DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE

Hondo S. Carpenter

TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions practiced on the indoor field in shells (shoulder pads, helmets and shorts) today at the team headquarters and training facility in Allen Park. 
  • The following players have been listed on the Detroit Lions' injury report: G Frank Davis (neck), S Kenoy Kennedy (foot) and LB Alex Lewis (knee) are out. T Rex Tucker (knee) and G Ross Verba (hamstring) are questionable. CB Dré Bly (illness) and S Terrence Holt (back) are probable. Bly Davis, Holt, Kennedy, Lewis, Tucker and Verba missed the team portion of practice today. Bly was added the injury list today as probable.
  • The following players have been listed on the Minnesota Vikings' injury report: QB Tarvaris Jackson (knee), LB Ben Leber (knee), S Darren Sharper (quadriceps), TE Jermaine Wiggins (hamstring) and CB Antoine Winfield (thigh) are questionable. K Ryan Longwell (illness) is probable. Jackson, Winfield and Longwell missed the team portion of practice today. The Vikings did not list any changes on their injury report today.
  • The Lions (0-4) will travel to Minneapolis this weekend to face the Vikings (2-2). Detroit will look to get their first win after a heartbreaking 34-41 loss to St. Louis and Minnesota will be trying to rebound from a close 12-17 loss at Buffalo.
  • This week's game is scheduled to be televised live in Metro Detroit on WJBK-TV FOX Channel 2 with Sam Rosen handling play-by-play and Tim Ryan adding color commentary. Due to the MLB Playoffs, the game may be moved to Monday, October 9 (8:30 p.m. ET), in which case it would be televised locally on WXYZ-TV ABC Channel 7. 
  • The game will also be broadcast on the Lions Radio Network (WKRK 97.1 FM) with announcer Dan Miller handling play-by-play, Jim Brandstatter adding color commentary and Tony Ortiz reporting from the sideline.

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement: "In terms of health - it's exactly the same. But, Dre (Bly) has the flu today and he's staying home to get a little rest. Other than that, everything is exactly the same as yesterday."

On if it still looks like T Rex Tucker and G Ross Verba are out for Sunday: "Yeah - I would doubt (they'll be able to play). I mean it's going to be something miraculous here at the end. But, we still have to wait to see at the end of the week. I would think it's going to be about the same group that we had, but we'll see."

On if they're week-to-week: "Yeah - week-to-week, right."

On if he's seeing any improvements in the fundamentals from the defensive line: "We really - we've just worked hard at it. Trying to drive when I tell (them) to, just come back and make sure we're doing a few things really good. We really want to get our pad level back down and our take-off. I want to get that surge up front; I want to get that trampling effect and so I went back in and that's all I've talked about. I want to get that ability - redirect after we get the push and the rush - edges and push. What I've tried to do is just take it back, re-start and I want to come off the ball - we are going to come off the ball, we're going to do that."

On if he talks at all about being 0-4 or if he just talks about what's ahead: "Well right now I'm talking about our second quarter; that was a big thing I talked about today -Â that's a big thing, it's good. We're 0-0 starting our second quarter. We've just got to focus in right now. Yesterday I cleaned the first quarter up, all the things that we need to clean, every area of it and now we start again in the second quarter. It gives you a bright and shiny, shiny, shine and we just go to work at it right now and get back in - start digging and go to work at Minnesota in the second quarter, see if we can improve our record this quarter."

On if the changes are visible: "I think when you keep your goals a little bit smaller, you know, we've got twelve games to go. All you do is - we got four in this quarter, and we've got to improve our record this quarter. It starts with this next game and we're looking forward to going to Minnesota and playing."

On if he can see the player's responses: "How I see it is just how we practice, and we practice very good - very good practice team."

On how it's not the simple case that the defense is playing poorly and how it looks like they do well on first downs: "Oh, yeah - first and second downs have been…the thirds down have picked up - we got better on the third downs last week. Some of the big plays hurt us. We had some of the play-action plays, play-action pass got us in the second half. We had a couple of pass interferences that hurt us; those were big chunks we lost there. But, some of the play-action we've got to clean up, we're still far away from making that play. Sometimes its leverage, underneath pass, guy comes around, cross the field, gets up the boundary - that's leverage on that side. It's just all of those little areas right there."

On the team needing playmakers: "You have to make plays. But it's our job to put them in good position and to coach them. It all starts with the coaches and I won't let them off the hook. The players reflect who we are. They become a reflection of what we are as coaches on the field. So if a guy is not in position that reflects, starting with me and our defensive staff - if the rush isn't good enough it reflects me. So that's how we approach it and we have to get those guys better."

On if turnovers are luck or if they're coached: "I think first thing - the sack-fumble is one of the biggest plays in football. Before you get the sack-fumble, you have to get there. So we have to be able to create that and we work on the fumble part everyday. Early in the preseason we were knocking the ball out being physical - coming in, cleaning up, gang-tackling. So we have to create that and then the interceptions. We have to be in position where we're getting our information from and breaking on the ball correctly. But first of we have to do it right; we have to get those playmakers in good positions and they have to make plays - it's all together, we all work together."

On whether the stats that are kept off game film the ones that matter: "The things that are important to me are yards-per-carry in the run game and the NFL keeps those; I think sacks-per-attempt become a very important stat, because somebody can go out and throw 45 passes - it's the attempts I've always been big on."

 

Courtesy of the Lions

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