Lions Daily Update!

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TODAY'S NEWS

  • The Lions met today to review film from yesterday's game against Seattle 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 Chicago.
  • The Lions announced today that they have waived WR Devale Ellis. Ellis was signed from the practice squad to the active roster September 8. He contributed on special teams against the Seahawks and finished with two special teams tackles.
  • Detroit will play their first divisional opponent this season when they travel to Chicago to battle the Bears at Soldier Field. In the last eight meetings between the two teams, six games have been decided by six points or less with each team winning four games. This week, Detroit will look to rebound from a heartbreaking 6-9 loss to the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks while Chicago looks to win their second straight NFC North matchup after shutting out the Packers, 19-0, last week at Lambeau Field.
  • Sunday's game will 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. 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 WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening statement: "I feel exactly the same as I did last night when I talked to you. I had a chance to view the film and it was obviously a very winnable game - just not good enough in terms of details, all three phases, coaches, everybody. And that's what we've got to do. There's no excuses, there's no explanations. We've got to keep covering those things in practice and keep working on it in practice; all the details until I do get satisfied with winning. It's all about winning. Was there some progress made? The hitting, the effort, those things were good, but that's accepted. That's supposed to be good. Every time we come out on the field that should happen. I believe that and I told that to the team this morning; I won't throw any bouquets to the team for hitting and hustling and playing hard. Our job is to win the game - cut and dried.

"So we've got to keep pounding away at that; all the details in all three areas. Offensively: details, execution and it starts with everybody. So we've just got to be on top of the details. Defense: I'm going to hold them again to a very, very high standard. That last drive we've got to stop them and got to win the game. That's what we're supposed to do. And special teams we came up with some nice big plays but we've got to hit them all. That's where we're at right now and I had a great chance to visit with the team, but the biggest thing I think is that there's no panic - there's no panic. Football is about practice, it's about teaching, it's about getting in the classroom and instructing and demanding. We had an opportunity to sit with our team today, go through the film very thoroughly and explain why and demand the execution. So then we all become on the same page - everybody's on the same page and you saddle it up and you get ready for next week and you put this behind us. Once today's over, once the film's over, then we put it over here, correct it and then we move on.

"And one thing I'd like to say, though; to all the fans, it was awesome. At the end of that game, the fans were unbelievable and the energy they had in the stadium, we've just got to hold up our part and we'll do that."

Whether he got the sense that after the game the players were as upset as he was: "I know they're caring; I knew that. But we made certain of that again in the team meeting of what my expectations were and are of this team. The expectations and the executions we have to have, I made it very clear what I want to this team. There's no way you feel good about yourself - it's no way - it's about winning. I'm as determined as ever - it's about winning and development of the habits that we need and the fundamentals that we need and I made sure we're all on the same page. The coordinators made sure we're all on the same page and that's how we're coaching the film right now."

On how a team develops a winner: "That's a great question. I think the first thing is there's no panic. There's a belief in what you do; you have a strong, strong belief in your systems and your fundamentals, how you teach and extremely strong in how you practice. The way we practice; I'm not going to deviate one inch how we practice, how we do things, our preparation. We're on the field a long time, we have long walkthroughs, our meetings are detailed and we're just going to keep pushing that. There's a belief in how you do things. I've won that way, our staff has won that way. We've stepped under a stone in our shoe right now, we kicked the stone out and now we keep going. We've just got to keep going, here we go."

Whether he noticed anything different defensively on the last possession than the rest of the game: "Not really. We had one run that - we've been doing a nice job, which we're supposed to do, stuffing the run and he cut one back and we've got one guy cut out of a gap. So everybody else was right … we got one guy that kind of lost a gap and overshot the ball a little bit. And that one broke out for I think it was 10 yards. Then the one that kind of hurt us was the little quick hitch and he reversed the field on us. And it was a heck of a play by that kid and we lost leverage and we just have to turn the ball back in. That was kind of a defining moment of that drive right there. No, nothing - guys were hustling still, we've just got to make that play and keep leverage on the back side and guys got to get up going and make the hit."

