November 3, 2022
On trading former Lions TE T.J. Hockenson and how that will affect the offense going forward in terms of other players getting more reps: “I would start by saying on a personal level it hits close to home because I’ve been here three and a half years now and he’s probably the one guy, one player I’ve gotten closest with. Just being able to coach him, hands on with him, spend the most time with him over the course of the last few years. So, it hits home because you get close with these guys. But I do wish him the best. He’s going to a great situation. We’ll miss him, there’s no question. In terms of him as a player, it’s an opportunity for other guys to step up. Just like you said, (Lions TE) Brock (Wright), (Lions TE) James (Mitchell) will take advantage of it. We have a couple other tight ends that will get opportunities as well. And we’re hoping to see the same production from that unit that we’ve been seeing.”
On if Lions Executive Vice President/General Manager Brad Holmes and Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell consulted him on trading former Lions TE T.J. Hockenson: “They are – they are the masterminds and I’m really just a pawn in the game, so to say. But I was aware of the possibility.”On how he puts aside the personal feelings that are involved in football to stay focused on the bigger picture: “Yeah, I mean every – every year you end up moving away from some guys that you developed strong relationships with. That’s the nature of the business, whether they retire or choose to sign with another team. This one hurts a little bit more than most just because it’s so sudden. It’s like ripping off that band-aid, so the initial shock factor is part of it. But yeah, I mean the good news is (former Lions TE) T.J. (Hockenson) and I will always be friends, we’ll be – I’ll still watch his tape and love to watch him, see what he does as a player except for one more game this year, obviously. But yeah, it hits close to home.”
On how he will adjust the offense to ensure they are not tipping their hand with the personnel available: “Yeah, it’s a – that’s a challenge and the good news so far this year was (Lions RB D’Andre Swift) Swifty hadn’t played a ton. There were a couple two and a half games or so that were out on him, and we didn’t feel like we had developed many tendencies. But now that we’re back, we’re getting him back, could see how they would come up just a little bit. So, it’s something we’re aware of and we’re looking to use that to our advantage in several ways.”
On if there is a way to coach and fix penalties and turnovers that repeatedly happen: “We were talking about (Lions QB) Jared (Goff) a couple weeks ago, and I really see the same process with the unit is whenever there are issues that pop up, the first step is recognizing what those are. So, it’s an awareness. It’s just like you said, Dallas game, second half, turnovers were the story. Last week, penalties. We only had three opportunities in the second half, and two of them we had penalties, huge penalties that put us in holes. So, it’s discipline, it’s fundamentals, it’s technique, it’s really the things that we’ve harped on in the springtime that we were doing well early in the season that we’ve lost a little bit of awareness of, so to say. But once again, good reminder at halftime for our squad this week to stay true to form, stay focused, stay in it and don’t let it slip out of our hands.”
On what type of adjustments are made at halftime and what has been attributing to the offense not scoring in the second half of the last three games: “Yeah, I would – like I said, it was turnovers, penalties. To me, it’s more us as opposed to a defense doing things that we aren’t countering well enough. I just say last week in particular, they were playing a little bit more vanilla brand of football than what they’ve put on tape so far this year. It’s probably due to their personnel more than anything else, so we had a good feel of how the rest of the game was going to be played with how we started and what they were doing. It just came down to execution, which we didn’t do a good enough job of.”
On if there is a limited amount of halftime adjustments made: “No, no, there are certainly adjustments that happen at halftime, and we get together as the coaching staff right away, and for the first five, seven minutes, we’re meeting and then we get together with our guys and kind of tell them the plan of attack going forward. What’s happened in the first half, what do we need to continue to do and what do we need to do better?”
On if he would change the play-call on fourth-and-2 when Lions QB Jared Goff threw to Lions WR Josh Reynolds: “Yeah, did it work? It did not, and typically as a play-caller, there’s the ones you want back, particularly in critical situations that – like shoot, I wish I had called something different. With that particular one, we had going into the game, that play-call really was three calls, and they gave us a pressure look. We checked to our pressure answer for that play, and they bailed out of it, so when that happens, our options are little bit limited, and Jared and Josh were trying to make a play. It was a one-on-one opportunity, and we came up a little bit short. So absolutely in hindsight, a different play would have been better.”
