Jim Caldwell’s Comments on Detroit Lions’ Win Over Jets


The Detroit Lions returned home victorious over the New York Jets to move to 3-1 on the season but that didn’t mean Jim Caldwell was always in a jovial mood during today’s press conference. He particularly wasn’t in the mood to discuss the long-term status of Ndamukong Suh with the team and declined to comment on whether or not Joique Bell suffered a concussion on Sunday.

Here is what Caldwell had to say this afternoon, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

Live Feed

2023 NFL Offseason: Ranking the three worst offseason moves
2023 NFL Offseason: Ranking the three worst offseason moves /

With the First Pick

  • The best rookie matchup each week of the NFL seasonWith the First Pick
  • Record for every NFL team based on their current odds as favorites or underdogsBetsided
  • 10 best individual player rivalries in NFL historyFanSided
  • 5 must-win games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023FanSided
  • Predicting each division winner for the 2023 NFL seasonWith the First Pick
  • Opening Statement: “After we had a chance to review the film and take a good look at it, obviously we did a lot of things well. I do think there were some big plays that were made down the stretch that were important. Particularly, Golden (Tate) with that 90-yard drive with the catch he had to get us the initial first down to get it started. And then kind of finishing it up when he caught the little pass at the line of scrimmage and ran over a defender to get it down inside of the five yard line. I think that whole drive was very key and important. I think they did a nice job of handling the noise because it was a noisy place and a place where obviously, it can make it very difficult for you in terms of your communication. I think overall the guys did a nice job in that arena, dealing with those elements and I just think it was a good effort across the board. I think there were times when our defense lifted our offense, particularly shutting them down for that length of time with the three-and-outs in a time when the offense came back and sort of gave the defense a lift as well. When we needed a great punt Sam (Martin) was able to get it for us and get it down the field without a return to give our guys good field position to work with. So, I think across the board there were a lot of really fine efforts, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do. There are a lot of areas which we need to improve and that’s the thing that we’re dead set on, is making sure that we have continuous improvement. Kaizen is the word we want to make certain that we keep looking for areas to try to get better. We do have a lot of them.”

    On where the Lions stand and if he has a better idea of what kind of team he has: “I do. We certainly have a good feel, which we always did have. We certainly expect them to play well and I think the guys have been dealing with adversity in a way that’s been uncommon for a young team in some spots. They’ve been able to battle through it, been able to not let injuries affect them adversely and certainly have been able to play well with some really good football teams. Particularly, some really fine defenses that we’ve faced. You’ve got a great feel about that. The other thing I’ve got a great feel of is we have great leadership in terms of each meeting room, I think we have a veteran guy in every area that understands what it takes to get better every day and to find a way to win games. I think that’s a great benefit of ours as well and we’re learning as we go. The first four games typically you have a pretty good sense of where you are and I think we do, and where we are is that we need to continue to improve in almost every area. But I do think we’re doing a good job stopping the run and even though yesterday’s numbers weren’t great for us. But I think when it counted, our defense stiffened and did a great job.”

    More from Lions News

    On what Suh means to the defense: “I think without a doubt he’s a very talented guy. You could see when we played against him and it certainly does indeed present itself in every game for our opponent. He does a tremendous job. He’s a guy that you have to pay attention to. He certainly warrants double teams in almost every facet, which opens up the opportunity for some other guys to make plays, whether it’s pass rush or maybe it’s in the run game where they can’t afford to single block him necessarily. So, he gets a lot of attention and I think I mentioned last week that if it were hockey, he’d lead the League in assists. He’s certainly a very important guy for us.”

    On what he will tell his players to make sure they keep their focus where it should be as the Lions face their former head coach, Jim Schwartz: “I’m not certain I’ll touch on that at all. In this league in particular, there are a lot of guys that move around and it happens quite frequently, and so it’s not the first time it’s happened to them just in terms of another coach. Certainly, a head coach it’s probably a bit different, but it happens often in this league and it’s something they expect and understand and I’m probably sure that some of them have gone through it before in their career. So, we’ll focus on the game and focus on what we have to do and that’s the important thing.”

