DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2007

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TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions had meetings today and reviewed film from Sunday's 31-21 loss at Arizona. The team will return to the practice field on Wednesday and begin their on-field preparation for this week's game vs. New York Giants.
  • According to Stats, Inc., the Lions 97 points-off-takeaways leads the NFL. Also, with Sunday's four takeaways, the Lions currently rank first in the NFL in takeaways (28) and second in interceptions (15).
  • With K Jason Hanson's three points on Sunday (3 PAT's) he has tied Lou Groza for 10th place on the NFL all-time scoring list (1,608).
  • Lions' running back Kevin Jones has been selected as the Detroit Lions' 2007 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which recognizes men of courage in the NFL. The East Side Athletic Club of Baltimore presents the award annually to an individual from each of the 32 league organizations. Jones will be honored locally at the Detroit Lions Courage House Dinner, Tuesday, November 13, at Ford Field. The national Ed Block Courage Award Dinner to honor Jones and 31 other NFL recipients will be held early next year in Baltimore. The award is named in honor of the late Ed Block, former trainer for the Baltimore Colts, who devoted much of his time and money helping abused children. Tickets are still available for the Lions' Courage House Dinner, Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Ford Field. For ticket information or to make reservations, call 313-216-4171. Individual tickets are $200.
  • The Detroit Lions return to Ford Field this weekend to take on the New York Giants this Sunday, November 18 at 1 p.m. ET. Detroit, who is looking to win their fifth consecutive home game for the first time since 1991, hopes to improve to 7-3 on the season after a disappointing 31-21 loss against the Arizona Cardinals last weekend at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Lions last started the regular season 7-3 in 1993. This weekend's matchup will mark the New York Giant's first ever trip to Ford Field and first meeting in Detroit since 1997. The New York Giants (6-3) hosted the Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium last weekend and lost for the first time in six weeks, 31-20. This week's game will be televised FOX with Kenny Albert handling play-by-play, Daryl Johnston adding color commentary and Tony Siragusa reporting from the sidelines. The game will also be broadcast on the Lions Radio Network 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 MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening Statement: "You know, the couple of injuries that we had - Fernando Bryant was a foot sprain, it wasn't an ankle and (Jon) Kitna woke up with a sore back today, he has some back pain, so we'll kind of see how that goes. We'll know a little bit more tomorrow.

"Overall, after watching the tape, on a very similar note as to what I talked about yesterday is: it was a lack of fundamentals. That goes back to me and our staff, that's No. 1. I pride myself in the team playing with great fundamentals. Turnovers and lack of fundamentals put us in terrible field position. The penalties - it's the most we've had this year, we had ten and that's a lot; they hurt us, those penalties and that's fundamentals. On defense, we had missed tackles and it wasn't just the misses, it was the angles that we took. And third downs, we had to get off the field on third down, that's something we just have to do. We've gotten better the last couple weeks and we went backwards a little bit yesterday. We'll cut down our own plays on defense when we get off the field. The coverage on the kicking game wasn't good enough and it comes back again to tackling. I thought we had good body position, but both coaches and players have to get that done in terms of tackling, the angles, lapping up. This is the type of team you can't punch down, knock down - you've got to have your head up and you've got to wrap and we did not do a good job of that. Again, that's on me and the staff and we have to get that corrected as I told the players today. The good news is, it's all correctable and that's what I look forward to doing this week. We'll get back on track, dust ourselves off, get up and get ready to go. I'm looking forward to this week - I'm really excited about this week; it's a statement game for us and we have two great football teams coming in back-to-back, two home games in front of our fans at Ford Field, something we're looking forward to.

"We have to get ourselves ready, nobody's in the tank - that word is not allowed here. We just need to get up and get ready to go. One thing about this team that I like, and we've done this all year long, this team is showing and will continue to show great resolve. It's from the leadership of our staff and that's something that we have to be able to do."

On whether it is sound offense to go a quarter and a half with no rushing play: "Yeah, I think it was. This whole game of football is about execution. It's not so much what play is being called - this team has played well I think, and I know it has, because of how we execute, how hard we play, knowing exactly what to do; some of those things broke down on mental errors. It wasn't the call, it was the errors. When you do what you're supposed to do and you have everybody playing hard together, that'll be fine. We felt that was the best way to move the ball against this football team. You saw those guys moving around; linemen were getting up, moving around and that's tough. In terms of the run blocking, we had some runs, lost some yardage early, but we knew going in that was going o be tough sledding and we thought we had some great matchups on the outside. Again, I thought the offensive line did a pretty good job of protecting."

On whether Arizona was dictating what plays they were going to call: "If you look on defense and you have real fast receivers that don't match up do you play man? What would you play? You do what you do - you can play man or zone, so that's what you do."

