Coach Matt Patricia: "They're a tough group that will go out and compete."

Sports Xchange

Opening Statement: So, just a couple things, I think, from our end. We had a couple guys go down tonight. Theyre being evaluated right now, so I dont really have any other information other than the fact that they were out for the game. They could not come back, they were not physically able to come back into the game. So, were going to do a good job here of getting them evaluated and make sure that we kind of check everything out from that end and make sure that theyre OK. Some of that stuff was, I would say, contact-related. So, you never really know with some of those situations when they come up. So, were hoping those guys are OK. I think also, I would say from our standpoint, we obviously didnt play very well tonight. We have to do a better job coaching and playing and certainly, there were some situations that came up tonight that Im glad they came up in this game as opposed to a regular game, where we have to be really alert and ready to go with some of the transitions that took place. So, I have to do a better job of getting that prepared. And I would say the one thing about these guys, I thought, overall, I think they went out and they played really hard and they tried to finish. So, thats one thing about this group, all the way through camp as were trying to learn and evaluate these guys, I would say the one thing about them is they aretheyre a tough group that will go out and compete until the very end. And thats what we tried to do. We tried to put them in a situation just to let them keep competing from that standpoint.

On how he feels going into the regular season after playing this final preseason game: Well, I think when you get into the regular season, obviously our first goal right now is to really try to take a good look at our roster. Thats going to be our biggest thing. When you look at preseason, kind of like as I mentioned before, most of preseason right now is about talent evaluation, roster evaluation, player evaluation. There are certainly some situations that come up that you try to make sure you do a good job of rehearsing and practicing when they do. But from that standpoint, the roster is really kind of the most important thing right now to figure out whos going to hopefully help us here as we push forward. So, well evaluate that at that level and then well work into the season where were kind of in a different mode. Were trying to game plan against somebody specific, were trying to do things at a very specific level against an opponent and put those guys in positions where, hopefully, they can make plays. So, thats a whole other process that were kind of entering as we move from the preseason into the regular season.

On if there were any players tonight that he thought might be helpful to keep on the roster: I mean really, as far as thats concerned, I really just want to focus on the guys here tonight that played and really make sure that we talk about the game from that standpoint. So, like I said before, were just trying to do the best thing we can for the team with all of our decisions with the roster. And certainly we have some hard ones that will take place here in the next couple days.

On if it was a surprise with DE Robert Ayers after he was signed: Again, Im just going to talk about the guys that are on the roster right now.

On what he has seen from RB Ameer Abdullah throughout the preseason: I think Ameer has done a really good job here competing through camp. I would say that room has definitely been a very competitive room. It was set up that way from the start, from the spring, to have a good competition. And I think he did a great job. We tried to put him in some other situations, I would say, also through the course of the preseason on special teams, even. Some return value there. I think hes competed really hard and I think the other guys that were out there tonight, we were trying to get a good evaluation of them. I would say maybe there was a situation where they havent had as many reps maybe as some of the other guys. We want to do a good job of giving a good sample size here. So, it was good. Obviously, we were trying to get (RB Zach) Zenner out there a little bit. And also (RB) Dwayne (Washington), finally get him an opportunity out there to go compete, too. So, I think he showed his toughness from that standpoint. So, it was really trying to get that good balance from the entire room. When you have that many guys that youre trying to evaluate, you want to do a good job of making sure that you give a good rep or a good sample size.

On RB Dwayne Washingtons performance tonight: Again, well go back and look at the tape and see some of the different plays. But I would say he played extremely hard tonight, played tough and tried to play physical in those situations out there. Obviously, we threw him out there, I would say, in a situation where were kind of behind and not really on top of the game and trying to control the game from that standpoint. That makes his job harder, being out there in those situations. But I think he did good of trying to go out and compete.

On what his impressions are for the backup quarterback after tonights game: I think thats another one that well have to go back and try to take a good look at it. Certainly so tonight, in regards with that, because I know people are probably wondering. But I would say we have a good sample size of both guys. But the situations that theyve been in have been completely different. So, we tried to balance that out a little bit and try to get (QB) Jake (Rudock) some, call it regular situations maybe, as opposed to some of the others that hes been in and get (QB) Matt (Cassel) maybe in more of a situational drive and kind of see how that went so that we would have equal, I would say, areas to evaluate. So, that was kind of a big thing for us tonight. Absolutely.

