DETROIT LIONS DAILY UPDATE FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2006

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TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions met today to review film from yesterday's game at St Louis at the team's headquarters and training facility in Allen Park. The players will return to the practice field Wednesday to begin preparing for this week's game at Minnesota.
  • WR Roy Williams 139 yards at St. Louis (10/1) marked the first time in his career that he has recorded back-to-back 100-yard games. He also had 138 receiving yards last week vs. Green Bay (9/24). For the second straight week he has recorded a career single-game high in receiving yards. Williams became the first receiver since WR Johnnie Morton (at Green Bay 9/9/01 and at Cleveland 9/23/01) to register back-to-back 100-yard efforts.
  • Williams 277 receiving yards combined over the past two weeks are the most by a Lions receiver over a two-game span since WR Germane Crowell had 305 yards vs. St. Louis (163, 11/7) and at Arizona (142, 11/19) in 1999.
  • 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.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT TOM LEWAND ON THIS WEEK'S GAME POSSIBLY BEING MOVED TO MONDAY
Opening statement:
"I just want to give everybody an update. I'd just like to report - there's nothing to report, as far as the scheduling of the game. We have been in contact with the league; I talked to Commissioner (Roger) Goodell about an hour ago. The feelings are very consistent with the statement that was issued yesterday in that they would like to wait until the latest possible minute to move the game. But, we are waiting for additional direction from both the league and the (Minnesota) Vikings as to what the definition of last possible moment would mean. So, we are preparing for every contingency. We do know that the last time this happened was in 1997 when the Chicago Bears were headed to Miami to play the Dolphins and the Marlins were in the World Series in Pro Player Stadium. The Bears arrived in Miami on Saturday, watched the outcome of game six - which necessitated game seven to be played on Sunday. They stayed in Miami through Sunday into Monday and played Monday night at Pro Player. So, we have at least that bit of history to note. We don't know if that history will repeat itself yet, but we will keep you informed as we are given direction from the league."

On if there is any other scenario where the game could be moved to another time instead of to Monday: "The only (scenarios) we have been made aware of are moving it to Monday."

On if it would be broadcasted on ESPN or another network: "It would be on ESPN, that would be my understanding. It would be broadcast locally on broadcast television."

On if he knows what time the game would be: "I don't have any of that information at this point."

On if it could be a double header: "No, I don't know - we really don't have any specifics in terms of the programming and we are waiting for additional direction, again, from the broadcast department and those are being impacted by the Jewish holiday today (several of them are)."

LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening statement:
"As we start here - disappointed? Yes - in terms of our start, obviously. The first quarter of our season, the first four games, we're 0-4 and that's disappointing; but, I'm still very encouraged and I'll explain to you why. But, 0-4 and now we start the second quarter and that's obviously against Minnesota this week.

"Some of the good things I felt that we did - and I'll talk about some of the poor performances -but, the (one of the) good things was our offense. They did some really good things. Moving the ball, I thought the quarterback position played very well. The running back position played very well and obviously the receivers. I was very encouraged with our left guard (Rick DeMulling), I thought he really stepped up and we challenged him during the week against a Pro Bowl player in (La'Roi) Glover and I thought he just did a heck of a job at competing. (A) super job at offensive left tackle - also played well at our center. These were winning performances, I thought, as we looked at it. So, that was very encouraging.

"Obviously the three turnovers are not (encouraging) and that's something we can't do. To win close games we've got to be able to not turn the ball over and obviously got to get the turnovers - the takeaways. The other encouraging part was our special teams - something we emphasized all week, about creating the field position, shorten the field for our offense - which we did. Eddie (Drummond) had some really nice returns and they were well blocked up front. Chuck (Priefer) did a nice job of rallying those guys and improving and we made the field a little bit better for the defense.

"Now, in terms of defense - like I said last night, it's basically the same thing. It's the consistency - it's not good enough. The passing game - we've got to get better. Again, like I said last week, it's rush-to-cover. We have to be a little bit (better) on everything in terms of some of our blitzes, some of the man coverage and some of our zone. Sometimes you actually add to your playbook by subtracting and that's something we got to look at and how do we maybe cut back some things - make sure we're giving them the chance to get better at some of the fundamental things that we want to get done. So, as a staff we've got to look at that and go back and re-teach - no panic. We just go back and see it and make corrections. That is what they're doing right now and then we've got to get started in a good direction."

