Transcript of Rod Marinelli's Weekly Press Conference

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LIONS HEAD COACH ROD MARINELLI
Opening statement:
"I'll just kind of give you a quick injury update: (Jon) Kitna was a knee sprain and it's just further evaluation. (Stephen) Peterman, MRI, he had a broken hand, so we'll just have to wait for the reports to fix it, so on and so forth. Travis Fisher had a groin strain and Cory Redding's ankle seems like it's doing a bit better."

On if QB Jon Kitna had an MRI: "That's all I have right as of this moment. Knee sprain and they're going to evaluate as it goes."

On if Bill Ford Jr.'s comments: "I just came out of meetings and he (spokesman Bill Keenist) just informed me of the article, and I have no comment on it, and I'll leave it at that."

On if he still believes this franchise should stay the course with what it's doing:"In terms of what I'm doing? Stay the course, yeah. Keep working at it. (I've been) meeting all day with these guys and had the chance to self evaluate."

On if this is his worst experience as a professional coach: "No."

On what was worse: "Maybe 0-5, 0-7."

On if those situations were similar to this one: "Everyone's different. But you just go back to work and keep staying the course and working and trying to get it right. Evaluate; evaluate your system. This is a great week for us to look at all our system, our system as it is and personnel."

On what he can change right now: "You look at how we're doing things in terms of both systems. How can we help our players in terms of calls and schemes to help get turnovers, to help get more big plays; so that's something you have to look at. And evaluate every player, and evaluate ourself."

On if he will evaluate the quarterback situation as well: "Every player."

On if it's possible a change could be made at quarterback: "I'm just going to talk about - we're going to evaluate every player. That's what we go in doing, looking at it how we can get better."

On if Kitna would be physically able to play if a game were this Sunday: "I couldn't answer that right now. They just said knee sprain and I'll find out more tomorrow."

On the most disappointing aspect of the team's start, outside of the record: "How we've gotten behind so early so fast, that's disturbing. All three (games), we got behind very quickly and it's tough to win that way. And this last week was really - we got pinned down in field position. The last thing you want to do on the road is get pinned down, and that happened to us and we weren't able to respond so you have to get a few first downs and punt and cover it and then stop them on defense right there to regain field position, and we didn't do that."

On what he would say to frustrated fans: "No question. I understand (why they're frustrated). It's just what I said last week: we have a week off this week to have a chance to really look at everything we're doing again. And what I'm about is just, I keep doing it. I keep looking at it and keep evaluating, keep working, keep coaching and that's what you do. That's how you get out of these things."

On if there's a tricky balance between sticking with what he's doing and trying to find little tweaks: "Not really, that's what you're supposed to do. You have to go out and keep evaluating everything that you're doing, and (ask yourself,) 'How do you help these guys make plays? How do you put them in better positions to make plays?' That's our job. That's what we have to do this week."

On if he would rather play this week to get another shot: "I'm just always, this is what it is. It is what it is. So we'll take full advantage of this, especially as a staff to really have the chance to sit down a big part of this week and look at everything and how we're teaching it and how can we help these guys. That's our job; how do we help them more?"

On what he will have the players logistically do this week: "They'll come in and lift and run, and then I want them to get out of here because the bye happened so early this year, and this is the only chance they have to really get a break for the next 13 weeks."

On the days the players will be here: "They'll work tomorrow and then come in and then I'm going to release them."

On if he believes FOX Sports commentator Michael Strahan's assessment that the Lions lacked heart on Sunday: "You know, I don't. There's perception and reality and the perceptions is what people see and look at, but I know what's up. I've just got to loosen them up a little bit. They've got to relax and just go play."

On what he thinks contributed to the Lions' loss against the 49ers: "Like I said after the game the last two weeks, on defense this week in particular, it was a breakdown in containment. That was big going into the game. We talked, but we didn't get it done. We had a couple errors that are correctable; we've just got to do that and basic things. We've just got to do those things, the most obvious things, and we've just got to keep correcting them and we've got to do some things to create. Turnover-wise, we've gotten, I think it's one turnover in three games. We've got to get our guys in position; we've got to help them to create some turnovers, some pressure and to help them disrupt a little bit more."

On if he assesses his coaching staff's performance in addition to his players': "Of course, that was one of the first things."

On if he will make any changes to his coaching staff: "No."

On why he thinks he and his staff are the right people to coach the Lions: "I just know what I want. I see it. I just stay the course. I just keep working at it; keep evaluating what we're doing, how we're doing. I've been in these situations before. Like I've said, the two words poise and panic. I believe in what I'm doing."

