Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions vs. Cleveland Browns: Jim Caldwell's Comments

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell met with the media following last night’s 13-12 preseason win over the Cleveland Browns. Here is a look at what he had to say, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

Opening statement: “For the first preseason game, I really thought overall that the first half our offense, the No. 1 offense, played about seven plays, I think total – took the ball down the field and were able to put some points on the board. We certainly would have loved a touchdown in that situation, but we got a field goal. I thought our No. 1 defense played well, tough. There was kind of a bend-but-don’t-break sort of a first half for us. We kept them out of the end zone, but it might not have looked pretty all of the time. I think toward the end of the game, one of the things we wanted to talk about, and we’ve been talking about all year is the fact that we want to be able to finish. No matter who is in the ball game. I think in the second half we did finish. I think the special teams came up with some big plays to give us some good field position. I think the defense got the ball back for us, obviously with a couple turnovers there. The offense showed some poise, particularly Kellen (Moore) at the end. He had a pretty good drive and George (Winn) took it down the field and ended up having a snap that went off his knee, but he didn’t let that bother him. He came back and was able to take the team down and put it in the end zone. At that time, you could tell our team was pretty excited about it. Any time you can get a come-from-behind type of victory with your third unit in there, you feel pretty good about that. But, the fact of the matter is that it’s the first game. We have a lot to learn. It wasn’t as clean as we’d like. We had a bunch of mistakes, obviously, that we have to make certain we correct. But, we have something to build on. I’ll open it up for any questions.”

On any players that stood out: “Well, everything kind of jumps out at you because you are analyzing everything as the game is moving. You don’t get as great a look at it as you will tomorrow on film. I sort of temper – one of the things I’ve learned over the years in this business is that you certainly don’t stand up here and make a whole lot of decrees because the minute you look at that film, you’re never as good as you think you are when you win and you’re never as bad as you think you are when you lose – so I’ll temper that. But there were some guys, young guys that stood out. Kellen (Moore) did a nice job, his numbers were pretty good. George Winn – other than the fumble, was certainly effective. (Ryan) Broyles did a nice job in the first half with some good catches and not only that – I think it was only three for 27 yards, but I think the run after the catch was key, converting some first downs. A number of guys did pretty well. Defensively up front it’s tough to see sometimes because of the fact that they don’t necessarily have to make a tackle in order to do their job. Guys clogged some things up there and gave us some opportunities to slow them down and keep them out of the end zone. There were some good things, but a lot of things we need to work on. A couple things in our kicking game and things of that nature.”

On whether he considered playing QB Kellen Moore earlier in the game: “It’s something we’ll look at and just see. He functioned pretty well, I think, in the situation that he was in. I think Dan (Orlovsky) did some decent things too. There were a couple situations where they didn’t catch the ball for him, so it looks like maybe he didn’t move the ball as well as he was capable. But, I think there were some extenuating circumstances there too. Both guys are smart guys that you can see they understand the offense and function within it fairly well.”

On what he knew about Moore when he took the head coaching job: “I’ve been in the League for a little while, and I’ve coached the quarterbacks, so I’ve watched every quarterback that has come out for the last 14 years. He was not new in terms of a guy that I didn’t know anything about. I saw his numbers in college were impeccable. The number of wins that he had – the guy is accurate and can throw the ball. (He is a) coach’s kid – has moxie and things of that nature. We’ll see how things go. This was his first time out there with us. We’ll evaluate it as we go.”

On what he needs to see from Moore moving forward: “It’s a long stretch that we have going. Everything is a competition. We will take a look at it and see how it matches up and where that falls. In due time – this is the first ball game. You know how that is. Every week is a little different.”

On why he played the starters as long as he did: “I don’t know how to quite answer that – that’s the way we determined what we needed, one drive and that was it. That’s what we did. If it had been a three-and-out, it’d be a little different story. We’d have put them back in again.”

On if WR Calvin Johnson will play next week at Oakland: “I’m not going to determine that – next week is a new week. We’ll practice and see how things go and see how it goes from there.”

On LB Tahir Whitehead’s injury: “We will look at it. I think the one that we did announce was Riddick, Theo. There are a few guys that have a couple things here and there. He will be looked at and everybody will be evaluated and we’ll see what happens.”

On TE Eric Ebron and LB Kyle Van Noy getting a lot of snaps: “We wanted to get both of those guys a lot of snaps. Obviously, not having played in the League – they are young and so we have to get them as many as we can. Ebron’s situation was that he was a little banged up earlier in the week and he got a little healthier, so we were able to stick him in the ball game and go. I’m glad he got healthy where he could get some work because he needs it.”

On the importance of the preseason performances for the wide receivers: “You know, he (Ryan Broyles) has been performing fairly well in camp too. But, I think the importance of these games – they are very, very important. I was telling the team, we were talking about it – oftentimes people look at preseason games differently, but in our case, we have seen players cut and coaches get fired in preseason. So, those games are pretty serious. This one is no different. Never the less, I think our guys approached it the right way. I think they worked extremely hard in the ball game and came away with a few positives.”

On how much RB George Winn’s turnover impacted the positives he had earlier: “Any time you have a turnover, it is something of concern. But I think he played hard and played well. We just have to – that is what these games are for. He has to build up on it and turn that negative into a positive and keep moving forward. He did a lot of good things.”

Tags: Detroit Lions George Winn Jim Caldwell Kellen Moore

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