    On if RB Joique Bell suffered a concussion: “I’m not going to talk about injuries in particular. I’ll leave that up to our injury report. You can take a look at that when it does come out.”

    On finishing games out: “Well, it’s a constant refrain. It’s something that you really have to do consistently in this league in order to be a factor. And not just in terms of drives and not just games, but it’s every play, how you finish it. Whether it’s finishing a run or whether it’s obviously, finishing a drive where you’re trying to score touchdowns as opposed to field goals, things of that nature. So, finishing is extremely important.”

    On what he has done to address not making costly mistakes: “Number one is I don’t want to stand up here and act as if I have all the answers because we don’t. I’m not responsible for the great majority of things that happen out there. There’s an old adage that says, ‘The teacher appears when the student is ready.’ I think you have a number of guys that understand what the situation is and understand the problems that had maybe previously in some situations. Maybe we’ve pointed out some things and made them aware of the gravity of some of the mistakes and things of that nature but that’s every football game, every football team. I do think now that you have a group of guys with enough leaders that have sort of taken that cause on themselves to make certain that they don’t do it on a consistent basis. Things like that happen in games, I think you can look at a number of games this weekend you can see a number of things that happened along the way that fall within that category. What we’re trying to do is just make certain that we try and stay away from that as much as we possibly can. It does have a tremendous impact on you and obviously we had a couple situations yesterday that were fairly close to that. We had one that extended a drive and gave them a touchdown in a situation where if we do what we’re taught to do and fundamentally capable of doing we can make it where we don’t have to struggle at the end.”

    On S Isa Abdul-Quddus taking advantage of his playing opportunity: “Often times you have to look at injuries and things of that nature two different ways. Number one, you have to have guys that are trained and maybe put them in position so that if something does happen to a starter they have a chance to step in. Number two, what that does is when they do step in, in particular when they play well, it gives you a comfort level now not only with one guy but now with two. Also, it gives them some added experience which I think is extremely important, so therefore to move guys around and to plug guys in to do some things that we like to do defensively depending on who we’re playing from a personnel standpoint. That particular individual kind of gets included in that now because we have a comfort level with him because he has played and has played well, so he’s one of those individuals that I think has benefited from that. Often times early season injuries are-you don’t like them, they’re tough, but when you can win a few games with early season injuries and get some guys that come back from injury it really does help you in terms of depth.”

    Live Feed

    How many 4QCs will LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford engineer in 2023?
    How many 4QCs will LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford engineer in 2023? /

    Ramblin' Fan

  • Rams Make Most Of Minimal Draft Capital With Impressive NFL Draft ClassNFL Mocks
  • Georgia football: Matthew Stafford connection helped drive Dylan Raiola to AthensFanSided
  • 3 LA Rams veterans who got a huge boost from 2023 NFL DraftRamblin' Fan
  • Three candidates to win CPoY in the 2023 NFL season?With the First Pick
  • LA Rams finally end the Matthew Stafford tradeRamblin' Fan
  • On QB Matthew Stafford’s health: “He’s okay. The game is a physical game, a lot of contact as you well know and collisions out there. A guy sometimes is going to come out of those games pretty sore from time to time. I doubt there’s anybody walking in this building that’s played 65 plays like he played and doesn’t come out of there with some issues.”

    On if being able to grind out the last two wins are signs of maturity: “I think so. Early on you can say that in this first quarter is kind of what we got accomplished. It doesn’t say what we’re going to do in the future. There are no guarantees in this league, but I do think that it shows number one that our team does have some grit. Down the stretch when things get a little tough, you give us the ball back and three games out of the four we played we didn’t give it back to them. We were able to close it out and I think that’s extremely important. I think it was a couple games yesterday where same situation trying to drive and have to punt it back all of a sudden they drive down and score. In a one score game that’s extremely important but I do think it does show that our guys understand number one the situations. Reggie Bush on the cut back play where he went down and did not go out of bounds was as big of play as there was in the ball game. Often times people don’t look at that, they don’t even notice it, but that was huge. If he runs out of bounds in that situation it saves them a timeout, it changes the whole dynamics of what we’re trying to get done there in the last few moments of the ball game. Little things like that which you see and understand or Matthew (Stafford) taking it around the end and having the presence of mind to slide and get down. Pretty good slide as a matter of fact. You can tell that he’s played a little baseball in his time. Those things are the things that make a difference in terms of winning. I think our guys are really becoming astute in situational football, which helps us. The two minute drive prior to at the end of the half was huge. To be able to do the things we were able to do to get them to punt the ball back to us and then the guys being able to operate within that realm and get us seven points was also big. In this particular game that’s indeed the case, but we really got a tough challenge ahead of us this week as well.”

