September 15, 2022
On his daughter’s reaction to finding out he was calling plays last week: “My daughter? Yeah, she has no idea what’s going on. She’s all about library day right now at school. So, that’s a good start for her in kindergarten, though.”
On how comfortable he felt calling the plays against the Eagles last Sunday: “I felt comfortable for the game just from a personal perspective. So, I really felt like the unit kind of rallied behind me and they were supportive and they were ready to roll. So, it makes it easy when you feel like you got the support of your guys like that. I think – we’ve already talked about it, there’s always going to be a couple calls that you want back and that certainly proved to be true over the course of the game. But for the most part, I felt good, I felt good about the process.”
On what he liked about what the offense was able to do against the Eagles and where he feels like they could be better: “Yeah, I mean – certainly, third downs were excellent. Redzone was good, run game was good, we’ve got some work to do in the passing game to just get that up to speed. But I think the guys have taken the coaching and we’re really just looking to improve in those areas here this week.”
On the miscommunication between Lions QB Jared Goff and the receivers in terms of the dropped passes: “Yeah, I think everyone’s kind of accountable to what we put on tape there. So, first and foremost I look at myself and did I properly prepare everybody as well as we could’ve been. So, I kind of look there and I think all those players, they’re very accountable as well. So, each one of them, whether it was a drop, whether it was a bad read or an off-target throw or something like that. I think they’ve all kind of looked at the tape, they’ve taken the criticism and once again, we’ll look to improve and fix those things here this week.”
On what he liked about the tempo of the offense: “Yeah, I think it’s a week-by-week basis. I think certainly, early in the game there’s kind of hard to establish – establish what we wanted just because we struggled to get a first down there for a number of drives. But I think once we were able to get the first, first down we were able to play with a little bit more tempo, just at least how we vision tempo here. So, overall I was pleased with the first game from a tempo perspective.”
On if the way they ran the offense last Sunday against the Eagles puts an emphasis on starting fast against Washington: “I mean, it’s starting fast every week. I think really the way we look at it, we’ll have somewhere between – call it 10 to 12 drives and we’d love to score a touchdown on every single one of those drives, so.”
On what changes were put into the execution of the running game this offseason: “I think it’s a little bit of mindfulness just for the whole unit. The runs are the runs and it’s just, ‘Hey, when we get in here we just got to – it might have taken us call it 12, 10 plays to get down here. We might be a little bit tired, but we’ve got to focus in, maintain our discipline, maintain our technique and reel this thing into the endzone.’ And so, I don’t know if that’s a part of it. I don’t think the scheme really has anything to do with that. I think the guys upfront, they always get us started. And then, our running backs ran hard.”
On what he learned about how to get the offense out of the tough drives and three-and-outs: “I’ll be honest, there’s only one of those series that I wasn’t fired up in hindsight about the calls that I had. So, it’s really just for the whole unit to stay focused and, ‘Hey, we’ve got another opportunity coming up. Let’s go ahead and make this one score.’ Because once again, segmented in the drive, we’ve got 10, 12 of them over the course of the game on average. Like, ‘The next one we got, let’s finish in the endzone, that’s it.’ And I think those guys take that mindset into the game. So, it’s good.”
On if there is an injury concern with the offensive line because of players missing practice: “Yeah, I think – (Lions Head) Coach (Dan Campbell) kind of has this mantra, nobody handles adversity better than us. And that’s not – right now for us that’s really upfront just because we’ve had some guys get dinged up a little bit and guys have stepped up and answered the bell. So, we don’t shy away from it, certainly it makes things a little bit different for us over the course of the week because the comfort level upfront is just a little bit off. So, we’ve got to continue to get reps and get on the same page. But (Lions Offensive Line) Coach (Hank) Fraley does a heck of a good job getting those backups ready to go. So, if they’re in the game, it’s not generally going to influence much in terms of what we’re running.”
On if Lions T Taylor Decker will practice today: “He was at walkthrough today. So, we’ll see. I can only go by what I just came from.”
On the breakdown on offense that led to an interception and defensive touchdown: “Yeah, once again a number of guys could’ve helped fix the situation. I think in hindsight on my behalf I need to get on the headset and tell the (Lions) Head Coach (Dan Campbell), let’s go ahead and call timeout here. I think that could’ve helped the whole thing just how I could’ve influenced that play. And then, there’s other guys that were on the field that could’ve helped fixed it as well.”