Whether there was something that happened in the locker room at halftime because it seemed they lost momentum: "On defense I think we had five series in the second half and held them to 26 yards. What side of the ball? I think it was hit and miss. It was more execution because I think defensively we came out and really … we had three or four sacks - we had back-to-back sacks - those things were going well for us. We did some things well in the kicking game and we had some misfires offensively. So it's kind of like that trip to Oakland; everybody was on the same flight, some played well some didn't. And it's about every guy in there playing well. It doesn't matter at half or halftime, last series of the drive, all those things, they're all the same."

On the miscommunication on the third-down throw to RB Shawn Bryson: "At the end of the game? It was - and I'm not going to name names - it was just miscommunication, exactly how you had it. Something we've worked on in practice all week; Mike Martz was on that - right on it. We just didn't execute."

Whether he wanted P Nick Harris to kick deep in the fourth quarter: "I'd like to get inside the 10. He led the NFL last year on kicks inside-the-20 and inside-the-10 he's been outstanding. And he will continue to be outstanding. But that was the thought, that we could get these guys backed up. I was at that moment playing toward our defense. They were playing very well and we had two timeouts left and I was hoping to get them backed up and hopefully get the ball back with about a minute and 30-some-odd seconds at about minus 45 and then drive it in."

Whether he has any second thoughts about not trying a field goal: "No. No. Because I would never do that. One, I would never insult the defense because I believe at that time they were playing very well and they were just banging it away. All of a sudden I think it's a 55-yard-plus field goal and if we do miss it, boy, that's a short field for them. So right now I was looking for field position, see if we could go get a three-and-out and put the pressure on the defense at that point to respond."

Whether someone got a finger on K Jason Hanson's 52-yard field goal attempt: "It looked - we looked at it through again the film today - and it looked like it got tipped and it spun just a little bit."

With the defense playing so good, whether he entertained the thought of going for it on fourth down instead of punting: "I did. I did. I just felt I wanted a longer field. I got a little conservative I guess, and that's kind of by my nature a little bit, being a defensive background. I wanted to - I thought we could pin them in. All percentages favored our punter and our defense at that point. I thought we had a great chance to hopefully get them inside the 10, pin them and get the ball by midfield, eat some clock at that point, drive down and get a field goal."

Whether he may have thought differently if the offense had been more consistent: "It might have, yeah. You go for the dagger at that time. You've got to kind of feel, you know, part of that whole game management I think you have to have a feel what's going for you right now, all those things. So I took that shot."

Whether it looked to him that TE Dan Campbell hadn't been touchdown down on his 30-yard catch: "It did, but he was out of bounds. I watched it - his hand was out of bounds. He was out of bounds."

On the offense in general after watching film: "Just little - just basic things we've got to keep teaching. Maybe the helmet is on the wrong side on a run. One guy may be - instead of blocking support he blocked an inside safety. Just little things - the depth of the routes. This offense is based on so much timing and precision. And every detail has got to be … I've got to keep just hammering details with our players. Details. It's like that do right list I have every year - details, don't be on the list. When that list gets short then we'll take care of every detail. Every detail matters. I have to be with them every second. Every detail does matter."

On if RB Kevin Jones' 14 carries and five receptions was enough for him: "I think he's a vicious runner - he is really a violent runner; he took some shots, some of those were some guys missed assignments, not so much missed the block but maybe the assignments were wrong. I think we will continue to grow with him, I really do, I feel good about him."

On an update of how they came out of the game: "We came out clean. I mean Kevin (Jones) had just some soreness (there). There's nothing there - we came out really clean."

On if G (Ross) Verba and T (Rex) Tucker will start next week vs. Chicago: "We'll see again with 'Tuck' as he goes through the week, I think he's pretty darn good close right now and (Ross) Verba is still day-to-day right now, still questionable right now."

