Johnson: “I’m just taking it game-by-game, that’s all you can do right now.”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 30, 2010 – 2:32 pm

“It was definitely big to have a couple of days off, catch up on my sleep a little bit. I didn’t travel so I got an extra day in since travel kind of takes up the whole day when I go back to Atlanta. I did some shopping, caught some sales and got some of my Christmas shopping out of the way, sat on the couch and kicked my feet up.

“As far as the game, we were feeling real good about what we were doing out there and then come the second half, later on in the third quarter, the turnover and the adversity there, it kind of unwound for us on offense and defense. It was tough, but it’s something that we have to learn to fight.

“There were some frustrating calls made, one in particular that was called on Brandon Pettigrew. I have no doubt in my mind that we would have gone down and scored on that drive. When we get in the redzone, we’re automatic. It (the penalty) was baffling, but that’s our fortune right there.

“I’m just taking it game-by-game, that’s all you can do right now. Chicago, they have a heck of a defense, a real good front defense. It’s going to be very important that our line come with their mind right and have a good week of practice – and not just them, but everybody. It all starts up front. If they do their job up front, then we’ll be alright. It sucks that we’re 2-9, so there’s no playoffs in the picture, everyone is just playing for their job right now.”


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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 45 Comments »

Johnson: “That 14-point swing turned the whole game around”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 22, 2010 – 5:11 pm

“Shoot, I think it was going into halftime we were right in the game, it was just a series of bad events that happened for us in about a five minute spread. We had a turnover, they scored, we get the ball, we punt and had a good play down on the goal line to keep the ball out of the end zone, but they had a guy right there to scoop it in, run down the sideline and score with it. That 14-point swing turned the whole game around.

“When you look at every game, there’s always some event of plays that went down and changed the whole course of the game, so you can say that there’s always something, but it really doesn’t mean anything until we start winning.

“One good thing that I noticed is that when we were down inside the five-yard line, we moved the ball out to midfield, we had to punt it off, but fortunately we were able to get the ball and get the defense in good field position there. The times that we moved the ball well was off of big plays. Usually when we get a big play in the passing game we usually go down and score and that’s been the thing for us this season. We have to stick to that somehow.

“Obviously we have to forget the Dallas game. We’re going to get some film in today, have some kind practice – walk through or jog through out there and get ready for the Patriots. They’re a tough team, they’re smart team, they don’t beat themselves, so that’s one thing that we cannot do if we want to compete.

“It’s tough to put it behind you, especially when you’ve got consecutive losses. It starts to pile on and it’s tough, but I mean that’s our job. We have to move forward, we have to win. If we don’t win, guys aren’t going to be here too long.

“I’m going to keep on fighting, this is my job, I’m going to keep fighting for it and go out there on Thursday and play like I’m supposed to.”


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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 93 Comments »

Spievey to Start at Dallas

Posted by Tara Altman on November 21, 2010 – 12:41 pm

Rookie S Amari Spievey will get his fourth start of the season at strong safety today at Dallas. DE Cliff Avril remains inactive with a quadricep injury.

Inactives for today’s game include:

  • QB Zac Robinson (3rd QB)
  • K Jason Hanson
  • QB Matthew Stafford
  • LB Isaiah Ekejiuba
  • T Jason Fox
  • DE Willie Young
  • WR Bryant Johnson
  • DE Cliff Avril

DE Turk McBride will start at left end in place of Avril.

See full starting line-ups from both teams


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Johnson: “Eight penalties on offense, that’s just unacceptable”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 17, 2010 – 4:52 pm

“The thing about the game at Buffalo is that we weren’t able to get too much going on offense. You figure when the defense holds a team to 14 points, offense can do enough to win that game, but we weren’t able to do enough to get things going and we couldn’t get a flow going. It was tough and it was frustrating, but one thing we do, we keep fighting. We tried to sneak one out, but we fell short.

“I didn’t even know until the end of the game that we had like eight penalties on the offense alone and I was like, ‘Man, that’s ridiculous.’ I remember some of the penalties early because we kept getting backed up and then had another penalty and we were backed up even more. Eight penalties on offense, that’s just unacceptable.