On if there are any players that stood out after watching film: “I think as a whole unit, guys really – I think more positionally, the receivers stood out in the run game, by a large margin, I think, shoot, they take a lot of pride in it, and it paid dividends for us on Sunday. In terms of individual performance, I thought (Lions TE T.J. Hockenson) Hock really showed up, maybe not on the statline but he had a good presence out on the field from the tight end room, and then (Lions G) Logan (Stenberg) certainly, I know it was his first game, and he was battling out there. There were some ups and some downs, but that’s to be expected with a guy starting his first game, but I think there were a lot of guys that played well.”
On what he meant when he said he wished he was on the headset before the interception touchdown: “Yeah, I could kind of tell when – there’s just more communication coming out of the huddle than what we had seen in practice, and so I kind of just had a feeling that something was up, but yeah, I’ll leave it at that.”
On what seemed to be off with communication prior to the interception: “I’ll just leave it there.”
On if he focuses more on the success from the game against the Eagles or the areas that went wrong: “Yeah, I mean I didn’t sleep much that night just because we lost the game. I mean, aside from our performance offensively, I mean, we didn’t do enough to win the game, so that’s really disappointing, and I think everybody felt that way in the locker room, and the next day as we were reviewing it. I think each week it kind of depends – do we highlight more positive or more negative? But I think this week it was just – we were all kind of feeling it. We put so much into it. There’s a lot of build up around that first game, and to come up short like that, especially with a great atmosphere like that, it was a big letdown. But certainly disappointed but not discouraged, not at all, because there were a lot of good things.”
On if there is anything Lions RB D’Andre Swift can improve on after his performance against the Eagles: “Yeah, no one does, but he certainly had a hot start for us that we’d like to continue to build on. We have a vision for how we want to use him. We might not want to share that publicly right now, but no he certainly is a big part of our offense.”
On if there is more to Lions RB D’Andre Swift than what was shown Week 1: “Maybe a little more versatile than what we saw, but he played his role really well Week 1.”
On managing Lions RB D’Andre Swift’s workload and snap count: “I think it depends on the week, but certainly, I think everyone has said it that’s talked to you guys. Everyone knows, players and coaches, when the ball is in his hands, it’s usually a good thing for us.”
On if he noticed Lions RB D’Andre Swift roll his ankle last Sunday: “I didn’t even notice. I didn’t even notice, so it wasn’t – it didn’t influence me calling plays, I know that.”
On the challenges the Commanders’ defense presents Sunday: “It’s a – they do, they certainly pressure a lot more than what we’ve seen. They’ve got some really good guys, particularly upfront. I think it starts there with them, (Commanders DE Montez Sweat) 90, (Commanders DT Jonathan Allen) 93 and (Commanders DT Daron Payne) 94. Those guys are about as good as it gets, and they have some great complementary people upfront as well, so we’ll have our challenge controlling those guys, and then on the backend, they’ve got some seasoned players. I was with (Commanders S) Bobby McCain in Miami, so I know he’s a heck of a player that plays hard at safety and then two veteran corners that have been around and played a lot of ball. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but it’s a – the pressure is something that we are focusing on.”
On if he plans on letting Lions QB Jared Goff get into a rhythm early on in the game Sunday: “Once again, I’m not trying to give the gameplan here. Yeah, he – no I think we’ve got a good, sound plan here. We’re not all the way through the process, but in terms of getting him into a rhythm, that is important for us, particularly early this game, so there’s a few things we have in mind to get that done, but the pressure does play a part of our gameplan this week.”  

September 15, 2022
Opening Statement: “Obviously, as far as the game is concerned, disappointed. Disappointed, but encouraged. Highly encouraged, and I say that because when you watch the tape, you see a group of men that came out very excited, probably overly excited, and some of the responsibilities kind of went out the window. And a lot of our young guys, a lot of our young guys, even some of our vets, I think going into the second game, those jitters will be more calm, and we get back to just doing our responsibility and doing our job, and it pops out over the tape, but man you have to appreciate the ‘want-to,’ but sometimes that ‘want-to’ can take you out of doing what you’re supposed to do as far as your job is concerned. You can get a little ahead of yourself, so. But I’m serious about it, I’m highly encouraged by some of the things that happened in that game.”
