DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE FOR FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2007

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TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions practiced on the indoor field today at the team headquarters and training facility in Allen Park.
  • The following players have been listed on the Detroit Lions' injury report: WR Roy Williams (knee) is out; WR Troy Walters (concussion) did not participate in practice today; S Kenoy Kennedy (knee) had limited participation in practice today; TE Casey FitzSimmons (shin) and DT Shaun Rogers (knee) had full participation in practice today. Williams and Walters are out; FitzSimmons, Kennedy and Rogers are probable.  
  • The following players were listed on the San Diego Chargers' Thursday (12/13) injury report: FB Lorenzo Neal (fibula) is out; DE Luis Castillo (ankle), TE Antonio Gates (back), LB Shawne Merriman (knee) and DT Jamal Williams (ankle) did not participate in practice today. WR Buster Davis (achilles), G Mike Goff (foot) and QB Philip Rivers (knee) had limited participation in practice today. The Chargers' Friday (12/14) injury report was unavailable as of 5 p.m. ET.
  • With 298 pass completions, QB Jon Kitna needs two completions to reach 300 on the year. This will mark the fourth time in team history a passer has reached 300 completions in a single season, and he will be the first player to do this twice. Kitna set the franchise's all-time single-season completions record last year with 372.
  • K Jason Hanson is one PAT shy of 500 for his career. By reaching 500 in his career, he will become the 19th player in NFL history to make 500 PATs. Hanson also needs one field goal between 40 and 49 yards to become the sixth player in NFL history to convert 100 kicks from that distance. Also, by nailing a field goal from 40-49 yards, he will become only the second player in NFL history with 100 field goals from 40-49 yards and 30 50-yard field goals.
  • The Detroit Lions travel west to Qualcomm Stadium this weekend to take on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, December 16 at 4:15 p.m. ET. Detroit is hoping to remain in playoff contention by improving to 7-7 on the season after a heartbreaking 28-27 loss against the NFC leading Dallas Cowboys last weekend at Ford Field. Winners of three straight, the Chargers (8-5) prevailed in a 23-17 overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans at LP Field last weekend in Nashville. This week's game will be televised live in Metro Detroit on WJBK-TV FOX Channel 2 with Sam Rosen handling play-by-play, Tim Ryan adding color commentary and Chris Myers reporting from the sidelines. The game will also be broadcast on the Lions Radio Network (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: "Out is WR Roy Williams and WR Troy Walters. Probable is TE Casey (FitzSimmons), S Kenoy (Kennedy) and DT Shaun (Rogers)."

On whether they straightened out some of the issues on the kicking team: "We're working on it. You know, we spent a lot of extra time at it and just tried to go back to all the basics from the approach. Then we tried to break it down to individual drills again and had an extra guy in the fit, so we hit it hard and we just need to get the swagger, relax and go."

On whether it's all fundamentals: "I thought going back after last week, our approach to the ball went a little bit too deep at times and I think we're breaking down a little bit too early. We need to clean that up and we've hit that pretty good this week."

On what he's told his defense this week: "We're going to play our base defense - you know fundamentals; gang tackles are really important for us. We need to get a four-man rush, make sure our gaps are solidified. We need to play with great pad level, great leverage, pursue the ball correctly and leverage all tackles."

On whether they simulated the finish to last week's game: "We simulate that all the way through camp; two-minute drills, we've done that all year and we do it every Thursday at the end of practice. We do it with (crowd noise) and all those details."

On what he tells his players after last week's tough loss: "Well, we go back and break down the plays that we failed on and we correct them. We had some good rushes; we had some opportunities in that drive and we didn't capitalize; we had a great sack fumble, we need to do the details there. Then at the end, we self destructed a little bit in terms of some things that we did not do to correct it. It wasn't so much what they did; it's what we didn't do."

On whether he still discusses playoffs with the team: "Well, I hit on it, I think the biggest thing is we're humming and the energy is good and the thing I keep telling them is we know we're a good team. I know it and they know it and we still have time to prove it to ourselves - not to you, not to anybody else, to ourselves - that's who we have a chance to prove it to, ourselves that we're very good. They came out and they laid it on the line last week except that some of the details weren't there. This game, like I said last year all the time, it's the little things that beat you in this league. The things that a lot of the time you don't see - like a blitz here or a technique there - something we've coached hard. I went back and had a chance to show how we did it in practice, maybe we didn't execute as well in the game. If we get that part, I like their energy. I think we're really fresh, the fundamentals were pretty good last week I felt; it's just some of the details and in crunch time we have to take care of that."

On why one move is so important - like moving Woody to RT: "I think it's probably the other way - if you're getting hurt over there - all of a sudden he's just kind of solidified it. He's a veteran over there and you know you have good players at those end positions and you're allowing them to create havoc in your backfield and disruption. That's a one-on-one; that's just flipping it back on the other side. If you're winning that one-on-one on defense, you can create havoc on that offense."

On why they don't just run the ball left if they're having trouble on the right side: "Well, they could, but people may start sliding all their defense once they start watching the tape and see they're not running that way any more; you might want to slide over that way. Then there's pass protection, you have to, when it's all said and done it's a bone-on-bone, one-on-one league still when it's all said and done. You need to win your job."

On whether he's surprised that action wasn't taken on DeMarcus Ware for body slamming Kitna after all the trash talking last week: "Well, those guys, the officials, have a tough job watching the whole thing and I understand that. They called it how they saw it."

On whether he is anticipating a fine for Ware: "I couldn't tell you. For me, I don't know, I mean they looked at it, they looked at the film themselves and that's their judgment."

On whether Friday is 'fine day': "It should be. I don't know what day it comes out, it comes out in the paper and I see it. I think it comes out Friday, but that's why they have their committees, that's why there are committees; that's their job to evaluate those and then we look at it and go by the rules. What we need to do is go by the rules and do what we do."

On what kind of effort he expects this weekend after practice this week: "I believe it's going to be an effort like Dallas in terms of effort and energy. I think we're fresh; I think they're anxious. Practice has just been - I always worry about the no pads sometimes because of the fundamentals at pad level - I mean they're on it. The footwork and everything, they're taking care of it like a professional football team. We just need to go out now and do things right for a full game. We can't falter; we can't make a mistake, but we need to let it go too and just go out and play. We just need to go play our game and do things right."

On whether they are able to move on mentally in practice if they make mistakes: "Oh yeah, it's been one snap at a time. They learn from it, correct it and you need to move on. You can't let those things linger, because then you don't play."

On whether they can do that in a game: "Sometimes something might linger - I think when you're doing well it's sitting there - that one snap at a time, one snap at a time. We just need to get back on, keep emphasizing that, just stay on the details all the way through a game."

On whether Mike Furrey will return punts this weekend: "Yeah."

On what he's seen from Ikaika Alama-Francis: "You know, the energy was really good; the effort, hustling and all those things. He played the run fine, but he needs to get a little bit more out of the rush. He needs to get that foot work around instead of just digging into the rush - the more mobile quarterbacks you get, they have a tendency to start peeking and you can't do that. This guy (Philip Rivers) isn't quite as mobile, so we just need to rip, dig and go."

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