On if there are checks within a play players can adjust to when the defense bails out of a pressure look: “Yeah, and now we’re talking layers on layers because like I said the play we got to wasn’t even part of the initial play-call. The quarterback got to it thinking, ‘Blah.’ So, it was a good call by them. They did a nice job on defense, and clearly a pivotal moment of the game. Wasn’t good enough.”
On if Lions QB Jared Goff had time left on the play clock to call a different play or call an audible on fourth-and-2: “I can’t recall what the play clock was, but I do try particularly on instances like that where we have multiple options to get him to play early, so that he can see what’s going on with the defense.”
On if Lions QB Jared Goff did not execute the correct play-call on fourth-and-2: “No, listen, he did what he was supposed to do, and we didn’t make the play.” 


November 3, 2022
Opening Statement: “It’s been a tough week for me personally, the defensive staff, this organization, for this team in general. Not only because of the way that we played, but also we lost a damn good coach. A good friend of mine who I brought on to do a job and that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate. But you move on this League, and you continue to strive for greatness. You continue to strive for winning and that’s what we’ll do. And another thing that happened just to me personally is to hear about Coach (Adam) Zimmer, who – Coach (Mike Zimmer) Zim was my coach in Dallas, but what happened to his son – that was another downer in my opinion. So, I know you guys have a lot of questions. Some of these questions I will go ahead and answer right now. Just what I’m speaking on, but (Lions Head Coach) Dan (Campbell) made a decision and I’m going to support that decision. I mean, that’s my job. He’s the boss and whatever decisions that he makes, it’s our responsibility to support and continue to move on, alright? And that’s what we’ll do as a staff. That’s what I’ll do as a coordinator. And nothing surprises me in this League. Nothing. I’ve been in this League for a long time, I’ve seen good players get cut. I’ve seen good players get traded. Hell, I was in an expansion draft, and I just made a Pro Bowl with the Jets that took me to the Texans. So, nothing surprises me. I’ve seen coaches get hired. I’ve seen coaches get fired. Hell, I was a part of having a coach for a day, (Patriots Head Coach) Bill Belichick who sent me a text and said that he was leaving. Well, he didn’t say he was leaving, but he said, ‘It’s going to be a crazy day tomorrow. So, just know that I love you and this won’t be the last time that we end up talking or whatnot.’ So, man nothing surprises me. So, I will cut those questions off right now, that it’s a part of this business and you continue to move on.”
On the role that he played in the dismissal of former Lions Pass Game Coordinator/Defensive Backs Aubrey Pleasant: 
“Yeah, that’s – the role I play in that is support (Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell) him. That’s my role. And anytime he makes a decision like that because obviously he sees the big picture and he’s looking at everything. And he has to make the decisions about that, like any head coach would do. And that’s nothing new that happens across this League. Hell, I think it just happened to Indy with the offensive coordinator. So, when he makes those decisions, yes he will come and talk to me about it. And like any other good coach, ‘I gotcha coach.’ I’ll say my piece and we’ll move on.”
On how he sees the coaching staff change positively impacting the secondary moving forward: “Well, I will say this that we have to do something about this secondary as far as them moving forward. We have other coaches in this building that can help, including myself and I’ll be a big part of helping that. But (Lions Safeties Coach) Brian Duker will do a good job and (Lions Defensive Quality Control Addison Lynch) Addy will do a good job in that situation. So, obviously you have to do a big part in helping that and plus also do my coordinator role as far as planning for this game. But you will see me helping with those guys.”
On what he told Lions Head Coach Dan Campbell when he spoke his piece on coaching staff changes: “That piece will stay between me and Dan.”