On if the defense’s struggles against the run versus Philadelphia was because of Eagles QB Jalen Hurts or if it is a concern going forward: “Man, he is a unique guy. He really is. And when you go back and you watch the tape, and as far as the run game is concerned, a number of that were these third-down runs where man, we had Jalen Hurts corralled, and he just made a move, and he made guys miss. I mean you see the one that happened on (Lions DL John Cominsky) Comish, you see the one that happened on (Lions DL) Aidan (Hutchinson), you see the one he almost got away with (Lions S) JuJu Hughes. That guy’s tough to defend now, he really is because of his ability to be able to do that. Man, you can have him corralled, and he still has a way of getting loose and making plays. And then you take a look at some of the other runs, where, man, you have him stopped cold, and you have him in your grasps, and then – and I’m not just talking about Jalen, I’m talking about the running back too, man then he escapes for 20-yard runs. Those are the things that we’ve got to be better at, and those are the things we’ve got to clean up, and the guys, when they see it, when they saw it, ‘I’ve just got to wrap up and make that play.’ Alright, so those things showed up quite a bit, and I would say this – that’s why I’m encouraged because as far as being where you’re supposed to be on those situations, they were there. Man, it’s just finishing plays. That’s what we have to be able to do. This game is about finishing.”
On if he is referring to the 24-yard run late in the fourth quarter against the Eagles when discussing the need to finish plays: “Absolutely, that was one of them. That was one of them. We had that, and we had another like second-down play where he was bottled up, and man, we fall down and man, he scored south of another 20-yard run. So, if you look at those runs, you might have a ton of runs that go for three, two, one, then boom he had a 20-yarder. That happened like twice, which is really a lot of the yards that he had, talking about the running back for example.”
On Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson’s performance and if there were any points of emphasis for him to build on this week: “I would tell you the first play of the game, which is – I mean, he was after the quarterback when he had zone-read rules, we should have just surfed, alright? But he saw the opening, and he took off going.”
On what Lions DL Aidan Hutchinson should have done differently the first play of the game trying to bring Eagles QB Jalen Hurts down: “Well, he’s just supposed to surf on that, and he knows that, alright. The thing is, man, when you get that guy going, excited, now he’s ready to go. And again, that was first-game jitters. Alright, so and then he saw an opening, ‘Man, I’m going to go make the play.’ And that’s who Aidan is, alright? And those are some of the things that we like about him, a lot of the things we like about him. I think you will see him way more calmer. You’ll see a guy that’s going to do the things Aidan has some all through camp, and I would say I’m not worried about that player, not one bit. And listen, every player is going to do that, because – yeah listen, sometimes you want players to go make plays, alright? And sometimes, you go out of character to do that every now and then. Now, you can’t have that consistently, alright, but that’s a player I’m not worried about. Not one bit.”
On how the different styles in quarterback from the Eagles to the Commanders affect the pass rush scheme this week: “Yeah, well, I think (Lions DL Austin Bryant) AB said it already, he’d like a statue, which less anybody, but listen, I have total confidence in (Lions DL) Charles (Harris). I have total confidence in (Lions DL) Aidan (Hutchinson). I have total confidence in (Lions DL) Alim (McNeill), that those guys are going to create havoc and go make plays, so each week I go in with a mentality that our guys are going to make plays. We just have to know exactly who we’re playing against. And if you look at what happened with (Eagles QB) Jalen (Hurts), we had him corralled, we just didn’t finish. And I think those guys will go out and finish this week.”
On how tough of a test the passing game will be against the Commanders with their receiving corps of Commanders WRs Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin: “Here’s what I have noticed about this League, going forward, that every week is a tough week. Every week, teams have these skill players that can do a number of things. And this is a team that has McLaurin as far as the receiver position, Dotson, then Curtis Samuel, whom I’m familiar with from being in Carolina. And then I think this back (Commanders RB Antonio) Gibson is a pretty good player. So, they do have weapons that we have to get ready to – but that’s every week. So our cover guys, when we get a chance to double the guys, we’ve got to win, but when you’re in one-on-one, you have to get a chance to win too. So each week, as far as us as coaches, we’ve got to make sure we have a plan for those guys to be able to go out there and be successful.”
