Detroit Lions Coach Jim Caldwell and Lions QB Matthew Stafford talk about how the practices against the Steelers went.


On how the offensive line looked today against the Steelers defensive line: “Well, I think overall just the work in itself has been absolutely tremendous. You get a chance to look at some guys that have different traits than the guys that they’ve played against all during the spring and in the fall. So, what it does, it makes you dig down a little deep and handle some different stunts maybe that you haven’t worked against. Obviously, this is a team that’s been winning every single year, so it’s a great matchup. I think our offensive line, just from the pass rushing aspect of it and the run blocking aspect, benefitted greatly from it.”

On gaining experience against the Steelers’ 3-4 defense: “Yeah, no question about it. It kind of gives you a little bit different view of things. You have to change up a few things just in terms of your calls, and things of that nature. Now, there’s a couple things we didn’t do well. We didn’t get some of the calls right, and those kinds of things, but I think that’s the value of working against them.”

On the Lions’ up-tempo offense: “I think the important thing is that we can change pace. That’s the one thing that we have to be able to do. I think in any ball game that you play, if you can really control the rhythm of the game, you ought to think it’s going to benefit you. So, we try to change pace as much as we can. Sometimes we huddle, sometimes we don’t huddle. Sometimes we’ll go slow without huddling, sometimes we’ll go fast without huddling. We’ll change up from time to time.”

On the one-on-one matchups the Steelers’ defense presents for the offensive line: “Well, there’s no question the center gets a guy on his nose, so it really kind of gives you an idea. Every single snap for the most part, in particular base downs, you get a pretty good idea of who’s snapping the ball for you. Particularly with the big people they have across from you, then it also forces you on the outside to expand a little bit, and you do get a lot of one on ones.”

On if he was paying attention to the matchup between Lions CB Darius Slay and Steelers WR Antonio Brown: “Oh no, I have to look at everything. I mean, I look at every single play, every single snap, every single drill. I have a long night tonight of watching all that film, because there’s a lot of good film out there. Now, we look at those things because you do want to see how they perform against obviously an outstanding talent. I think that it’s going to help Darius, and I certainly hope all across the board, our entire unit. Offensively and defensively.”

On the biggest benefit of holding joint-practices with the Steelers: “Well, it’ll force us to adjust. We have to come to a different location and perform, and perform well. The intensity of the practice, I think when you’re working against someone who you haven’t worked against, it automatically takes up. It gives us a chance to look at a number of guys across the board against people they haven’t practiced against. So, I think you get an even more realistic look at those kinds of things, rather than waiting until the first preseason game.”

On Slay facing Brown and the unique skillset that Brown brings to the table: “Yeah, because every week you’re going to face a different style of a guy who performs extremely well. He’s a talented guy that has speed to burn, so it was a great matchup because those are the kind of guys that we’re going to face week in and week out.”

On today’s impressions of the offensive line facing a different defensive line: “You know, they played well in some spurts and not so well in others. That’s kind of what we expect, that’s what it’s all about. This is a real challenge in a situation that presents to them. It gives an opportunity so see someone that’s a little bit different than the guys they’ve been practicing against. They can’t anticipate nearly as much. They have to rely on the fundamentals and techniques, so I think that was huge.”

On the defensive line partaking in 2-on-2 drills in Pittsburgh but not Allen Park: “There’s a number of things we do differently here. Some things we do exactly like we do in terms of our practice, some things that we did are things that the Steelers do quite often. We sort of compromise a little bit and try to work with one another. Tomorrow you’ll probably see a couple things a little differently than what we’ve done as well.”

On the benefit of the team practicing different drills: “There’s a lot just in terms of the personnel matchups that you get. Different problems and issues you have in a confined space. So I’ll look at the film and be able to tell you more clearly. Obviously, there’s a lot of things going on out here on the field. Didn’t get a chance to see everything yet but I will before the night is over.”

On the challenge Slay faces in covering Brown: “He presents a very, very unusual challenge for him. He’s a guy that’s fast, he’s quick, extremely smart guy just in terms of understanding how he disrupts the coverage techniques and defenders. But I think that happened to us all the way across the board, not just with Darius and not just obviously with Brown, you name it. James Harrison presents a unique challenge, Ryan Shazier presents a unique challenge. All across the board there’s guys that certainly know how to play and play this game well. Our guys, I think, do a nice job of matching up and I think both teams got better today.”

On rookie T Taylor Decker handling new matchups: “I didn’t notice any glaring problems consistently, but I’ll look at the film, he probably held his own. Yeah, I didn’t see any glaring problems. I saw a couple busts here and there, not necessarily with him, but I’ll look at the film a little bit more closely, but nothing jumped out at me. When it doesn’t jump out at you typically he’s OK.”

On his impression today of rookie DL Anthony Zettel: “You know what, he did some pretty good things. There’s so much going on out here, I wasn’t everywhere. Different places, a lot of things happen and you hear a lot of cheering and those kinds of things. But it’ll be great to look at the film. I know one thing, I think our team got a lot out of it. I think Pittsburgh got a lot out of it, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

On the injury to CB Ian Wells: “He’s going to get looked at, didn’t look good, but he’s going to get looked at. They’ll examine and see exactly where he is.

Posted in Pittsburgh Steelers