On if it's possible that there's just not enough talent on the defense: "I think, one, as a staff one of the first things you've got to do - and do a good job of - is putting these players in positions to be successful too. We've got to get all these guys - maybe whatever their weakness might be, we've got to find it - a position for them to add to their strength. I still believe, we just have to teach this better. Again, if we have to subtract a little more, we have to do that and we'll go from there. I look at some people talking about some of our offensive line positions - they're performing at a high level, there's some worry, there's some concern about some of these guys and they line-up and they play and do a nice job. We've got to be able to do exactly the same thing on defense. No excuses. We've just got to get better, we've got to teach better and I think that's the biggest thing right now, if we can find the identity - right now, our only identity, I think on defense, is stopping the run. That's been our identity right now. Each and every week, all four games, they've come out against good backs - we've played four very good backs in a row and pretty decent offensive lines and they've stepped up and they've been disciplined in terms of that part of it - the run fits have been very good, how were spilling the ball, turning the ball - all those things, and that's usually the more complicated part of our system, is the run defense and they've done really a nice job. Now, we've got to take the next step and add to that identity is rush and cover. When we do blitz we've got to do a better job of that and all phases, we got to win up front, got to cover back and then the staff - we've got to teach it better. It all comes back to the staff. Whatever things that are breaking down, we've got to go back and get the right drill for it and create it and teach and teach until we get it right."

On if things got more complicated on the defense after Seattle: "I don't say get more complicated - sometimes you have addition, maybe added things. We've added some things and there's a veteran group of men in there also, and there's some young guys playing. But, again, sometimes as a coach you can do this and do that - it comes back on us, all the time. We got to make sure that what we do add to them is how much time - all of a sudden you add something - how much time that takes, to add something, does it take away from your very base stuff? So that's something as a coach you always look at. So, like I'm saying, you look back at our volume and make sure if the volume isn't too much for us, in terms of the fundamentals part of it, because any time you add something you add a fundamental. So, that was my point - sometimes you add by subtracting."

On if there was a big difference in volume from Seattle to Chicago, and afterwards: "I don't know if there's a big difference, but there was some addition stuff. You know, you add - each team that you play presents maybe a different problem and then you may add something to it here or there, to add. So, as we go we can't - if you add something here and then maybe you add something there - you're still carrying the same bag and the bag gets a little heavier. It's just something I want to look at and make sure we identify and so we can get our guys really playing fast again."

On what effect the loss of certain players (S Kenoy Kennedy, CB Fernando Bryant, LB Alex Lewis, LB Teddy Lehman) to injuries has had on the team: "None, none. All these guys are getting coached. Either we've drafted them, or signed them, or they've been here and we liked them in mini camp and we liked them in camp and we still like them now. We've just go to get them to play better."

Whether the offense has turned a corner or if it's too early to tell: "Well, the one thing I've tried to say from the very beginning - the opening game - I kept saying that they can see it. It's a helmet misplaced here or an edge over there or the precision or the speed not backside. And you could just see it; it's all there, it's was open, the players could see it and then the next week it got closer. And now it just seems like - now it's about confidence. Their confidence is going to grow right now and I see this thing - I really (foresee) it taking off. I see our special teams getting better; now we just have to get our defense back on track. That's why I'm encouraged. I may look like I'm nuts, but I am (encouraged) (laughter)."

On whether the defense is as close as the offense was a couple weeks ago: "You hate to say because, you know, we started out so good. That's the thing. We started off so fast and so good and, again, the encouraging part I keep seeing is the run part of it is good - right there. Now we've got to maintain that and we've just got to keep coming in terms of explosion plays on defense. We've got to get the interceptions, the turnovers, the sack fumbles; and that's the ingredients right now we're missing. If we can pick up a takeaway here or there it adds energy and it adds confidence to what you're doing."

On how involved he is in coaching the defensive game planning: "I have been some, - yeah. I am because that's my background. That's part of the game I enjoy. So we've just got to go in and all of us together just roll our sleeves up and try to get this thing back on track like we started off with."

Whether he will try to simplify things in terms of the defense: "I think that's the first thing we want to look at is - if you can step back a little bit, look at where our mental errors are coming; if we are making a lot of mental errors, where are they coming from? Is it things that we put in early or is it things that we've added to? Where is that coming from? Go back to how we're teaching it; are we teaching it with paper or is it me teaching it on the field? Because the more - whatever you have than you've got to - all week long you only have so much time on the practice field itself or the walkthroughs or the meetings so go back in detail ourselves a little bit and stay right on course and keep working at it."

