(Mike, you feel lucky to come out of here with the win, the way the Lions dominated the line of scrimmage and the stats?)
There’s nothing lucky about winning in this game, so…I think our team showed a lot of resiliency, fought through a lot of tough spots. We put more points on the board than our opponent today. I thought our opponent was very productive. Obviously the statistics support that. But this is a win that you can draw from and teach from. It was a tough, division football game at home.
(Can you talk about grinding it out the last six minutes? What did Kuhn bring to the running game there?)
That’s what you look for. We refer to it as a four-minute offense situation and that’s the toughest time in the game -- it should be -- to run the football. We lined up and it was real football. I can’t say enough about our run-blocking unit. I thought they hit their targets and John did an excellent job of making the right read and holding the ball for six-plus minutes. I thought the keep was a big play, to
(Is Kuhn seeing the field a little bit better with the more reps he gets in that tailback spot?)
I would think so. I think that’s accurate. Because when you’re taking handoffs from five yards, as opposed to seven, there is a difference. It happens a little slower and you’ve got to trust the run-blocking unit longer, and you’ve got to press the hole longer. So, I think John is definitely getting a little bit more comfortable and I thought he hit his stride there in the fourth quarter.
(Could you talk about Charles? He’s been a little quiet so far this year, but he came up with that huge play for you.)
Charles is so productive. He’s always around the ball. I don’t know how many tackles he had today, but my goodness, I know he had to have a bunch of them out there. So, I think he’s off to another great year. He broke the team record for his eighth returned interception for a touchdown. That’s just remarkable. So, he’s our prime-time player on defense and I think our guys definitely draw energy from him.
(What’s the prognosis on Burnett?)
Morgan has a knee sprain. We’re going to go through a normal process; we’re going to have to do some more testing.
(Have they ruled out that it’s season-ending?)
We’ll probably have it for you tomorrow. They haven’t even completed the testing, so…
(The outside linebacker spot, opposite Clay, you were rotating two guys in there. Was that by design or were you just trying to find somebody?)
They were on the field a ton and I know Kevin’s watching that closely, and production and performance definitely lay into that. But our defense, you just look at our inactive list. We’re a guy or two short over there. Even at halftime, going in, I think it was 20 minutes of time of possession already in Detroit’s favor. It was a lopsided game and our defense hung strong forcing field goals instead of touchdowns there.
(What did you think of special teams today?)
Didn’t like it. Didn’t like the two turnovers, I can tell you that. I thought the coverage units were OK. The four turnovers are inexcusable. Two on offense, two on special teams. It’s something we take a lot of pride in, something we spend a lot of time on, and I thought that was a big negative in our performance today.
(On Aaron’s long interception, do you expect
Well, based on the leverage, based on the route, and Greg Jennings running to that ball, and I thought it was a good throw, you take that matchup every time. They made a better play than we did. But that’s a good read by the quarterback. I didn’t particularly expect to get that right there, but I think Jermichael was the underneath route on that particular concept. So, hell of a play by their defensive back.
Don’t feel like it, does it?
(My question is, are you where you thought you were going to be?)
Well, I’ll say this: We talk about starting, starting fast as a football team. And 4-0 would be a good start in your first quarter. That’s the way I look at it. We’re 3-1, we feel we’re off to a solid start. We’ve got some guys playing different positions, and we haven’t hit our rhythm yet. It’s no different with what every team is going through right now. I’d like to get some people healthy and get ready to go to Washington. So, I still don’t think we’ve played a complete football game yet as a team, and that is something that we will strive for this week in our preparation.
(Like you said, there is nothing lucky about winning. A win should never be discounted. But are you happy coming out of this game? Are you content with the way your team played today?)
I’m happy that we won the game because I knew we were going to be stressed in a couple areas going into this game. I think sometimes false expectations get built because of the past, because of numbers, and because of individuals. And I understand that. But it’s still a division game, and those are always the toughest games every year. To me, I don’t think that will ever change. Just the way our practice went coming out of a Monday night game, moving some people on special teams, and just being a little short on defense. We had a lot of respect for their offense coming in, and they did a very good job getting the ball to their premier players.