    On the way LB Tahir Whitehead played against the Jets: “Yeah he was active, he did a nice job in terms of relaying the defense to the rest of the group. One of the things that happens to you often times when you’re playing outside linebacker you’re dealing with different angles and often times your angles are such where you’ll get a lot of plays to your side that you’ll be a factor on or plays in the middle of the field. For a guy that can run like he can run he can be a factor on both sides now from the middle. I think in that respect he really helped us a lot, but he’s learning at that position, at that spot and I would anticipate even though he didn’t play perfectly, but I’ll anticipate you’ll see better performance out of him in the future as well.”

    On how much injuries have affected the team: “Anytime that you have injuries like that, it does indeed affect not only that side of the ball that they’re functioning on but then also your special teams. Your special teams have to dig a little bit deeper. So, what happens is that we have guys that are playing a bigger role on special teams now. Guys that maybe we had thought would be in a support position get spread pretty thin because, like Tahir (Whitehead) for example, he’s pretty big for us in terms of special teams and a couple of his roles because he was an in and out. But, now he’s playing the majority of plays, you have to be able to back down a little bit or you have to give him a little bit of extra work. There’s been times when we’ve given him a little bit of extra work. Corey Fuller has stepped in there and done some things. You see a lot of guys that you ordinarily probably wouldn’t see, that are playing some of our kicking game. But, it doesn’t have an effect, but I think our coaches do a good job. John Bonamego and Devin Fitzsimmons do a great job of analyzing what we need to get done and certainly craft things to accomplish that. But also, Sam (Martin) does a great job in terms of what he does, don’t underscore that. I know I’ve talked about that in previous weeks. His kicking off where it gives the teams very little opportunity to return, makes a huge difference for us. It kind of take a little bit of that pressure off those coverage teams, and then also what he’s been able to do in terms of punting. Yesterday he had a phenomenal day in terms of how well he punted the ball and we need efforts like that, in particularly, in situations where we are a little dinged up.”

    On the zone and man coverages: “I would not say that we have been really proficient at either. I think you saw yesterday a couple times, even in man to man, that we had some issues. And then a couple times in terms of passing receivers off in zones we had a couple issues here or there. But, you know, I think we get them rectified. I think the guys do a great job, Coach (Alan) Williams and Coach (Tony) Oden and Coach (Teryl) Austin all do a great job of getting those things kind of where they just don’t come back to consistently haunt you. But it’s a challenge and it takes guys working together. It’s much like the offensive line, communication and talking to one another. We’re probably not where we would like to be at this point in terms of his overall communication, calling drags across when it’s zone and things of that nature, passing things off, making certain that we play patterns from top to bottom and make them throw it in front of us, those kinds of things. There are a lot of little things like that that are still affecting us. I also think in man to man, just technique stuff, but I think our guys understand that and are willing to work at trying to improve it as well.”

    On how much more confident he is in the kicking game: “I think just like anything else you kind of learn as you go. We really have a lot of confidence in him (Alex Henery). I think he’s one of those guys that is going to play well for us. I really do anticipate that he’s going to get on a roll. Here’s the thing about coaching, you have to allow an individual to play to his strengths where he’s at his best. We have to find that out and we have to make certain that we get him in his sweet spot the great majority of time. Sometimes, yes, we’re going to have to take a chance here or there but for the most part, it’s no different than a quarterback, receiver or running back, you have to get him in position to do what he does best. So, we have to work through that and find out exactly where that is, but I really do anticipate that he’s going to be really good for us.”