September 26, 2022
Opening Statement: “Really nothing different from yesterday when we spoke. I felt like defensively we felt like we had to handle (Vikings WR Justin) Jefferson, and we did that, but (Vikings WR Adam) Thielen got us a little bit, and we didn’t shut down (Vikings RB Dalvin) Cook early enough, so that played a factor. We did get a turnover, and we were good on third down, we just couldn’t get them enough third downs. But when we did, we had success, and then offensively, there again, man we did some really good things, had a lot of explosive plays, but our third downs weren’t quite on par. And it was a little bit, everybody had a hand in that.”
On if there is a concern that Lions RB D’Andre Swift’s shoulder injury could keep him out the next two weeks: “It could potentially. Yeah, we’re looking at it, that shoulder’s a little sore, and so we’ll see where he’s at. But it could be an issue.”
On if Lions RB D’Andre Swift could benefit from resting the next two weeks leading into the bye week: “Yeah, and we’ve thought about that. That was one of the things that I was thinking about last night and this morning, so it’s certainly – it’s on my mind, it’s on our mind. If you feel like he’s good enough to go, we know what he’s capable of, but not at the expense of him not being even up to 75 percent of himself. Even every player’s got to be at a certain point to be able to produce, and then not to mention the practice – not to be able to practice and get the detail of things. So that’s not fair to Swift either, to him or to us. So, certainly, we’re thinking about that as well.”
On throwing deep to Lions WR Josh Reynolds on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter instead of calling a run play: “Yeah, we just – it was one of those plays we felt like we were going to get the look we wanted. We get good protection. We knew they would be playing the run, so you’re able to latch up on those guys. (Lions QB Jared) Goff would have time to see it, and we felt like Reynolds could win on the perimeter, and it ended up being tight coverage and didn’t work out for us, but I don’t – I’m good with the decision.”
On what happened on the route where it appeared Lions WR Josh Reynolds lost the ball or stopped short: “Just never – he just never really saw it. Listen, I love the play-call, it was exactly what we wanted. It was a hell of a route, and it was a hell of a throw. He just – once he came out, he lost sight of it, and that would have been a big one.”
On if knowing who is hurt and the personnel on the field factored into his decision to kick a field goal on fourth-and-4: “It does. Yes, it does. And I mean there was – before that point, we had some chances to close that game out offensively that we didn’t capitalize on, but at the end of the day, when you look at all three units, what was the unit that was going to give you the best chance to win that game, that type of game? And it was offense. I thought (Lions QB Jared) Goff was throwing the ball well. I thought we were protecting well, and that’s the way we should have gone.”
On if he still has confidence in Lions K Austin Seibert: “Well, yeah listen, I would be willing to give him another go. I mean I’m – if I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t have let him kick there at the end of the game. I know he missed the first one, but he came back, and he made the second one, and so I felt like he’d make this. And it didn’t work out, but yeah, I mean – now full disclosure, he’s a little bit sore today, so we’ll see what happens with him.”
On his message to fans to stick with the team despite another close loss: “Yeah, listen, I get the road that everybody’s been down. Listen, I’m not sweating it. I’m not sweating it, this team’s not sweating it. We’ve got a long season. You look out throughout this League, and it happens this way every year, and I feel like what happens to you early in the season is – it really molds who you’re going to be as the season goes on and late in the season. Those ones that can endure the adversity of the season, the ups and downs and just stay in the race are the ones that have success. And that’s all we’ve got to worry about is our own – we’ve just got to – let’s clean up all the little errors. And I told them, I said, ‘Look, failing isn’t failure unless you don’t learn from it.’ And so, that was a tough one. We were up two scores. Should have won that game, but you know what, we didn’t earn the right to win that game. Minnesota did, and we’ve got to look long and hard in the mirror to ourselves, and we’ve got to clean up these errors. And it’s not an excuse, but we are still young, and we’ve got some guys that even though they’re not old players, they haven’t played a lot of football, or they’re not young players, they haven’t played a lot of football. So, we’ve got to learn from it, and we’ve got to move on and be better the next time it comes up, but I’m not – listen this is not time to go into panic mode. This is not time to worry. This is time to do just what we did from Philly to Washington. Let’s just get better. Let’s just focus on the little details, so that’s what it’s about.”
