Jim Caldwell’s Comments On Detroit Lions’ Win Over Saints


Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell spoke with the media following today’s win over the New Orleans Saints, here is what he had to say, as provided by the Detroit Lions.

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  • Opening Statement: “Games in this league are crazy. You don’t know exactly how they are going to turn out. Things weren’t going real well for us for a good chunk of the game. We didn’t run the ball that well and they stymied us a bit. They did a nice job. You have to give credit to them, obviously it’s one of the most well-coached teams in the League. Drew Brees is as good as they come in terms of the quarterback and they obviously do have a lot of talent. For our guys to be able to hang in there and play with them and when we needed plays at the end of the game we got them. I think the second half we kind of answered. They came right out and scored on us in the opening drive of the third quarter and our guys came right back and put points on the board, which was excellent. It was one of those games where we just tried to preach to hang in there and keep playing, don’t give up, keep fighting, and see if we can make something happen at the end. We got a bevy of plays there, Golden (Tate) did a tremendous job, young Corey Fuller stepped up, Matthew (Stafford) obviously turned on extremely well, and Joique Bell ran the ball hard which we needed. You look at the statistics and you’re not going to see anything pretty, but nevertheless I think it shows you a little bit about the character of this team.”

    On WR Golden Tate’s touchdown and S Glover Quin’s interception: “Those plays are huge. I mean, those two big plays made the difference in the game. It just got us in position where we could close the gap on them a little bit more and put some pressure on them. Both plays were ones that made a tremendous difference. Those are two guys that have been making plays for us all year. They’re smart guys who play tough and certainly don’t wilt under pressure.”

    On what was going through his mind down 13 points: “Really, it’s a two-score game. We had time and I’ve been in crazy games like that before. There was one year we were behind by quite a bit against Tampa and ended up having one of the biggest turnarounds in the League in terms of time period at the end of the ball game. This one was no different except obviously the score wasn’t as gaudy, but I think overall the guys did a nice job.”

    On if he finds out anything about his team after a win like this one: “I think you learn a little bit about your team as you go, I really do. This is the first one that we’ve had like this one, you know, to have to really come from behind and get it done with some big plays. You had a sense of it and you can see, when you’re dealing with men that have character and have talent you’ll get performances like that.”

    On having so many players willing to step up in big moments: “I’m not sure what happened before to be honest with you. I just know this particular group has a lot of veteran leadership in each and every room that we have and I think that’s key. I think it keeps showing up every single week and it’s huge. You should hear them on the sideline, they talk to one another, they encourage one another, it’s a tight family of guys. They hold each other accountable and they’re not going to give up. I think that’s admirable.”

    On how important it is to clean up the precision of the passing game: “We’re far from where we’d like to be in that area along with a number of areas. Although I do think Matthew (Stafford) was about 68-percent overall I think in completion percentage. I think he got on a roll there and lit things up there toward the end which is what you have to do. We’d like it a bit more but I’ll take this one.”

    On playing RB Joique Bell more in the second half instead of RB Reggie Bush: “Reggie, I think you saw a few times he was still kind of nursing his injury just a little bit. It bothered him a couple times, but he gutted it out and kept working through it. In there toward the end it was the package more so than anything else. He (Bell) took the bulk of the work.”

    On if Bush was benched in the second half: “Oh no, absolutely not.”

    On how important Quin is to the defense: “He’s one of those guys that every day in practice you hear him talk to the corners, talking to the linebackers, having discussions, ‘Hey you’re supposed to be here, this is supposed to happen, this is what it’s going to look like, or I’m going to be in this position.’ I mean, his communication skills are great just in terms of football. His football IQ is off the charts and between him and Dig (James Ihedigbo) both our two safeties are experienced guys and that experience is absolutely invaluable. He’s one of those guys that just has a knack for coming up with a big play at the right time. He’s not afraid to go after it and he’s certainly appreciated.”

    On if he said anything to the team after Stafford’s second interception: “That’s my job. I better say something during that time because things start sinking if you don’t. You’ve got to talk, you’ve got to tell them, ‘Hey we got a lot of time left in this game.’ That’s my refrain most of the time, there’s still a lot of football left to be played. They just can’t count themselves out because of one play. It was certainly a devastating play but it wasn’t one that just crippled us. We still had an opportunity, particularly when we held them to a field goal. Matthew’s tackle, he tried to strip him, I thought he was going to get a strip there for a minute but that was big as well.”

    On CB Darius Slay’s performance: “We’ll have to look at the film but I bet he did more good than bad. I mean, you’re operating against one of the better passers in the League, against receivers that are precise in what they do and are very good. We expect him to be as good as well but some of the things that he did we’re going to have to clean it up I guess after we watch the film. I’ll have to wait and see it, it could have been somebody else on the inside, not on the deep one obviously, but it could have been some other situations where there was some help for him and things of that nature. We got to look at that before we can make any assessment.”

    On who got the game ball: “Typically we don’t give out game balls until after we look at the film, then we look at it, and we give them out on Fridays. We have so many guys in there that did a tremendous job for us, there will be a few that we’ll have to spread around in London.”