Whether it is technique or talent: "I believe these men are really working for us and I always believe its skill and technique that we as coaches have to develop. Keep putting them in the situations; keep practicing those situations; there's some things in terms of pass-rush that we can get better at; fundamentally we have to work at that… it's so close every time. So we just have to stay on top of the players and just keep coaching them."

On G Frank Davis: "Everything, again, just before I came in, everything sounds like he's going to be fine. I think they kept him overnight and everything we hear, he's going to be fine."

Whether it was helmet-to-helmet: "It was just about helmet-to-cheek. I mean, it was a heck of a collision, now. That's two big, strong men coming after each other pretty hard with a long run at each other. That was a violent hit."

Whether it was just a stinger: "It sounded like it was more of a stinger. That's what I've been told."

On how long he will be out: "Now, that, I don't know yet. I can't even assume on that one yet, but we'll wait and see."

Whether he looks for another offensive lineman: "No, we brought one in. We didn't have to play (Barry) Stokes last week. He was up, but he was more of an emergency offensive lineman and hopefully another week getting him healthy that he can be in the No. 6 spot and then we'll bring in No. 7 so we'll be in good shape."

Whether he can see the maturation in WR Roy Williams: "It's exciting. I mean, you know what you're seeing on game day is what he's showing on the practice field. I mean, he's doing that right now, you can just see it. You can just see the confidence growing - the belief, the confidence - the quarterback is really accurate. I mean, he is really accurate; he can really throw a nice ball and tough and he stays in the pocket and takes a hit and does all those things well. There's some chemistry there right now and it's exciting. He made some great catches and, boy, he's turning and getting it back up field and that's really pleasing to see and (Mike) Furrey is the same way. He catches everything and is getting up the field. Hopefully that whole group just keeps coming right now. It's exciting and then with the development of a running game, hopefully it just keeps growing right now because Kevin's running hard. I mean, he is really running hard up the field getting his shoulders going north and south and he's catching a lot of balls. So we're getting him - a guy that can really make something happen - we're getting the balsl in his hands a lot, which is exciting for us."

On how he saw the fumble-no-fumble play on WR Torry Holt in the first quarter: "It was close."

Whether he agreed with what the officials ultimately called: "Yeah, because he called it. For me, once it's called I move on and go play it."

Whether they may have left something out there by not handing the ball off to Jones when they needed to run the clock in the fourth quarter: "You hope not. We were moving the ball so well; also, in the second half through the air and some of the draws and so forth but you never … I couldn't second guess that because how you put up 34 points, you've got to win. You've got to do those things on defense."

On the fumble early and whether it was a misplay: "It was kind of hard to see on tape, but it was going to be a run and I think they just bumped each other."

On who it was: "(Kevin) Jones. It just looked like they bumped off each other and it's just an error and a turnover."

Whether there will be any personnel changes on defense: "No - that's who we have right now on our defense."

Whether LB Boss Bailey was healthy because he was rotating a lot with LB Donte Curry: "(Boss) played a lot of snaps in the game and I think Phil (Snow) was just trying to give him a blow in there."

Whether he thinks LB Teddy Lehman will be able to get back on the roster after Week 6: "Everything we're seeing right now - him running around and working out, all those things - it looks very encouraging… very encouraging. You know how that goes. Once he gets there in practice we'll see how he does; there'll be a time to get him going. But, now, he's a guy that, the way it's kind of worked out it's going to work out to be a positive. Get him going and he's going to add something to that group; we've got a lot of these young guys getting a lot of work in right now. Anthony Cannon - he's getting some work as a rookie, so have a chance to develop these guys and now he has a chance to come in out of the batter's box and get ready to go for us. But I'm encouraged and looking forward to that."

On the status of CB Fernando Bryant and S Kenoy Kennedy: "We've just got to see - again this week - how they do. Both are kind of limping just a little bit, but we'll see early in the week, and hopefully - it'd be great to get these guys back, but if not we just move on."

Whether he will change his practice schedule at all with the possibility of a Monday night game: "No, because we don't know (what's going to happen) yet. We're going to practice just like it's going to be a Sunday game. Get our work in; start on Wednesday and get going. Prepare just like its Sunday and then you end up buying that extra day at the end of the week. That will be a bonus day for us."

On what's going on with DE Jared DeVries: "Just kind of, as we looked at it, it was between him and Tyoka (Jackson) at the same time because I prefer to suit up seven defensive linemen so you can get that extra guy hopefully in the kicking game. That's what we're trying to do and that's what I've always done - have seven guys up instead of eight."

 

Courtesy of the LIONS