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Lions coach Jim Caldwell and players talk about win against Saints

Transcripts from Lions' post game interviews

"I thought that was just a heck of a team win. Things have been a little tough for us the last few weeks, but the guys bounced back and played tough, played well in a place that is very, very difficult to win. This is a (Drew) Brees-led team that will always put points on the board. They've always been able to find a way to win at home. Our guys, I think, did a nice job of when they (the Saints) got a little close, they did not buckle. They just kept fighting. In some situations, we maybe gave up a few more yards than we would like to. Maybe we just weren't as sharp in some areas. Overall, this was a heck of a win. I am really proud of the way that the guys played."

(on Matthew Stafford finding receivers)

"Obviously, anytime that you're 88 percent (completion rate), that's rare. It is very difficult to do that. He did a nice job. He spread it around quite a bit. I think that our guys took
advantage of the opportunities they had. Some guys made some big play for us."

(on not allowing the Saints to score before the end of the first half)

"That was huge just before the half. It was one of those situations where we were trying to use some timeouts to see if we could try to get a drive back because we knew that we were going to have to get more points. We wanted to do it aggressively. Particularly in that situation, you may not use any timeouts and kind of let what happens, happens. You've got a real good quarterback that you are facing and (you want) to eat some of that time up. With these guys, you've got to take advantage of every opportunity that you get. We were trying to call time out and trying to see if we could get them to a point where if they did score, we would have some time left to get at least one more drive, then maybe we could get three or seven (points). They ended up not getting any points at all, which we were fortunate."

(on the importance of rushing the ball well)

"It was very important. If you look at us of late, we haven't struggled running the ball. We have had over 100 yards in most of the games this half of the season. 150 yards any day, in any point in time, is good. It also helped us, obviously, keep the ball out of their hands. It certainly didn't give (Drew) Brees any more opportunities to score. I thought that Joique (Bell) did a nice job. Ameer (Abdullah) had some nice runs."

(on if the referees explained to him why the Saints' completion on fourth down wasn't overturned on review)
"I've stopped trying to figure these guys out. I throw my hands up in the air on that one. I don't know. Whatever they thought they saw, we thought we saw the replay and it looked pretty obvious. Who knows?"

(on the offense tonight)

"We knew that we were going to have to score some points. We were going to have to throw it. We were probably going to have to run it for good measure to get some balance. It was one of those games where guys made big plays and moved the ball down the field. We knew if we could get in the red zone that we would have a good chance to put some numbers up. We have been good in that area. I don't know what we were today, in terms of how many times we scored in there (five touchdowns in six trips), but we have been pretty good. It's a good football team that we faced. They have good talent and good people."

"All of our guys are doing a great job getting open. The offense line is giving me time and (offensive coordinator) Jim Bob (Cooter) is doing a great job in that area, and our guys up front are blocking. And when they do that, it gives us time to throw the ball down the field; allowing me to go through the progressions. If we keep that up we're going to be a great offense."
(on Calvin Johnson)

"Calvin is doing great. I mean, he's running around out there and doing everything he can right now – he's fighting through and playing – but they are doubling him the whole game. Every time I was getting ready to snap, No. 31 (Jairus Byrd) was sprinting to where he (Johnson) was. We knew coming in we were going to have to make plays with other guys and we did that. It's a testament to the other guys to get open and make plays after the catch."

(on passing accuracy)

"It's a team effort when you have an efficient night like that and everybody did their part. Obviously guys are getting open and making catches and they are blocking up front – that's all I can say. All I was trying to do was be accurate with it."
"I feel like we are playing good complementary football. We aren't turning the ball over for the most part and our defense is playing well and we are putting up points. But we have to be more consistent just like every other team in the NFL. We did a good job. When you go out and score 35 (points) on the road you've got to feel good
about that."

"I think the stats show Matt Stafford went 22 for 25 – I mean, that's phenomenal. The guy was chasing perfection, and that's where it started for us. I think the last few games we are finding out ways to win, and Coach (Jim) Caldwell is putting players in position to succeed. We're simplifying the calls on the runs and the same is happening with me and all of the other wide receivers. It's a collective effort and despite our record, we are going out there and playing hard."

(on Saints defense)

"When they (Saints) take away Calvin (Johnson), that usually means there are two or three guys covering him. The coaching staff is doing a great job finding out where the holes are and we are taking advantage of that offensively."

(on fast start)

"All of our scores were huge; especially early on because you saw late in the game how the Saints came back and it seemed to come down to the last seconds of the game. But it was important for us as a team and as an offense to set the tone early by running the ball and moving the clock. For us to score early in the
third quarter gave us a lot of momentum to take the lead."

"It was good for us to come out early in the game and run the ball and put them (Saints) on their heels. That set the tone of the game and led us to take a big lead early. We've been working hard on that in practice and you saw it worked out for us tonight."

"It was a great win for our team. To come here into their 'Dome, in front of their crowd, it was real loud and they had a lot of momentum going in. But for us to get a W is great."

(on defending Drew Brees)

"He's real tough. He threw a couple of back shoulder passes on me a few times and I thought I couldn't defend it any better. But he's definitely one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league and you have to tip your hat to him."

"We came into the game defending the run so they (Saints) had to throw it a lot. I don't know how many times they threw it but it felt like 50 times. And when you throw it that much a team becomes one dimensional. But that's what we worked on coming in and we were glad to get out of here with a win."

(on defensive plan)

"Our mindset was to stop the run and we did that for the most part. I know early in the game (Tim) Hightower got into the secondary but we made adjustments at halftime. As a result they threw the ball a lot more. I'm proud of our guys because we're not giving up. We have a lot to play for the rest of the season."

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