On if not having those two guys on the offensive front change the running game that much: "No, we were doing basically the same things that we do if they were both there. Whoever goes in has to block. It's getting that right helmet on the right guy, they're professional football players who are getting paid and they have a job to do and they just have to do it. You just can't make mental errors, if you get your hat on the right guy at least you've forced the defensive guy to beat you - that's a big part of it - doing things exactly right."

On how dominate he feels DT Shaun Rogers was after watching the film: "He could be better. He could still be better. He was dominating and he's really a heck of a player. I want to keep challenging him to be better and better."

On the reputation Rogers has of not being consistently dominant: "Yeah, and I thought the one thing when I watched him very closely on tape, that level of consistency was pretty good. I really liked what he was doing in terms of that consistency, especially on a guy that only had a couple of days of practice - his game wind is not there, he's not carried his pads that long. I was really pleased, that part I was very pleased with how hard he tried to go every snap, was it good enough yet? No, but how hard he did try to go."

On how many snaps he had: "I want to say it was like 48. He had more than any guy on the front."

On if he thought he would have that many going in: "If he's playing good I did (laughing). I was very impressed with his motor and his work ethic - I just like the guy - that position (under tackle) is a motor of the whole defense, he's the guy that's got to create the havoc and chaos and he's got the ability to do that and he's showed that right now. It's just consistency, one, every snap just being better and better and better, I couldn't be more excited about him right now but he's still got to get better."

On LB Ernie Sims saying he played an average game: "I'm glad he said that. He's holding himself to a heck of a standard. His energy and effort and the tackling around the ball was good - very good - but, just on the little things, just detailed things where's he's got to fit. He's got a great motor, I mean you can see that when you're watching the game, you see his motor and that's the thing you like. He's got an unbelievable passion for football and that's the thing that caught us in the draft that was there on tape at (Florida State) that was there, he's bringing that and now we just got to keep working with him."

On if he would use that word (average) to describe him: "Anytime you lose you are (average) you have to be that. We've got to find a way to win; but, he is - I couldn't say average to what - he played solid football. The thing he did, is he played extremely hard football and for a rookie to go out there like that, in a rookie's first start to play with that energy, that passion, that level, that tackling - he tackles well - all of those things, but we have to play better. The part I did like about him, and I always have, is how hard he's going to go."

On how he (Sims) is assignment wise: "He had some mental errors in terms of being out of position a couple of times. Some of those things where it's really tough, when you get a different run in there, you're in a different coverage, there's a different spill, there's a turn back, you got to go over the top, you got to play black side A - there's so many details in there and it happens so fast with the different coverage's and motions, everything changes like that. He's doing a good job at it, he understands and he has good football awareness which really helps him. We just have to keep getting better."

On if he's able to make up for a mistake because he's so relentless and so fast: "The whole premise on our defense is speed and it's the effort on defense. Some guy will break down on a defensive play, but if every guy will continue to sprint to the football - great hustle, get off blocks, get off the ground and go - we can keep a potential 15-yard play down to 4 or 5. With great effort and great speed and great hustle and then, the 'want to.' So that's my belief that we got to have speed, quickness and balance and to make up for errors with pursuit."

On how he felt LB (Boss) Bailey came out: "I thought he played better. Health wise, he was fine and I thought as the game went on you could see him gradually get better and better. He just needs to keep playing football and just keep getting his pads on and live work and all of those things. He's going to be back to where he was at - higher then where he was at one time - we just keep working with him. It's just instinct and awareness sometimes - just hitting that thing - you got to see that game speed, game speed for those guys has got to be so fast."

On if he'll start at MLB in Chicago: "I think we'll just kind of let the week play out and see where we're at; but you know, right now we've got four guys really playing three spots and I think their biggest concern right now is this win."

On how many snaps Bailey got and how many snaps LB (Paris) Lenon got in the middle: "I think they were both in the middle thirties. Don't pin me down for an exact number. I want to say about 38."

On who he plans to have on the strong side: "I couldn't tell you. I couldn't get to you right now."