On snapping the ball early in the play clock despite trying to run the clock out late in the fourth quarter against the Vikings: “Yeah, I think that, some if it becomes just rhythm of play. Even though you’re running it, you’re on the road. It’s loud. You hate to have your offensive linemen up there too long. Now, you could always break, get to the huddle and go, but I think that – I think you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to be careful as to when you start going into four-minute mode I think in this League. Everything has shifted so much offensively, and especially when they had three timeouts, you’ve got to be careful, not at the expense of getting out of rhythm. And sometimes when you sit and milk and then, ‘Alright, now here we go.’ It can mess with your rhythm a little bit, so certainly there was a time and place, I’m not saying that, but I didn’t feel like we were quite in that mode yet.”
On how he spent the night personally after the close loss to the Vikings: “Yeah, look, I can’t sleep win or lose. And so, yeah, I mean you get an hour, and then you’re up, and you just think about it. You process the information. What could I have done better? And how do you change the game from your own aspect? Or how could – could we have prepared better, could we have –? And that’s the nature of the beast, so I’ve got to be better. I’ve got to learn from it no different than the players have to, and I’ve got to do my part, and I plan on doing my part. So, I’m not going to be fazed. I’m going to have this team up and ready to go, and we’re going to be better.”
On losing Lions S Tracy Walker to a season-ending Achilles injury and their plans to replace him at safety: “Yeah, look losing Tracy hurts. That’s a significant loss and – because multiple reasons, I mean Tracy’s been – since I walked in the door last year he’s been all in. And he’s one of our team captains this year. Nobody’s put in more work than he has since the spring. And he’s one of the smartest players we have on defense, that’s huge and he’s productive. And so, you’re losing a big cog in the piece that helps you over there. So, it’ll hurt – now, I thought (Lions S) JuJu (Hughes) was solid. He was solid, he can be better. But I thought for – man, not getting those reps and stepping in and doing some of the things he did it was – that was good. And that’s kind of what we know about JuJu, he’ll go in there and he’ll be able to function and give you what he’s got. So, but we’re – listen, we’re going to look at everything and see what gives us the best chance to win, personnel-wise, scheme-wise, everything.”
On how far off Lions S Ifeatu Melifonwu is from getting back on the field: “He’s about ready. He’s about ready, so he’ll be somebody that we consider this week as well.”
On if he has considered Lions CB Will Harris taking some reps at the safety position: “We’ll talk about that. I don’t know if I see that move right now. We kind of like Will right where he’s at. If anything he could get some more corner work. I don’t want to totally say he’s not getting the safety, but we just – we think there’s a real good spot where he’s at right now that maximizes him and us, what he’s able to do for us.”
On if Lions S Tracy Walker’s absence contributed to the miscommunication on the Vikings’ last touchdown drive: “Yeah, look it hurts. It hurts. I mean there again, he’s one of the smartest players we have in the backend. So, that hurts. I mean, that’s like – there again, he’s a productive player and he’s really the quarterback of our secondary. So, that hurts a little bit.”
On Vikings RB Dalvin Cook’s success on Sunday and if the edge rushers not fulfilling their jobs contributed to it: “Yeah, listen that was certainly a portion of it. Those did show up because we had a number of things gapped out upfront. Those guys were feeling the creases and it was bouncing the perimeter which is where we wanted it to go. And man, some of it is just fitting it properly on the perimeter. ‘Where do I got to get on this one? Where do I need to be? Alright, now I got it. Now, I need the corner to close on the edge.’ Whether it was the nickel or the corner or the safety. And so, there again it’s just the little nuances of it. Man, just trust the technique, be disciplined, trust that your buddy’s going to be out there, you just fill your gap, he’s coming to squeeze and it’s trust. There’s a little bit of trust element, just do your job. And those things are all correctable, though. They’re all correctable – and look, our tackles – our corners will tackle and (Lions CB Mike) Hughes and our safeties. So, they’ll – that’ll get fixed. That’ll get fixed.”
On how he plans to get Lions CB Amani Oruwariye back on track this week after his struggles against the Vikings: “Yeah, look I think Amani’s a pro and look he had a rough game. And that’s – that’s just the bottom line. But I also know – he also snapped back there at the end and got a big stop for us one-on-one with (Vikings WR Adam) Thielen on the perimeter. So, I think Amani’s got thick skin. I know that he’s going to want to be better. And he’ll come out this week ready to work. I’m really not worried about him. I think he’ll snap right back to the Amani we know.”