Detroit Lions vs. New York Jets: Post-Game Quotes

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Aug 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) turns to hand the ball off during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the New York Jets at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford

Opening statement: “It was a good start. I thought the tempo was good. We were able to run the ball pretty well tonight, which was good to see, all groups. I thought the offensive line played well. Quarterbacks were making good decisions, throwing the ball in right spots, so it was good. Had some big plays early on. Golden (Tate) did a good job breaking a tackle on the first one, didn’t get to see the end of the second one, but it ended up in the end zone, so that’s a good thing.”

On how important the running game will be this season in balancing the offense: “Yeah, it’s important. It’s important to set up play-action pass, get single coverage, all that kind of stuff. It’s important to close out games, which we did tonight with it. It was fantastic to see. When everybody in the place knew we were going to run it, we could still run it. That helps you win games not only year round, but especially late in the year, bad weather games, whatever it may be. Being able to run the football is crucial.”

On RB Ameer Abdullah’s long run: “It was impressive. It’s kind of a different view from the sideline. He ran to the opposite side of the field of our sideline, so couldn’t really see. But it looked like he made a pretty good move on some guys, and then showed a really nice burst. I thought all our backs played well tonight. Theo (Riddick) had some great, tough runs, we churned out yards. Our offensive line was doing a good job making little dents in the defensive line. Our guys were doing a good job of running physical and picking up yards.”

On what he saw tonight from the offensive line: “I think they’ve been playing well. Obviously, we’re by no means a perfectly well-oiled machine at this point, but they’ve been playing physical. If you’re going to make a mistake, make it 100 miles an hour, and they’ve been doing that. (They have been) getting great push and did a good job protecting the quarterback tonight too, so it’s fun to see them. It’s the second year in the system for them, too. It’s easier for them to communicate, go out there and just play.”

On the progression of the offense: “I think there’s just been a gradual growth. Last year we found ways to win games when maybe we weren’t playing our best on offense, our defense played fantastic last year. They did it again tonight, which was great to see, holding them to three points. But I just think there’s been gradual growth. The comfort level’s gone up. We’ve added some new pieces, some guys come in and make big plays tonight, which was great to see, so hopefully more of the same. We’ve got to get back to work and work on ourselves this week and try and get better.”

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