On whether there was a halftime adjustment: "Yeah, but we knew that how we could move the ball was to throw the ball on these guys. We thought our match-up was our receivers, and that's what we do. We have great receivers - we have four really good ones, our quarterback is a heck of a quarterback and we we're protecting well; now it's about execution."

On why this game coming up is a 'statement game' and is different that any other: "It isn't. I just think it's a heck of a team coming in here and it's a great challenge for us; they all count the same. This is a heck of a football team coming in, I'm excited about it and we got a great row ahead of us. It's one game at a time, one snap and we have to be at our very, very best."

On QB Jon Kitna's injury: "This one's not related (to the game). He woke up this morning with some lower back pain. They're checking him right now and I'll get you updated a little bit more when I they get a bit more."

On how they will manage RB Kevin Jones with two close games coming up: "Well, he hasn't practiced a lot and that's always hard. That's difficult, because you can't get on the field and practice a lot. He has to do it with walkthrough's and at the end of the week we're able to get him going on Friday's a little bit more, but it's hard. It's just not an easy task, but we knew that when he was coming back. We need to get him going in assignments and technique and all those things and sometimes you have to do it without pads, but hopefully we'll get him going. It is a challenge now; we know we have two games in however many days it is - it's tough."

On how Jones feels today: "They felt it's kind of like how he has been. There is some soreness in there, but I think he got sore late in the game."

On whether they will make a change at right tackle: "Jonathan Scott will not be ready (this weekend). They're sending him down to get rechecked by (the surgeon) and to see how quickly we can get him back, but for this game I'm 90% sure - I hate to tell you 100% and him come back - but it's very doubtful."

On whether Jones' lack of practice plays a part in his struggles on field: "I just think for a good football player, (he has) to practice. You've known me from day one; get in pads and practice; there is skill development for any position. If you're not doing it, to me it's really very difficult to play at a high level all the time. He's a heck of a player and we need to do what we need to do in terms of getting him ready. It's more difficult."

On if there is any concern that this is the first game Jones has felt soreness during the game and not the day after: "There is no structural damage. You hope he would feel great after every one, but he is not."

On if he will chose either the Giants or Packers game to play Jones instead of both: "If you have one of the two? We will kind of see how he works out during this week. He is tough."

On how Jones feels today: "It's been kind of as usual, as the doctors say; no worse, it's just sore."

On what else he can do to get WR Calvin Johnson involved: "Sometimes the coverage dictates it. It's just sometimes the coverage dictates and the matchups dictate. We were able to go to him early in the game, and he got banged up a little bit on that play."

On how the defensive line played without DE Dewayne White and what his status is: "He'll be close. It would be (close) I can say that right now. He's a heck of a rusher for us. That's why he is here, but we've got to get more out of him. I thought we put good pressure on (QB Kurt Warner), but there were two times that we had another sack fumble - we should have had six turnovers, no doubt. We had a chance to get the ball with our hand, and we ended up going at the guy and hitting him in the chest, and we've got to go get the ball. I expect more from that group. They played hard and did ok, but I want more."

On how serious CB Fernando Bryant's foot injury is: "It's a foot sprain, and it's different than his ankle. They feel that right now, today it would be questionable. We'll see, but it's questionable right now."

On if WR Calvin Johnson is still having back problems: "I think it was ok until he fell. He got banged up a little bit early. On that catch early - he landed on his back."

On if Johnson will miss practice time: "I don't think so. I'm hoping not. I think he is feeling better, but he just seems to keep landing on that doggone thing."

On how to deal with the Giants defensive ends and what he is telling his offensive line: "(I tell them) to believe in your fundamentals; believe in your technique; be on top of that in all your drill work. It's about execution, that's what we are. You go back and when things are tough in football, when things are very tough in football and things are flying around, you go back to home base. Home base is your fundamentals. It's what you learn everyday, it's a habit you create. That's what you have to be able to do in football. That's what this game is about: fundamentals under duress. If we do that well, we'll be fine."

On if Arizona took away the passing game or if it was a lack of execution: "I think more of it is just us. It always usually is about us and doing what we do, our execution."

On making sure his players know that the opportunity to win is now, not next year: "That's been me from day one. Now - I want to win now. I've said it to our team; I've said it to you guys. It's all about now. To me coaches use that excuse that they are building for 'this.' I've never said that and I never will. We're in the hunt right now; we're competing day in and day out. That's why we go out and do fundamentals and execute. That's what we do. That's what I'm about. Anything else and I would be insulting our players. They are a good team and we've got to show great resolve right now. We'll come back and have a great week of practice, be excited about it. There will be negativity, there will be criticism. I could care less. Eliminate it, eliminate that, and bam I go right here (pointing). That's what I like doing. I'm positive, upbeat, and straight ahead."

On Kitna's back injury: "He is getting checked out a little bit more today."