On if LB (Alex) Lewis played well enough to still start: "Oh I still like him, yeah. He's flying around now. The thing is, he's learning two positions also, the 'Sam' and the 'Will' behind Ernie (Sims), so he's got to learn those; and, Paris is learning the 'Mike' and the 'Sam' and were just keeping Boss (Bailey) at the 'Mike' so it gives you a nice rotation."

On how he eliminates the mental lapses that result in penalties and missed assignments: "I think you have to always - in practice, you see the pace we have - when they get fatigued in practice, that's when we have to demand that they do it right. When you're tired - guys could come up here right now and walk through all those situations and it would be like 'that' - you have to create that environment under duress where they've got to be able to do it over and over. Every player and every coach we've just go to say that's not good enough, that's not what we want, that's not what we want. This how we do it and we've just got to keep stressing details and doing things exactly right over and over and no panic and just keep pushing the subject and the same things and we just get better at what we're doing."

On when it happens to his better players what does he have to remedy the situation: "That's what we're saying, we're going to go back at it and that's all I can tell you. A perfect example is this: A couple of weeks ago we didn't tackle well on our preseason game, what did we do then? We tackled in practice. We had a sled in there, we come off and 'bam' we emphasize it, we tackle, we film it, we tackle, get our heads up, work on angles, work on leverage - that's what football's about. It's not just do what it says on the grease board, go out and do a play and it works - no. You go back to your fundamentals, you go back to your basics and you go out and recreate a drill for those mishaps, recreate a drill (a short space drill) and now teach and teach and teach - repetition, simplicity, repetition and then you start getting bigger and bigger again. When you have problems with something you go back to the very smallest fundamentals and you try to re-build it."

On if when WR Roy Williams got a penalty in the game, that's a situation that drives him (Marinelli) crazy: "Yes. No question - that's a great question. He's just go to understand the alignment of the formation and be wired into that. Your footwork is misaligned and then you back-up and then he came forward - penalty. That's the details I'm talking about. Concentration, every detail, everything matters and I have a little sign I show them everyday, it's just the two fingers (like that) and that's what the NFL's about - 'that'. That's what I talked about when I first got here, it's 'that' every second, every little thing matters, every day in practice, every meeting matters - everything matters and you have to bring it to their full attention and be relentless. I have to be relentless and they gave us a good effort and all of those things - it's not good enough - it's not what I want, it's not what I want. I'm telling you exactly what I told them, it's not what I want. When we learn that those things matter, then we're going win. They've got to be on top every week and it starts with me, nobody else but me - starts with me."

On what was behind the decision to flip DE (Kalimba) Edwards and DE (James) Hall: "James is a good rusher at the right side - really a good rusher and so is Kalimba. One thing I wanted to make sure was to make a chance for Kalimba at that time for more of a two-way go as a rusher, so your left end as he comes up the field - especially with this guy - he's a step up guy, he vies his time in the pocket by moving up or moving out so that left end is a little bit more of a blocking force, know what I'm saying? You can still make him move, you have to get a little bit deeper in the quarterback, counterback, when you spin and count back. The right end - you saw when James made his first sack he made an inside move - the left end couldn't make that move, ok? Unless you had gain or something off of it but when a quarterback like him (Matt Hasselbeck) sprints out, it's always basically to our left so that left end has got to be a little bit more of a blocking force. So, I thought I'd give him the opportunity because Kalimba rushes on both sides and so does James."

On not how he remedies getting more out of the kick returns: "Just go back through it. It's not drastic changes or anything like that, it's just kind of going back to see where we broke down and why we broke down, are we getting set quick enough? Are we on our assignments? We go back, and those basic things - it's not changing anything - it's not like, 'wow, we got to change all of this and all that' - no, you don't. You know what you want and you make it very clear to the players you know, the players know what we believe in - the structure and the system - no panic, and just go back to work this week. We have to get on the details and get on the screws and we just got to do it."

On if WR Eddie (Drummond)'s focus on becoming a wide receiver attracted it in any way: "No, no. He loves that part of that."

 

Courtesy of the Lions