On if he noticed miscommunication issues between the coaching staff and the secondary on Sunday against the Dolphins: “Well, here’s what I will tell you is some of these issues that we have, they shouldn’t be issues and we’ve got to execute a lot better, OK? And there’s a lot of touchdowns that’s given up that shouldn’t be given up. For example, the one that (Dolphins WR Jaylen) Waddle – and like that shouldn’t be given up. We should have a safety over top and we should have a safety that’s cutting for (Dolphins WR) Tyreek (Hill), so two guys should be taking those guys out. And it didn’t happen and for whatever reason we have to get those things cleaned up because the one thing that we can’t do is give up easy touchdowns. And that’s just defensively, so we’ve got to make sure those things are taken care of.”
On how much he points the finger at himself for the defensive issues and performances this season: “As the coordinator, I always point a finger at myself because at the end of the day how the defense performs, that’s on me. That’s on me. I give a vision of what I want defensively. The thing I do is I let my coaches coach. I think that’s the best way as coordinator to not be – to not micro-manage your coaches. A lot of them – because that’s why you hired them because I was going to – if I was going to coach all the players, then I don’t need them. You know what I’m saying? So, I think the best thing for me to do is give the vision and man, let the coaches coach. And I will say this, I think it’s important that you let coaches be able to do some of their own things because it makes them invested in what you’re doing. If I was to go in – to any coaches, to (Lions Defensive Line Coach Todd) Wash, to (Lions Linebackers Coach Kelvin Sheppard) Shep and say, ‘This is how we’re doing no matter what,’ then what good is that for them? How do they grow? How do I learn different techniques? There’s nothing in this game as far as DB play, D-line play, linebacker play that I’m still not learning on too. They come with their ideas, and I always listen to those things. Yes, there’s some things that I want to get done, I want to get it done the way I want it. But there’s also things that listen, ‘This is the way you’ve done it. We’ve got to make sure it works.’ And we move on from that.”
On if he will stick to the same philosophy that he has been coaching with or if he will change things up: “Well, the thing that I will do is me, (Lions Safeties Coach Brian) Duker, (Lions Defensive Quality Control Addison Lynch) Addy have sat down. We just talk about it or go-forward. And there’s some things that listen – this is how we need to do these so, the communication is not as expanded right now. And they’re in agreeance with that. And I do have to help them. I mean, Duker’s a really good coach. I mean I’ve been with Duker since Cleveland, and I know he’s going to do a good job. Same with Addy, but I do think it’s my responsibility to spend more time in that room and be able to help.”
On if he still sees an urgency to win this season due to everything that is happening within the organization: “I really don’t understand that question to be honest with you because this is a League – that’s all you know. That’s why you play. I mean, I don’t want to say that phrase. Play to win the game. But that’s all you know, that’s the reason why you do it. So, I don’t understand that question.”
On if the personnel decisions made this week are geared toward the future and what they signal: “I think everything decision that’s made is made to win. Period. Some guys might not understand that, but it’s made to win. If it’s in the future, but everything’s meant to made to win right now. I know that’s how I look at it. And I know these men that’s here look at it like that too because we don’t have time to sit back and build something and let somebody else use it to get fired. You know what I’m saying? So, every time we go out to practice, every decision that we make is made to win the game. Period.”
On how he will delegate the pass game coordinator responsibilities between the defensive coaches: “We all are going to be a part of that. As far as pass game coordinator, the titles don’t mean anything to me. It’s, how do we get these guys to operate the way we need to operate> Listen, we’ve got a lot of young guys back there and the one thing that hurt us really is (Lions S) Tracy (Walker) not being there, so the communication is really tough. Then, you have (Lions S) DeShon (Elliott) that was out last game, he comes back in. (Lions CB Jeff) Okudah’s really played what 17, 18 games in his whole career? (Lions CB) Jerry (Jacobs)’s out, he’s going to get a chance to play. He’ll get some snaps come this week, I thought that would be a question you guys asked. But he will get some snaps. But man, we are so young back there that we’ve got to continue to just – man, keep drilling, keep hammering in. Man, we cannot do things that make us lose games. You have to do that before you start winning games, now that’s something I preached this morning to our guys.”
