Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli's Transcript From His Post Practice Interview
LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
On last week's comments that he plans to blitz more: "We've done it. I just want to make sure we are on top of it and we're working our base. It's our base stuff, but if we need it to create the pressure it's something we have to do."
On if it looks like teams around the league are doing moreblitzing: "Well, there's no question. But also with that it might be more points in yardage in the league that I've seen in years."
On why that might be: "Well, if you gamble sometimes you get burned by it, too."
On all the rules favoring the offense: "They're not my rules. I just follow them."
On if he's learned anything about blitzing from Bears Coach Lovie Smith: "No, it's all the same base. The concepts are the same; sometimes you just change the lines to the quarterback. But the concepts, the structure are basically the same."
On if he senses that the players have a sense of urgency because they are 0-3: "They're good. They came out and they practiced extremely hard today and had a good day because we want to prove to ourselves - nobody else - what type of team we are. And internally, that's when it really does something. We know we're capable of doing better. And I think inside internally for each man, that's something they're looking at and we've got to go out and just do it now. We can't talk about it; we have to go do it."
On if there's a high frustration level: "That can happen. And hopefully you take the frustration and you put it into fundamentals and execution and knowledge and preparation, and then carry it to Sunday. That's what frustration does. If frustration goes the other way then you don't gain anything, to me. People in life get frustrated and they go haywire. I try to take the frustration and funnel it into what we do: our fundamentals. If we can get that done and that's a goal, then we'll play very well."
On if going haywire is brought about by guys trying to do too much: "It can be, yeah. You have to just play within our system, go back with our fundamentals, do the basic things that we do, and this whole league is about that. It's not somebody tricking somebody else or something. It's who can execute for the longest period of time without making mistakes. And that's what this league's about."
On G Stephen Peterman's hand: "Didn't practice today. They're going to take the cast off on Friday, and then we'll know a little bit more. But it looks dim. I don't want to tell you something and then it changes, okay? They're going to give you a report at 4:00, I guess."
On if Peterman is out of practice this whole week: "Right, yes."
On if G Manny Ramirez will be in if Peterman does not play: "Yes. He's getting some good work in there."
On if CB Travis Fisher practiced today: "He moved around today. I think he got most of the period, but I think it would still come out as limited on the (injury report) if he doesn't do every rep with every period."
On how surprising it is that Bears RB Kevin Jones is playing this soon after his ACL injury: "Yeah, it is. He's overcome this stuff fast and I take my hat off to him, and he looks good."
On if he would have released Jones had he known Jones' recovery would be so quick: "That's something I don't know. It didn't work that way. But he's a heck of a back, we know that, and hats off to him."
On Jones voicing displeasure that no one from the Lions called him after his surgery in the offseason: "I know I talked to him - I believe I did - before he left here. That's my recollection."
On the development of Bears QB Kyle Orton: "You know what, I think he's done a nice job of working within the system. And he's done a heck of a job with managing the game very well. He's very smart with the ball. He's got a nice arm. He's got some nice weapons out there. I think he's doing exactly what Lovie (Smith) wants him to do."
On if he has to watch out for the Bears going no huddle: "It's something you know we faced in the preseason too, and it's something you work on. To me the biggest thing is probably communication as much as anything."
On if he learned anything from watching what Philadelphia did at the goal line against Chicago in their last game: "I couldn't tell you what Philly did. They do what they do and they've obviously been very successful over the years with what they've done, so I'm sure they had a great plan."
On if he admired the way the Bears' defense stopped the Eagles because he is a defensive guy: "That was impressive, now. That whole drive was. I don't know if you know, I'm going to say it was close to a nine-minute drive - in that vicinity. And they just have always been impressive. They just kept playing, and they kept tackling and they kept playing. And they didn't give up anything cheap, and they got inside the (4-yard line) and they kept playing and they played their base stuff and did a heck of a job at competing."
On if part of the Tampa Two defense is to bend and not break: "I hate bending; you want to take everything away. That's what you'd like to do. That's what the structure is. But I think there's this thing that there's no panic, they keep playing, they keep hustling, they keep tackling, thriving on the turnover - especially in a two-minute situation like that. You force that offense to make a mistake. Both teams did (well.) I think it was a beautifully executed drive on both sides, and then it gets inside the first and goal with the four, and I mean, it was great execution.
On if he would jump up and down on the sidelines if he got a nine-minute drive this week: "We'll see if we get one."
On how he addresses the urgency of not getting behind in the first quarter: "I just think you go right back to: why did it happen in he first games? So you look at it. Well, we missed a couple tackles there; execution of it; we had a three-deep we didn't play well; we had a guy fall down on a three-deep coverage, you know, deep is the deepest. So it comes down to those things. And it's about execution and being in position and knowing what we're supposed to do and executing and playing fast. You actually touch on that urgency of that every second of every day about the importance of that play and the details of that play and the execution of that play and that's what this game's about. And you want to start faster."