On how he feels about the backup quarterback situation: Everybody thats on the roster are the guys that were evaluating right now and well see what happens after that.

On if he would feel comfortable with the backup quarterbacks had QB Matthew Stafford gone down in play tonight: I think two-fold. Were in a lot of different positions on our roster right now where we have some guys that are out there that, if we have injuries or if somebody goes down, were really taking a look at whos behind him and Im not really sure how thats going to go with any of them until we get to game action, as far as thats concerned. Were always looking at the waiver wire. Thats what we do. We have to check it out and evaluate all those guys that will be released here, thats part of the process. That will be at every position. So, well do that. And again, well look at the tape and well put all this together and try to make the best decision we can.

**On LB Eli Harold playing tonight: **You know, with (Lions LB) Eli (Harold) hes kind of been here for just a little while I think he obviously did a good job. He played hard, he made a couple plays in there which is good on his athleticism, which is some of the stuff that we saw on tape that we liked. You know, with his length and his ability to run, and chase, and be athletic, and be able to be productive without really having great knowledge of what we do yet, so that was a positive from that standpoint. You know, weve still got a lot to teach him from the overall scheme of the defense, where hes going to fit, the positions hes going to play. So hopefully well keep improving that as we go, but it was good to see him go out and obviously play hard and compete, competitive, and make a couple plays.

On how prepared he is for the season after wrapping up his first preseason as a head coach: I mean, I would think obviously this whole thing is going to be a work in progress. I dont really think you can sit here and say, Hey, weve got it all nailed down. Thats not how any season goes and really with coaches and players and teams, everybody starts over. You know, everybodys not starting where they left off last year and certainly coming into a new situation. You know, theres a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of improvement that needs to be pushed forward and well do that. Well go back and evaluate it and obviously try to tighten everything down that we can. You know, there have been some things that have gotten better through preseason from an operational standpoint, just as I look at it from a head coaching standpoint, which is a positive. So now youve got to move on to the next, call it challenge, and try to get that cleaned up as much as possible.

On how things have gotten better from an operations standpoint: You know, theres a lot of little things in there. Theres a lot of scheduling that goes on here. Theres a lot of travel that goes on here. Theres a lot of moving a large amount of people from one place to another without really any hiccup and I would say the guys have done a really good job. And once you kind of get some of those things established from a schedule standpoint when you start to get into a rhythm, I think it calms everything down and you start to focus on some other details and some other things that might be lacking or just kind of slipped by the cracks. So I would say thats one thing that were still pushing to get better at.

On his biggest reason for optimism for the team and the upcoming season: I mean, look were going to come in and were going to work hard every single day. You know, were going to get better every day and were going to try and do the best we can. You know, those guys are out there working real hard and thats a positive from my standpoint. You know, theyre trying to do it the right way. Theyre trying to improve. They understand that this is a long journey. This isnt a sprint thats going to take place overnight. This is something thats going to take a long time to do. This is something thats a change in the way were doing things to try to make it a sustainable situation. You know, were not trying to do something thats just going to happen for one day and then not the next. Were trying to do it consistently over a long period of time. That I have seen progress with and weve got a long way to go and well continue to do that.

On whether CB DeShawn Shead played a lot tonight because Patricia felt like he needed to evaluate him more since he missed two games with an injury: Kind of a similar situation I would say with (Lions RB) Dwayne (Washington) you know. I want to make sure we give him a good opportunity to go out and compete and look at him in a couple different positions and situations. You know, we actually moved him around different positions defensively, I would say special teams-wise, there were some things in there we really wanted to get a good evaluation of with him that we havent had the opportunity to do yet. So, that was good to see him go out and do those things. Well obviously take a look at it and evaluate it, but definitely a guy in similar situations to some of these others guys where, you know, youre trying to get them a good look and a good opportunity to go compete certainly.