DETROIT LIONS VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2017 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL
On the comeback and if he considered bringing in QB Jake Rudock when the Saints led by five touchdowns
"You are always, during the course of the game, really considering a lot of different things. One thing that we certainly knew is that we had a chance to bring it back. Nobody else in this universe probably thought so, except for the guys in that locker room. The guys fought back and gave us a chance, particularly with some of the injuries that we had. I am proud of the way in which the guys played. They played tough and hard-nosed. You're still giving someone (the Saints) points, in terms of turnovers. When they score on the defensive end of it, (it makes it difficult). We just didn't play as well as we would like."
On the large amount of tipped balls today:
"Guys were getting their hands up in the lane and tipping the ball in the air, obviously more than we have probably ever seen. We will look at all of the details. Some of it was obvious you could see. There were some others that weren't so clear. We will take a look at it and see."
On giving up 193 rushing yards to the Saints:
"Any time that we allow a team to run consistently on us and run well, we are not happy about that. One of the things when we start (game-planning) is being able to stop a team on defense, in terms of the run. We weren't able to do that consistently. Once things got turned down a little bit, we started playing better defense and started tackling better. We gave ourselves a chance."
On how much time will be spent during the bye week on protecting the quarterback:
"It's one of those things, for us,that is a priority. It is, kind of, where we start everything. We just have to keep working on it."
On the mindset of how to almost come back from a 35-point deficit:
"We just don't give up. Our guys show a lot of resolve. They know that we will get the things straightened out as we move along. Our guys always think that they have a chance to get it done. We always think that we have a chance to close the gap. They believe in one another. We fell a little bit too short. I don't think that these guys ever think that they will be out of a ballgame."
On if he was surprise how good the Saints defense played most of the game:
"No. Any team in the National Football League has a lot of really good players. They have good players. They played well. Obviously, they got five turnovers. They gave up three, obviously, which they had not done at all. Their defense played really well."
On his decision to inactivate Cornelius Washington today:
"What we do is we look at a situation, who we're playing, what the situation is, and make a determination on what's best for our team. That is what we do. We look at a player, based on his playing, and make a decision based on that."
On if it was schematic today that the Saints linebackers were in the lanes looking to deflect passes:
"We'll have to look at that and see. We will just have to take a look and see. Sometimes, strange things happen out there. Some of them were at the line of scrimmage, more so than anything else. Those are the ones that really cost us."
On if it was difficult managing changes to the offensive line:
"It's, kind of, what happens in games. Often-times you cannot predict it, but you have to be able to make adjustments and keep going. That's why we have 53 men on the roster. That's why we dress 46 on gameday. You have to be able to adjust."
On if the bye week is coming at a good time for Matthew Stafford:
"He had a lot of ups and downs in this game. He still put us in position where we had a chance to tie this thing up and go….The guy did a lot of really good things for us, but not consistently enough from how he usually plays. And, he's got to have some help, too. It's not just a one man show. One thing we do know is that he will keep getting better."
On if the bye week is coming at a good time for the entire team:
"I think that in terms of our health it does, yes. We are going to need a little time (to get healthier). It's a good thing that we are not playing a Thursday night game or something of that nature, we would be in a little bit of an issue.
LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD
On the batted passes and fumbles:
"I think their guys were just being players. I do not know if it was a concerted effort coming into the game. I have no idea. I am not in their meeting rooms, but (I) just got to find a way to get it through. Obviously (they) led to some big plays. Some tips led to some interceptions. I am probably more frustrated at the fumbles than anything, for myself. So, I got to be better early on, not turn that ball over, got to find a way to hold on to that ball both times. Keep us out of that situation where we are having to dig ourselves out of a giant hole."
On confusion with so many different offensive lineman playing:
"I am not going to speak to anyone else's confusion. I felt like our guys did a great job of coming in playing. This is the NFL, injuries happen. We were a little short to start the day. I thought the guys came in and battled. That's all you can ask for or of them. I think they did a nice job fighting."
On coming back:
"Just trying to stay even-keeled. Knowing that when we were down by a bunch or when it was a onescore game, just trying to stay even-keeled. It was going to take just playing good football to get a chance to go back and win that thing. Obviously, kind of a fluky, crazy game with a lot of weird and crazy plays, but we have to better early on. It starts with me. I just got to be better."
On craziness of game:
"It was a different one, for sure. I talked to Drew [Brees] about that after the game. He came up and said 'that was a weird one, huh?' And yeah it was, it was crazy. We got to find a way to start a little bit faster and make that thing a little more competitive early on."
On going into the bye week at 3-3:
"We've had some good moments and some bad moments. I think we've been up and down. We got to work that out. We got to be trending in the right direction at all times and playing at a higher level, it's myself included. I think we are banged up. We got to have guys find a way to get back healthy as soon as possible come and help us and go on from there. There is a lot to learn not only from this game, but the first five, and we will learn from that and go from there."
On Aaron Rodgers breaking collarbone:
"I did not know that. That's tough. Injuries are tough."