On the defensive plan for Green Bay’s offense given how they have performed so far this season and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: “Well, they still have that guy, so as long as you have that guy you have a chance. Listen, this is the NFL and I wish you can go and win the division every year, but you can’t. That’s just – it doesn’t happen. League parity, free agents, all that. Things change, Draft, things change. That’s what we’re hoping for us as we continue to move on to get – to be in that leadership position as far as this division. So, man, as long as they have that guy, man anything’s possible for him.”
On if he envisions the identity of the secondary to be man-coverage or zone-coverage: “A little mix of both because you have to look at who you have and be able to design something that helps benefit those guys. And you’re right, this game we play a little bit more zone, we were trying to jam the receivers and not allow these guys on the teeth of our defense. Man, it’s tough running with those two guys for anybody. I don’t care who you are, if you’re a good man team or not. So, each week man, we have to design a plan that’s going to give us the best chance to win. So, when you talk about identity it’s man, who do you have? And what fits them best? And that’s what we do every week.” 

November 3, 2022
On the Lions attempting six or seven fake punts since last season: “Is it seven or six? I don’t know. Yeah, I think one didn’t work against Green Bay. Green Bay.”
On how they convert a successful fake punt when the opposing defense is aware and prepared for them: “Yeah, I would say at the end of the day really, and I mean this, it’s a player’s game. And those guys went out, and they just executed against the look that we had out there. Obviously, I think that helps. We have the ability to put it on or take it off against things that we like or don’t like, looks that we like or don’t like. So, usually when we’re running them, we’re not running them into something that we don’t think it’s going to work against, so I think that helps. But I would say ultimately, it comes down to those guys executing. They do a great job of it. The head coach makes it important. He puts a bunch of time into it himself. He watches a lot of film on all that stuff, and those guys did a great job of executing it.”
On the amount of fake punt play-calls he has utilized the past two seasons: “Yeah, I would say that’s the funny thing. I was thinking about that in my office. It’s like whatever the numbers are, five or six, six or seven, whatever that is, but I was like, ‘Yeah, well, if they only really knew how many we actually had.’ But no, I would say there’s been plenty more that just haven’t gotten off the ground because we haven’t gotten the look, but I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s been good, the guys enjoyed doing it, and they’ve done a good job of executing it. I would say, we’ve also got to be smart about it and not get carried away. Make sure it’s a play that works for us and doesn’t backfire.”
On if he has only one fake punt play prepared for a situation or multiple different looks: “Yeah, maybe.”On Lions S C.J. Moore saying the look on the fake punt against the Dolphins was cloudy at first: “Yeah, I would just say I’m not going to go into that in too much detail, but yeah, ultimately, he has the ability to check it on or off, and ultimately ran it so. He didn’t tell me he thought it was cloudy.”
On if he is aware of opposing defenses potentially preparing for fake punts more so than in the past: “Yeah, I would say – I always would look at it like if I were playing us, what would I be thinking. I think that’s kind of how you look at yourself all the time. And I know if I were playing us, I would make sure that we were making good choices and putting our guys in good positions and trying to take as much of it away from them as possible, but also still trying to great some opportunity for yourself too.”
On what Lions FB Jason Cabinda could provide for special teams once he returns: “Yeah, we’ll find out. I think he was out there at practice yesterday, so it’s really good to have him back. I mean obviously I love the guy. He played great for us a year ago on special teams, good special teams player. Everyone knows that throughout his career, and so obviously he would help out when that time comes. We’ll see if it’s this week or kind of just how it plays out.”
On where Lions FB Jason Cabinda excels on special teams and the role he could provide that others do not: “Yeah, good question. I would say ultimately, and the thing he does well, is probably just that. He’s good in all four phases for us, so he’s just a multi-functional player who can do a lot of different things and have a lot of different roles. He’s an offender who’s been a fullback, and he’s used to catching the ball, but he also was a defender early in his career, even in this League as a linebacker. That’s how he came in. So, he’s got a good defensive skillset, so you’re talking about making tackles and plays that way. So, he’s got really what you want, offensive fundamentals and defensive fundamentals.”