The Latest from Allen Park and the Transcript of Rod Marinelli's Weekly Presser
- Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli held his weekly press conference and the players were off today after Sunday's 25-20 win against the Kansas City Chiefs. The players will return to the team's headquarters and training facility in Allen Park on Wednesday to begin on-field preparation for the Kansas City Chiefs.
- With 102 rushing yards on Sunday vs. Kansas City (12/23), RB T.J. Duckett set a career single-game best. His previous single-game high was 100 yards at Carolina (9/28/2003). It was his first 100-yard game as Lion, and the second by a Lions running back this year.
- LB Paris Lenon returned a Brodie Croyle interception 61 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter on Sunday (12/23). It was Lenon's second career interception and first career touchdown.
- K Jason Hanson hit a 46-yard field goal in the second quarter vs. Kansas City on Sunday (12/23), the 100th 40-49 yard field goal of his career. He is the sixth player in NFL history to convert 100 kicks from that range. Also, by hitting the 46-yard kick, Hanson became only the second player in NFL history with 100 field goals from 40-49 yards and 30 50-yard field goals (Morten Anderson).
- The Detroit Lions travel to Lambeau Field this weekend for their final game of the 2007 season to take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, December 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Detroit is hoping to close out their year by finishing 8-8 on the season after a 25-20 victory against the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend in their Ford Field finale. The Packers (12-3) are coming off a 35-7 loss against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. This week's game will be televised on FOXÂ 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: "Two injuries from this past game, that was Kevin Jones with a knee. It's an ACL tear and they are waiting for the swelling to go down to make further evaluations on what they're going to do. Hopefully we'll know something more as the week goes on and waiting for the swelling. Woody had a shoulder sprain so we'll see how he comes out this week. Other than that, it's really it in terms of anything major. Questions?"
On if RB Kevin Jones needs surgery: "They want to wait until the swelling goes down, then they'll make a determination from there, but there is a tear in it."
On if it is a complete tear: "That I don't know. I'm just telling you what they told me, it's a tear."
On the point of running the play that Jones was hurt on: "We still had a little bit of time. You get a screen and all the sudden we have a great kicker, we've got a guy who can get a nice field goal. You want to stay in the game. It was a good call to me, a nice screen."
On how disappointing it is for Jones: "It's tough. He has fought this thing all year long. From the PUP, all the offseason work and he is sore every week in practice. The guy, he is fighting it every step of the way. He's sore and then he tries to get himself into the game ready to go. He's been a warrior all year now. He's been special. He is tougher than nails and it means everything to him so you feel for the man."
On how long Jones will be out: "I can't give you an exact answer on that right now until they do all the things that they need to do."
On if he will be back by training camp: "I'm not an expert saying this or anything, but I'm sure it wouldn't be until training camp. I wouldn't think, but I don't know that. I'm not the doc, and they haven't done enough yet on it. They want to let the swelling come down. It's a tough break, the guy has been fighting it all the way through. It's a really tough break."
On what he expects from RB Tatum Bell: "He practices everyday. He is with us everyday. Just like any guy you bring back up, you expect them to play well. That gives us (Cason) and (Duckett). We'll be ok."
On if Duckett will be the number one: "Oh yeah."
On how bad T Damien Woody's injury is: "We'll see. It doesn't look structural; you just have to make sure he's strong. I think he'll be ok, he feels like he will be. We have to wait and see at practice on Wednesday. Now I am hoping."
On how T George Foster looked in place of Woody: "He's ok. Just ok."
On what he thought of the overall performance against the Chiefs: "Of our team I thought the energy was really good. The hitting was excellent. They really tried very hard, played very hard. Usually that shows up in your coverage units. They really played lights out, all phases of our kicking game. From the punt block to the coverage, all the coverage units were really good. Then we popped a couple on the kickoff return. We had a chance for another one if we finished one more block. We would have popped another one out there. I thought the defense played very hard. When the front is on, it's going to be good. We still have some details and we played man coverage with inside help. It's just keeping leverage on the guy and we lost leverage sometimes in some of our man coverages. The tackling was better and the run fits were pretty good. Offensively I was pleased with running the ball. That's something I wanted to go in and do and make sure we ran the ball. I thought the protection broke down a little bit on Jon. Woody is a big plus for us in that area."
