LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening Statement: "Just the three injuries we had were WR Troy Walters with a concussion, that'll be kind of: wait and see where he's at on Wednesday. FB Casey (FitzSimmons) with his leg, I think he's going to be ok. S Kenoy Kennedy has a hamstring and they're going to do an MRI on him today to kind of see where we're at exactly."
On whether he has involvement in the offensive balance: "You know the Green Bay game was similar. That's what we wanted to do because of the quarterback, No. 4 (Brett Favre). We felt we had to keep the ball away, that's No. 1; so the balance was there in that first quarter. Then we got behind. You know, I felt in that game that we got field goals early instead of touchdowns. I felt that going into this game it was critical because their offense is so good. You know, they're a tremendous offense and we knew that going into it. It was more if we could clock the time of possession and then we were successful running the ball and had a lead most of the game, so that it allows you to keep doing that."
On the status DT Shaun Rogers: "You know, as we started off the season, you know we put him on PUP early and that was my plan for conditioning and getting him in shape and his knees and all those things. We started the season probably with around 30 snaps a game - you remember that, we had a rotation for him. We were probably building it as the season went on and I would say that most of these players were at about 44 or 45 snaps. I just think that as the season has worn on, he can't practice as much, we can't condition him as much with the knees and so we just need to limit some of the reps."
On whether Rogers is at fault for his conditioning or if it's just that he's being hindered with injuries: "I didn't say it was not his fault - his knees bother him and he's not as quick right now."
On Rogers conditioning at this point of the season: "The only thing I can tell you is that he can't run around as much during the week; it's just hard on him with the knees. There's not much you can do in those terms."
On how long his knees have been an issue: "He's had knee problems for the last 2 or 3 years. He's had them scoped this last year also. So we've just been conscious of how much we can run him during the week and that's a big part of it."
On whether it's the weight that makes the knees worse or the knees that make the weight worse: "Yeah, it's all together."
On why Rogers wasn't on the field for the fourth and one play on the goal line early in the fourth quarter: "We had a rotation, like I was saying last night, but that fourth and one wasn't geared to it's going to be a run either. Down there was a good chance they could throw it too; we felt that we were in a position to rush the passer. Usually we pirate in those situations and we didn't, so at that point we felt we still had the right guys in the game."
On whether DT Langston Moore was a better option on that play than Rogers: "He was in the game and I felt very comfortable."
On whether Rogers is athletic enough to play in a passing situation: "Oh, he does. He does do that, but that rotation we had at that point was who it was and I felt very comfortable with Langston in there. Langston has played very well all year for us."
On why DE Kalimba Edwards was inactive against the Cowboys: "Well, I didn't think - you know I went through all their grades and that's what I do; we have a quarterly grade of factors - and as I looked at it, it was an opportunity for five-o (Alama-Francis) to go."
On whether Edwards has a shot of being active again this year: "Oh yeah."
On what Edwards has to do to achieve that status: "Well, I've just got to see how the whole thing works; how practice goes. But I base a lot of it on production. Factor grades and winning the one-on-ones; one-on-ones you have to (win). In this system you've got to (win). They get to see those grades and exactly how many one-on-ones they have and all those things. So that's a big part of it. I thought Five-O was really having some good weeks, especially before he pulled his hamstring. Since he got healthy I wanted to take a good look at him."
On how much he looks forward to next year: "None. It's about winning this game, this next game, it's all about that. I wouldn't ask those guys to practice and do those things I'm asking them to do if I was looking forward to next year. I just think he (Alama-Francis) has really earned it - it's not something he was given, he earned it in practice. I thought he was (practicing), it looked like very, very well. I thought he played extremely hard and gave us some energy, but he needs to get better winning the singles yet, but I think that will come."
On the performance of S Greg Blue: "Yeah, he did a good job. He's been here two weeks and been on the street for awhile, but he's (been) in Minnesota, so he knows the system, he's been around the system. You know, the guy gets an opportunity and he did some good things; he's a good tackler. Coming out of college he was a very, very physical tackler and we knew that, so he'll bring something to us."
On what has been happening on special teams: "You know, I think we've been shell-shocked by the last three or four games. What I see is a team that's cautious right now. I sat down with Stan (Kwan) and we watched - I think we're starting to break down way too early as we're coming down the field. I think nobody wants to give up a play and it's just that we're breaking down a little bit too early. That team is about, just got to be aggressive and just got to go and we've lost our confidence I believe in that thing a little bit. We can't keep blooping the ball; I've made that statement, we can't do that. I felt at that time in the game, we just couldn't give up a big play again. We need to get back, we need to kick it off and we're going to face some good returners, but we just need to let it go, go fast, just keep coaching it and make our plays."
On if games like this can affect a team longer than other games: "I don't really know. My answer would be that it shouldn't. We just come back and if we understand that if we let that go then we're going to learn. They are watching the tape right now. Let's learn from it. No pity parties. You can feel bad all you want, it doesn't matter. That's an excuse for them if it does; it's a major excuse. Their job is to get better this week, compete and keep playing well. That is their job."