On what he plans to change in his team's preparation and approach: "Like I said here five minutes ago, we have a great week to evaluate what we're doing. I want to be able to put them in maybe positions where if it's more pressure we have to bring, we've got to be smart with it though, different ways to create a little bit more havoc offensively and on defense and find a way to make sure we can get the ball to our big guys on offense, our wide receivers. So you look at those things and do the basic things a little bit better."

On what he plans to evaluate during the bye week: "Just what I was saying: scheme, personnel and approach. We have just a great opportunity for us sit down and really do a nice job of looking at it."

On if he's concerned his players will lose their will to play if they continue to lose this season: "That can happen throughout the league, throughout business, anything. But it's my job to steer the ship and be truthful to them. You sit there and show them this is where we can get better, this is where we're not being successful. You just talk to them like men. We're all professionals and you have to do your job."

On if he is concerned about the play or heart of any of his players: "I don't do it that way. All I do is go up and be very direct in what we have to do and work on cleaning it up. I think when you keep looking down into the future that I can't control. Right now, they've been great. They've been working and that's what I'm assuming that they're going to come out and do."

On if he thinks any players are starting to doubt his system: "I don't feel that, but I'm not with them every second of every day either. Like I said, it's human nature to doubt. You're 0-3, doubt does come in. That's part of football, that's part of life - it's all part of it. It's my job to get them wired in. You can't give up; you've got to just keep going straight ahead."

On if he plans to get more young guys and rookies into the lineup: "Well, we're playing a few young guys as it is right now."

On his four defensive rookies being inactive against the 49ers: "One was injured, but that's all part of it. We'll look at those guys and have a chance to see how some of the other guys are playing. I'm going to do exactly what we need to do to get the best players on the field to help us win."

On if he is wired to not feel doubt and stay focused: "I am wired that way. I am. I just line up every day and take this day and work as hard as we can and go forward, constantly go forward. I know you'd like to hear something else, but it's just not going to happen."

On if he's had any in-depth conversations with Matt Millen: "I flew back with him on the plane - I slept. No, we just talked about how we get better and all those things."

On whether he and Millen are wondering why it's not working: "You fly home on the plane and you talk. Now, you sit down and watch the tape this morning and with some of the things you say: oh, wow, we can do this better, we could do this better and we'd been in better shape here and there. It's that simple. Of course you want the energy better; you want to get a faster start, we didn't; we had some breakdowns we can't have and we've got to get the ball going to our receivers."

On whether he's spoken to Millen since watching the tape: "I talked to him this morning around 11 or so and then I've been in meetings with our team all day."

On what he can do as a coach to loosen his players up in a good way: "We just talked about it: letting it go and playing. Then I think, especially on defense, we can get a little more fire power in terms of some of our calls. Maybe we've got to pressure them more and those types of things. You've got to be careful; you've just got to be smart with each one - especially in the run game. We called a few the other day, but that's one way you can help these guys generate some speed and help them disrupt a little bit."

On what his message was to the team today: "It was very strong again today. We watch the film and make sure that we see exactly what's going on; how you can improve, how a coach can improve - it's coaches and players, it's not coaches vs. players. It's together. That's how you look at a tape. You make the corrections; you hear their input and what was going in their mind at that point. Then you clean things up that way. (I was) very strong and very direct."

On whether he senses that the players are still uplifted and positive: "No, they're not. After a loss like this, it takes 3-4 days for those guys to come off of something like that. Right now, they're frustrated; they want to win; they're trying to do things exactly right and so that's our job just to help them."

On what he's looking for from his captains: "I think it's critical. When I talked to them about being a leader, there's two areas: push leading, when you push from behind and that's when things are going well, and there's pull leadership and that's when you get in front when things aren't going well and you expose yourself and pull that team with you - that's when you have to stand out in front, in times like this. Not standing behind, in front. You've got to be able to play at your best, practice at your best and lead at your best. You can't be phony, but you have to be upbeat and positive as you move directions. You do it from the front, not from the back. In good times, you lead from the back - you don't need to be seen. In tough times you lead from the front and that's tough to do."

On why he believes in this group of players: "It went back all (the way) to our offseason work - their commitment to the offseason, the commitment to work, having a really good camp, good preseason. All those things, they kept working. I expect them to continue to do that."
On whether it's a talent issue and not a work ethic issue: "No. I just think that we've got to help them be exact more. I think we've got to help them as coaches and as players we've got to execute better."

On whether they're having to make the same corrections every week: "It's some things that are different. The containment really popped up this last week on us - the last couple of weeks. That's something I thought we would be on top of. It's not just one guy. It's a guy making an inside move maybe to quick; it's a blitzer staying outside; we're getting real good chances to get off the field on third down and we let them get off the hook just on base things and base concepts of football. So we've got to go clean those things up and play good football."

 

 

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