On what the coaching point would be for veterans after they commit an undisciplined penalty: “The one thing that I will say is something that we preach all the time, and that’s being disciplined. And they will be the first to tell you that that was a bad decision by those guys, but I will also credit that to being just overly anxious, the jitters I was saying. And that can happen during the game, as we were playing. And so, (Lions LB Alex) Anzalone, man, I’m going to try and just get a hit on the quarterback, but you can’t lower your head. Man, these quarterbacks are sliding because they’re trying to protect them. (Lions S) Tracy (Walker)’s just got to know when, ‘Once he slides, I can’t go into the quarterback like that.’ And that’s a learning experience for all of those guys because they really want to get hits on these guys. Because we do – we stress physicality, and we want to be that, but it has to be directed the right way. Now our guys have to understand that.”
On the emphasis on the defense to create a short field for the offense: “Listen, we play defense. We play defense, so to us, it doesn’t matter where they’re at. Our job is to go stop them, and we’ve got to do a better job of that. So, whatever the situation is that happens in the game, man, I tell our guys, anytime we’re on the field, that’s more TV time for us. And that’s how our guys look at it.”
On his evaluation of Lions CB Jeff Okudah’s performance against the Eagles: “You saw a guy that really challenged. You saw a guy that really improved. You saw a guy that is building confidence, and it’s been another week for him to build his confidence. Excited about that player, excited what he did, but man it doesn’t stop here. And you’ve got to continue to keep stacking games like this. Because I’ll tell you what, he challenged now, and you saw it. And then, he got the PI. I will accept that. The reason why I’m accepting it is because he was challenging in that play. It wasn’t a PI when he was reaching and grabbing and things like that, man, he was trying to defend his guy until the very last second of that play. And some of those man, it comes with the territory of being a DB.”
On what he liked about Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez’s performance and one thing Rodriguez can build off of: “He’s very physical, very fast, really have an understanding of the game. And then you just try to continue to get him looks as far as NFL football is concerned, of sometimes man, like these O-linemen or these quarterbacks, they’re going to try and do things now since they know how you play, because you’re a fast reactor. They’re going to try things to get your eyes, and that goes with what you were saying with this team. A lot of eye candy. Alright, a lot of eye candy to just run simple plays. Just motion here, turbo motion there, then they run outside zone. So he’s a guy that I can see them trying to attack in that way, but that’s something that we talked about to him about all the time. And he’s smart enough to understand that and be able to grasp that.”
On if it is impressive that Lions LB Malcolm Rodriguez did not miss any assignments against the Eagles: “It is, especially at that position. Especially at that position. Man, over training camp and as a coach, you really don’t want to get into his mindset, but you want to expect that out of him because of how smart he is and things that he’s shown. But we do have to realize that he’s a rookie, and mistakes are going to happen. And that’s with anybody, so we don’t want to put that label on him as far as now this guy’s not going to make mistakes at all, but you expect those mistakes to be minimal because of who he is and what he’s shown.”
On what the team has in Lions DL Isaiah Buggs and the energy he brings: “Here’s the thing about Buggs that’s intriguing, because you hear all these things of when he was Alabama, when he was at Pittsburgh, and like we haven’t seen those things. One thing about Buggs is I get a text from Buggs almost every day about how he loves it here. I mean, you like when players say that, and listen, I don’t know what happened at those other places, and I really don’t care. The only thing I care about is he’s happy here, and he’s given us everything that he’s got. And you’re right, he did pop out on the tape, so we expect that player to be a huge part of what we’re doing as far as going forward, and man, it is a – it’s something to see him and (Lions DL Alim McNeill) Mack in a game at the same time. That’s a lot of beef on the interior now.”