On the fourth quarter fumble by Romo that wasn't recovered by LB Paris Lenon: "I think it was a hard play. He was going full speed at the ball. That's a tough play. It's tough. He was going at it and it bounced up and he kind of looked around. It was more directly at him. It was a tough play."
On if he teaches players to scoop and score: "Yeah scoop and score, but that was hitting him in the belly just about. It was tough; he was coming full speed at it. Also you are shocked and surprised as you're going for the ball. It would have been a tough play."
On if Lenon was making a play on the quarterback when the ball came loose: "You are playing pass defense at that moment and then all of a sudden a ball is knocked out of the guys hands and comes at you full speed and everyone is going to the pile right now. I just thought it would have been a tough play to make to grab that ball."
On what he said to K Jason Hanson about his missed 35 yard field goal: "It's a play to be made and he didn't make it. He is extremely hard on himself, we all know that. Now the team, that didn't end the game, for sure. We had a chance on defense on a two-minute drill with no timeouts. It was one play in the game, not the play. We still had a lot of opportunities to win the game, not just that play. There were other plays in the game also. It's a team game and everybody on this club knows you have to make your plays. There are opportunities for you to make the play and you've got to make them to win the game. You've got to play hard, all those things. That gives you a chance, making the play you are supposed to make."
On if he considered changing coverages to stop TE Jason Witten: "Anytime you have good inside receivers who can hook up in your zone and some of those things; then you've got to see if you can match up man-to-man. That's the question right? You've got to answer that first. The cover two is really good with those outside guys. We re-route and eliminate people. Now you've got your zones you've got to go out and react to; but now you have to say who you may want to lock that guy up with. That would be your question. Who would you lock up with? Do you match up? If you don't feel those matchups are great, then you play cover two and you play your zones and your re-routes. Now you are counting on the front four. The bottom line, still everyday is that it starts up front. They've got to come with it, they've got to. If that quarterback looks here and throws here then that's the front, it's all the front."
On if losing LB Boss Bailey hurt them: "Boss is a starter and he is a good player for us and he is good in the special teams. Yeah it's a factor, but everybody loses players each game every week. You just move on and go."
On if he ran quicker drops for QB Jon Kitna and why: "We felt it was definitely needed this game because those two outside guys had 20.5 sacks between them right there and it's a really good pressure team. We adjusted and it worked out well for us. Another big factor is how well Woody is playing. Don't discount that. The right offensive tackle has been a force. He has played two very good football games."
On if G/T Damien Woody's future is at right tackle: "Yeah I could see it because his feet are so good. He really works well in space and he is playing very well. He is strong; his leverage allows him to be a strong run defender. He really has played, and as of right now we have solidified that right tackle position and that is a big part of it too."
On if he max-protected more in this game: "No, we keep the "Y" in quite a bit and not much more. I think Jon was getting it out quick and the timing was very good. I thought we just looked really efficient offensively. We looked fast, we looked quick, we knew what we were doing, and I was very impressed with their effort."
On if he wonders how a team can look so good and then look so bad: "It starts with me, you've got to be consistent each and every week. We've not been. There's our season right now. We thought we started off the season very consistent playing really smart and all those things. Then we self-destructed ourselves. The opponents have been good or whatever, but we've more self-destructed all the way through these five games. It's been us more than the opponent. We're beating ourselves in certain areas, and you can't do that. In this league you can't do that."
On WR Shaun McDonald not staying bounds as the offense was trying to run down the clock: "You'd like to keep the clock going, no question about it -especially at the end of the game. You have got to keep the clock moving."
On if Kitna should have taken a sack to keep the clock moving: "He could have, but the guy is competing at the moment. But you've got to stay in bounds. That's all part of it at the end of a game."
On if he is going to keep the players practicing out of pads: "I'm going to do it again this week. The results were good - but I just think we are getting more guys to practice. If we go pads right now, full pads, we'll lose 30% of our team that can't practice. They are banged up and so on and so forth. As of right now, I think the best way to get as many guys playing in practice, knowing what to do and all those things is to do it this way. I think it is going to freshen them up right now."
On how players can get a better grade if they don't play: "The biggest status is how the guy that got up played."
On how DE Kalimba Edwards can get back up: "It depends on how the guys out there play. If they're not doing the job then you make the swing again because you are looking for guys that can produce. That's part of this league. It's based on production and it's a marathon. That's what you've got to do. You're going out there each and every week, and I need guys who can get to the quarterback consistently; making the move and winning. Even if it is a 3-step drop team, it doesn't matter. It's: are you winning. The ball may still come out, but are you beating the block quick enough; those types of things that I'm looking for. That's a big part of it."
On if he has to decide if it is better to have Rogers for limited snaps or somebody else up for a full game: "That's a good point, but what he brings us too is a guy who can really stout up on the run too. Most of the runs that are eye popping right now are outside. Other than the Minnesota game, I thought we've played very good run defense all year. He is a presence inside which is important for us."
On if Bailey is feeling better: "Yeah, he is here."