On how much having to play from behind hampers their offensive plan: "It hampers. No question. You don't design a game plan that you start down 21-nothing. You prefer not to be there. So we just have to go out and get a good start at home, and it's our job to get our fans behind us. That's our job. We have the best fans anywhere. They are unbelievable here. So it's our job to go in and create some energy in that stadium early, and if we do, boy, they get right with us. That's our job."
On if he thinks the fans will be better because of Matt Millen's firing: "These fans love football. They crave this game. They're so good and they're so supportive, and you get in that stadium and they're behind you 100-percent. So we need to go out and get them behind us; that's our job."
On the theory that Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith inherited better players than he did when they both took over the head coach positions: "I think though, it would be - honestly, and how I how look at things - an excuse. We just have to play better, and the guys we have, we have to coach them better and we got to fit our gaps a little bit better. Of course you love to build from the draft up, or with young guys. That's the perfect world. We just have to get our guys to fly, and do the things we're asking them to do, and we'll play better."
On if he needs guys like DT Cory Redding to step up: "No question, our whole team; the guys are getting it. And the overachievers have to continue to overachieve. We have guys that keep playing to their level, every guy, every coach, we all have to."
On how close Redding has come to making some plays: "Yeah, close but no cigars. We have to be able to get the rush, and finish the plays off, and contain a little bit better. That will help all of us. But, no it's: we're a step slow right now. I guess you could say we're a step off, or a step away - however you phrase that - to making these plays and we have to make these plays."
On if it's an ongoing process of who is going to play on the line: "Yeah, I think it is. I just have to keep seeing it and how each guy is playing. I've got enough guys there where I can keep it competitive during the week of practice. Hopefully, we'll be able to get that done."
On LB Jordon Dizon not being on the injury report: "Can you check when it comes out at 4? He was practicing."
On how much Dizon is better prepared to play now three weeks into the season: "It's getting better and better each week. To get a stinger, you hate to have that happen to him, slow him down a little bit. No, I think he's, just keep working."
On if Dizon is in the linebacker rotation now: "Right now, no. Right now I look at him just on special teams; I want to see where he's at."
On if the players he brought in were just plugging holes: "I felt I had to bring in some guys that knew the system, what I wanted in terms of work and they are. They're tough guys, but, in a perfect world you have an opportunity to build a thing from the ground up, for defense I'm saying that's what you need. But, we have some good, young players; have to get these guys coached up. And the guys we have, I believe in them."
On inheriting a bad personnel situation and having to plug in holes with free agents and draft picks: "A little bit, we're throwing guys in. But the bottom line for me - it's always been there - is there's no excuse. I've got to get these guys to play better. They can play better, and we can play with more energy. To give up big plays like we have and some of the missed tackles, it's un-excusable. And we just have to - coaches and players - we have to teach better and they have to play better, and we have to execute better. That's everything I'm doing right now is to get that done. And I'm really enjoying the process. I hate to say I am. But I am. People think, 'God,' but these guys are fun to coach. I have to get them to let it go on Sunday. And that's what I just have to keep working at. And they will. I believe they will."
On what RB Rudi Johnson has done that RB Kevin Smith hasn't: "They're both good backs. We've got a good veteran back and a good young back. So, I feel good about it."
On if he's more comfortable with Johnson in the backfield: "He had a heck of a game (against San Francisco). He did some really nice things, he's a veteran. But you need two good backs. Eventually, when things are humming, you like to have two good backs playing for you."
On if LB Jordon Dizon is not quite ready to play and if that's what is keeping him out of the linebacker rotation: "Yeah, and I like where we're at with Paris (Lenon), just the movement. We're still working to get him in. It's not like we're shutting this guy out. Paris is the guy right now we're going to play."
On if he thinks the linebacker position has been a problem spot for the defense: "No. To me, it's 11 guys and coaches together that we've just got to get some things done right. We've got to tackle a little bit better and the turnaround (tackles), it's just some of the basics. If I sat down with you and I could show you about 50 snaps, you would go, 'Oh okay.' Maybe we'll do it."
On the explosiveness of RB Rudi Johnson and his overall take of the running back situation: "He's explosive and he's fast, and he's a veteran, and we've got a good young player coming. You couldn't be in a better situation. We have two good runners, a veteran runner and a good young runner."
On if Johnson is the starting running back, or if he's just starting on Sunday: "I'll let that play out by Sunday with personnel."
On if he thinks Johnson will be his starter all season: "We'll wait and see on Sunday and see how it all plays out."
On if he wants FB Jerome Felton to be more involved: "I like a big body hitting people. I like a big body hitting people. This could be a great challenge for him this week, big time. Those are two All-Pro linebackers we're going against, Pro Bowl linebackers. So, it'll be a heck of a challenge for us."
On what he would like to see Felton improve: "I think just consistency on holding his blocks, pointing to aim with his helmet. But for a young player like that - the knock against him a little bit coming out was maybe he wasn't a great (blocker), but more of a runner. But he's come in and done a pretty nice job for us."
On if Felton needs to learn more about keeping contact, not just hitting and making contact: "Yeah, exactly, finishing blocks, and what a great challenge this week."