On second fumble:
"The right tackle and the right guard did the correct thing. We just got to communicate our hot (reads) a little bit better with Theo (Riddick) and myself. I was thinking one thing and he was thinking another. I was about to throw it and saw he was going a different way than (what) I was thinking. I tried to pull it back in. That guy made a great play. I got to find a way to hold onto that ball if I can. I know he kind of raked me right across the hands, but I got to find a way to hold onto that and make it a sack or an incomplete pass, rather than a big play of them."
On not having Golden Tate down the stretch:
"Obviously he was playing at a high level today. He was playing great. He was competing. That first touchdown was a great play. Sorry to see him to go off the field with whatever he has got, but he is a big part of our offense. He is a really talented player. He worked the middle of the field great today and made some big plays. So, anytime you lose somebody it's next guy up and we got to go."
On his ankle and bye week rest coming up:
"Ankle felt great. I felt like I was moving around enough. Got that first down on the scramble early in the game. (I) Was able to move. The bye week, as far as my body goes, is coming at a good time. There is no question about that. I will just learn as much as I possibly can about our team, about our guys, and myself."
On if he ever thought about coming out of game:"No, absolutely not. The quarterback of this team will fight 'til three zeroes on the clock. That is the attitude that our team has. That is the attitude that I have. No matter how I am feeling, I am going to be out there and trying to help us win."
On body language postgame:
"I am just a little tired at the moment. I think obviously anytime you turn the ball over five times, it is not good and I can be better. Just know the effort that our guys put in, man. A lot of effort going into that game. Fighting our ass off, tooth and nail, trying to get back in. Had a chance at one score then another kind of crazy play. It was a crazy, up-and-down game."
LIONS PUNT RETURNER/CORNERBACK JAMAL AGNEW
On punt return:
"It was cool. Whenever we get an opportunity like that, there is no doubt in my mind that we can score. Just because our punt return team works really hard. I think we have one of the best punt return units, as a whole, in the league, just because we have all 11 guys doing their job and eager to do their job. So whenever we get an opportunity there is no doubt in my mind that we can get some points."
On mistake on punt return in fourth quarter:
"I just got to make a better decision. As a return if you have any doubt in your mind if you should catch it or not, you got to just let it go. I should have let that roll into the end zone. I got a little too excited. Great punter (Thomas Morstead). He hung that thing up there. A lot of credit to him, but I just got to make a better decision."
On TD interception after muffed punt:
"I immediately said 'that was my fault.' We wouldn't have been backed up like that if I didn't muff that punt, but the vets came around me. They said you can't blame that on yourself. Use that as a coaching point, get better."
LIONS SAFETY CHARLES WASHINGTON
On Jamal Agnew and return:"Whats that twice in six weeks? He is excellent. He makes our job easy as blockers. All credit goes to him. He can read it, his block leverage and make plays off of that. He is a special kid."
On defense in second half:
"We locked in and played our game. There was not anything that changed. Kind of played for GQ (Glover Quin). His presence was missed out there, but we had to keep it pushing."
On almost coming back in the game:"I promise you, it didn't surprise me a bit. I know that type of team that we have. I know the type of players that we have. We just watched the lead go down and got into a rhythm. These boys, we have a tough team, no matter what the scoreboard says. I know until that clock hits zero-zero our guys are going to play for us until the end, both sides of the ball."
On Matthew Stafford and his performance today:"Tough guy. I am glad he is my quarterback. He was battling a lot of things all week. He still ran with the ball and took sacrifices to get the first down on plays, to put his receivers in position. So that is an excellent quarterback."
LIONS LINEBACKER JARRAD DAVIS
On defensive performance tonight:
"It's a tough outing. Got to be better. Got to attack next week. Come out and improve as a team, as a unit."
On frustration in game:"Up and down. Rollercoaster. I got to do a better job as a player and as a leader to keep my composure during the game."
On challenges of staying composed during this game:
"Just frustrating. Making the same mistakes over and over again as a player. I got to be able to handle my own stuff and move forward.
On bye week:
"That is definitely huge. Another opportunity for us to go out and get better."
"We have no explanation, to be honest with you guys. In the film, got to break it down and learn from it. So I have no explanation right now."
On adjustments in second half:
"Biggest thing is just got to keep playing. No matter what the scoreboard says, no matter what's going as long as there's time on the clock just got to keep playing."
On almost coming back:"It was definitely exciting to see that, but we also knew that we just had to handle our job and do our job. We did our job, things were coming back for us, but at the end we just couldn't pull it out there."
On resiliency of the team:
"It is definitely a great attribute, aspect of our team. I'm glad to be on a team like this because no matter what the scoreboard says, we just saw that we are never going to be out of the game. We are always going to fight. We are always going to do what we have to do to come back. That's what we did today. [We] got to learn how to finish and start faster. Once we get that going, we'll be fine."
On what he does after a tough loss:
"Honestly, look myself in the mirror and say 'you are either going to get better or you are going to stay and keep getting beat."
On where team stands now at 3-3:"Definitely a tough feeling because we are a better team than that,so we just got to keep working and, like I said, continue to get better."
On message from Coach Caldwell after this one:
"Just same thing I'm telling you guys. Just got to keep working, keep on going, keep getting better. Got to take this one on the chin and you got to keep going."
On Aaron Rodgers breaking his collarbone:
"I don't know what to say about that. (That's a) Tough loss for them, though."