On seeing who wants to play for him in the last two games this year: "To me it means a lot. What I like to do is I take winning performances like I did two years ago in that Oakland trip. I want to find out who can do it. They know that. I'll list the guys who have a B grade. A 'B', not 'B-minus', but a 'B' grade is considered a winning performance. I look at those men and I want to see who is doing it."
On how he weighs yesterday's performance against the six-game losing streak: "You look at the whole picture, how the man has played. But what I look for right now, too, is I want to see who wants to prepare, who wants to keep working, who wants to get better. That means a lot to me. It should mean a lot to their career because I evaluate every game in this league."
On how many players had a 'B' or higher: "It was a pretty good number. I can't give you the exact (amount), but it was a number I feel pretty encouraged with. And we've got to keep grading them hard."
On if he believes he'll get consistency from DT Shaun Rogers: "I think you do, you line up and again, go out next week and see where we're at, and then you evaluate the whole season. You have to have trust in players. That consistency you're looking for; those things are all very important for all the players."
On if QB Jon Kitna has regressed: "No, we feel very good about Jon. It's not just one player, it's a team. We have not played (well) in that six-game streak. I thought we played two of the six games, the Giants and Dallas, I thought we played at a certain level - a winning level. But we didn't win. The other four are a concern. They're all concerns, but in terms of the energy."
On DT Cory Redding's year: "His energy, his effort, all those things; that's what he brings to the table. He brings that every week. What we do, you've got to get him down. He's had a lot of hits on the quarterback, a lot of pressures, a lot of close-but-no-cigars. In this system those are good, but I want great. You've got to be those double-digit sack guys. That's what I want from him."
On if he expects Green Bay to play most of their starters: "That I don't know. I know one thing: every week in the NFL is brutal. It's brutal. Every team plays, and it's just pride in this league. I expect them to be playing lights out against us."
On what happens in the Marinelli house around Christmas: "I don't know what's going on over there. I'm going to have to check in pretty soon. But no, we've got our work to do. That's a big part of it, getting prepared. But that's what this league is about. That's why we're very fortunate to really enjoy what we're doing."
On how important it is to win in Green Bay: "To me, every game is so important to us right now. It is. That's a big game going into Lambeau, that's a big game for us. I'm going to make sure the players understand that. Plus, I want winning performances from them. I want to go out there and prepare as hard as we can and go out and compete. We've got to go get a win, finish the season with a win."
On if the team is kicking themselves for the six-game losing streak: "It was great to get that win last night, all those things, but the knife is still in you. It hurts. It hurts because my expectations are much higher. It is (tough), especially the couple we lost at home that we should've had. Those road losses, we got beat soundly, no doubt about it, but the ones you have a shot at at home with this fan base - these fans are awesome - they carry us. Their energy carries this team. We had a chance to get those two (New York and Dallas) and we did not do it. We got beat. But yeah, it hurts."
On if he regrets getting away from the run game at times: "Yeah, I think so. No doubt. I think what really aided us a little bit, too, in additionâ€¦ Woody coming in, he's very physical. We ran the ball well at Green Bay the first time. That first half, we really did a nice job there, and Dallas. I thought the second half the season, we've pushed it a little bit more, but on the road we seem to struggle - but in all areas, it's not just the running game. We've struggled in three of those losses on the road. But I think once we can establish that and keep working on that, everything elseâ€¦ you know, the game gets shorter, and that's important."
On if they sometimes relied on the pass too much: "Some of the situations we went into, we felt by what their personnel was, where we were at, that (passing) was the best way to win."