continue that trend, it’ll be good for us.”
On if there is anything he wants to correct about the offense heading into the next game: “I spoke about that after the game, the mental errors, just some of that dumb stuff. And again, hopefully it’s first half of Week 1 issues that we’ve gotten behind us now. But I believe it is and it’ll be fixed next week.”
On what the difference was in how they ran the ball in the redzone: “You know, you never know. It’s just we were efficient, we were good on those plays and typically it’s – everyone’s assignment is right, they’re on their Q and on where they need to be. And then, the running back made a play and that happened on typically most of those and just being efficient. I think efficient is like four yards or more. So, staying on track in that way and we did that.”
On if they changed their approach to redzone rushing this offseason: “No, it’s just a better execution. Better execution because it didn’t really make sense last year. We were pretty efficient running the ball until we got there and for whatever reason we couldn’t really put your finger on it. But that was an emphasis of, ‘Hey guys, once we get down there, turn it up a little bit and make sure we finish the drive,’ and we did.”
On if it feels like the team has a prolific rushing attack and how helpful having an efficient run game is: “Sure. It’s very helpful, it’s helpful for any passing attack. I think it’s a quarterback’s best friend when you can have that and have the play-action off of it and the keeper’s stuff off of it, the roll outs and whatnot. So, it’s super helpful and it’s fun to watch (Lions RB D’Andre) Swift take off too. I know those guys upfront love it.”
On if he thinks the team has playmakers at every skill position on offense: “I do. I really do. I think we’ve got good players at every position. That’s kind of how we felt coming out of this offseason is that there wasn’t really a hole anywhere or an area of concern on our offense, and we can let it all hang out.”
On the backup offensive linemen getting game reps and if it is important to have players who can plug in and play when called to action: “Yeah, very. I think (Lions G) Logan (Stenberg) was impressive, for that being some of his first real game action, and he had the two false starts early, but once he got that out of the way, it was like kind of smooth sailing from there. I thought he did a good job. I know he had some things he’d like to clean up, but for the most part, I thought it was good. And yeah, it was a good job by those guys.”
On trusting Lions WR DJ Chark to give him an opportunity to score a touchdown: “Yeah, something he does really well. We liked our matchup there, and we were able to take advantage of it. I thought he made a great play. Tried to give him a chance there, and it was a big one for us. That would have hopefully proved to be really big if we were able to get another chance there, but it was a good play for him and exciting.”
On his chemistry with Lions WR DJ Chark: “Yeah, really good, and it’s building, and he’s a confident guy and a guy I like playing with.”
On what he wants the identity of the offense to be: “That’s a good question. Somebody – a team that’s going to apply pressure and put the defense on their heels a little bit and be able to keep them guessing in some ways. ‘Is it going to be a run, is it a pass, is it a jet, is it a screen, is it a draw?’ And be able to keep them guessing.”
On if it is valuable that the offense can switch between calling more passing plays or running plays on any given drive: “Sure, absolutely, and I think that’s kind of how we’re built. I obviously want to throw the ball a bunch, but I know it’s not always the key to winning, so whatever it takes.”