On if Lions DL Isaiah Buggs can push Lions DL Michael Brockers for a starting spot: “Yeah, I will say this about the D-line, is man, there is so much rotation that’s going on that those guys end up playing the same amount of plays. One guy might start the game, but everybody – and I’ve said this about the linebackers before, but all of those guys are going to play. That’s a position to where it’s not like corners, safety, where you’ve got a rock that’s there. D-linemen you’re going to always have rotations, so can he push – everybody is pushing everybody every week. But as far as D-line, all those guys are going to chance get a chance to play.”
On what he was disappointed in from the Eagles game: “Yeah, disappointed because we didn’t win.”
On what the percentage of his disappointment to encouragement would be from the Eagles game: “No, I really don’t look at it like that. Just mad that we didn’t win, but encouraged by some of the things that I saw on tape.”
On if the Commanders game is a must-win game to avoid starting the season zero-and-two: “Listen, we coach every week to win, so to me every game is a must win. And I don’t know if that’s the right way or wrong way, but that’s how I coach, and that’s how I look at it. And as far as the stats concerned, I think in 98’, with the Jets, we started 0-2, and we ended up going 13-3, so regardless of how you – you’ve just got to keep on chopping wood. And I’ve actually been a part of that twice, so I don’t know if that’s – we’re trying to get on the other side of that stat you’re talking about.”
On how a team would get out of a zero-and-two start: “Win, play football. Play football. This game here, you never know. Each week, you’ve got to keep chopping wood.”  

September 15, 2022
On what gives him confidence in what Lions WR Quintez Cephus can do in the kick return game: “Yeah, I think he had one punt, he was a gunner on that last punt and he helped force a fair catch down there at the end. Then, he had the seven kickoff reps or return reps. He’s done nice – he’s done a good job for us. I would say he’s improved from a year ago. We’re actually looking to try to play him a little bit more in this next game, hopefully we get him in a few different roles this week. But he was playing what we call a wing for us on kickoff return, and obviously there was no return, so we’ll see.”
On if the Eagles anticipated that they were going to try the onside kick in the game last Sunday: “Yeah, I don’t know. Somebody had said to me – I don’t read a whole lot this time of year for sure. Somebody had said to me that somebody tweeted something out or something before the kick, which I’m not really sure what that was or how they would’ve known that. And maybe there was something, I really don’t know. I would just say I don’t think the Eagles knew that – they read their Twitter and yelled across the field and told a guy it’s coming. So, it doesn’t really concern me a whole lot. If you ask me were they probably thinking that we could do anything against them, I know if I were playing us I would be, obviously, highly cautious and I would expect the unexpected for sure. I don’t think they had an idea that we were going to kick that kick like that, necessarily in that situation. Now, in that time in the game, it was a couple of possessions game, the game’s getting into a later part of the game I would say. Maybe, you could think that that would be a time where you might want to call it or something like that if somebody said that. At the end of the day, it comes down to execution. I could’ve coached the play better for sure. And then, we could’ve executed a little bit better. I do appreciate the fact that the (Lions) Head Coach (Dan Campbell) has got the confidence in us to do those things and execute them. It’s our job to get it done and we didn’t do a good enough job of that. I would definitely take a lot of responsibility for that.”
On the biggest challenges that are presented in attempting onside kicks: “Yeah, I think on – really on all the onside kicks, whether they’re obvious or surprise. I would say in general for the most part one of the biggest challenges you have is you’ve got a group of guys on a kick cover who are stationary when the ball is kicked and they’re trying to accelerate full speed. And the ball’s got to go at least 10, and like on that play those guys were sitting with their back foot on 15, so they were a little bit in front of 15 yards away from the ball when it was being kicked. Just in general, whether it’s a surprise or obvious onside kick, I would say the closer the ball is the 10, the better off your odds of recovering it. The further down the field, the further away from the kick cover group, and our 10 guys are trying to get it. So, probably an advantage to them. So, I would say in general terms that’s probably the easiest way I could describe it. But yeah, and that’s not to say that there’s not a way to push the ball further down the field and get it in a hole or something like that where maybe you could exploit that. But I would say on a kick like that, most of these obvious onside kicks at the end of the game, I would say it that way.”
On how much more successful onside kicks could be if they are not expected: “Yeah, I would say it goes up significantly on a surprise situation than an obvious. But I don’t have the exact numbers for you and over what time period and all that. But I’ve heard some before it’s definitely different, and it’s at a much higher rate.”