“Bad field position puts stress on everybody. It makes play calling harder and there’s a lot of stuff and really when you’re in that situation you really need a big play to get out of that situation and get a drive going and if you can’t do that, it’s tough to get out of those situations with just running the ball.

“We just haven’t been able to run the ball the way we’ve wanted to and that’s tough alone because it allows the defenses to play a lot of coverage to us and until we can prove that we can run the ball, that’s what we’re going to see.

“This is the toughest span of the season, having three games in 12 days starting with Buffalo, so it’s a very tough stretch and it’s tough on the body. No doubt would I prefer to have a home game the game before Thanksgiving, it’d be great if we could do without all the traveling and have three straight home games, that’d be perfect, but either way it’s strenuous on the body.

“Physically I’m a little banged up, but everybody is right now, nobody is even close to 100-percent right now. Mentally I’m fine. You just have to keep on pushing, that’s one thing I’ve learned. Being here we haven’t had a chance to have winning seasons, but at the same time, you have to keep pushing. Shawn (Jefferson) is in my ear all the time, ‘You’ve got to keep fighting, you can’t ever stop.’ That’s one thing that I feel has rubbed off on the whole receiving group.”


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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 123 Comments »

Update on Stafford

Posted by Tara Altman on November 15, 2010 – 10:53 pm

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was examined today by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dr. Andrews informed the team today that his evaluation of Matthew’s injury (which occurred November 7 against the New York Jets) is consistent with the evaluation and diagnosis of the Lions’ medical staff.

Matthew will continue the rehabilitation process that he began last week under the supervision of the team’s medical staff.


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Hill to Start at Buffalo

Posted by Tara Altman on November 10, 2010 – 2:50 pm

Head Coach Jim Schwartz announced this afternoon following practice that “barring any set back this week,” QB Shaun Hill will be the starter against the Bills.

Hill fractured his forearm against the NY Giants prior to the Lions’ bye week and was inactive against the Redskins.

Schwartz on Hill’s injury: “He’s been cleared. He was in a position last week that we kept him active as our third quarterback. We dressed him as our third quarterback. He could hand off, he could do all those different things. He wasn’t really in a position to take a hit. But he can play with a cast and another week will be good for it. That will close him right in at four weeks. The doctors feel good about that. Shaun will be ready, barring any setbacks.”

Hill says that “everything feels fine,” and is looking forward to the opportunity.

Hill: “It feels good. I’m full-go. Last weekend I had a splint that went all the way into the palm of my hand and I had no wrist mobility in it until Sunday. Since I’ve gotten the wrist back, a lot of things have changed. It had more to do with finding out where we were and getting a different splint.”


Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 62 Comments »

Johnson: “This was probably one of the most frustrating games of my career”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 8, 2010 – 3:28 pm

“This was probably one of the most frustrating games of my career, just because we were up 10 points with four-and-a-half minutes on the clock, and we let it slip away. We let them tie it up and they got the ball in overtime, went down, made a big play and kicked a field goal. That was tough. We felt that we had that one on lock, but obviously not.

“It was a battle. We knew it was going to be a 60 minute battle, but at the same time there were times where we really could have put the game away, but we weren’t able to. I mean, there’s a lot of things in the game where we could say, ‘If we did this, we would have gotten that and it would have been a whole different outcome,’ but when it’s all said and done we have to find a way to keep that 10-point margin.

“Nate (Burleson) had some big plays yesterday and I think the big thing is that we came out on the first drive and scored, that was a big plus for us. But then we kind of stalled there a little bit. Thanks to Nate, we got some big plays and he moved us down the field to get scoring opportunities.

“I’m going to have watch film, but I know on offense there were a couple of penalties that brought plays back. That’s been a big killer for us all season. Like I said, I have to watch film, but we had a big penalty when we were trying to get them to jump off sides and got a false start, that one hurt us and we got some penalties on defense that hurt us in the end.

“Yesterday was real tough mentally, and it’s easy to say we have the 24 hour rule and we have to drop it, but after a loss like that, it’s real hard to get over. At the same time, we have to get over it, we have to move on to Buffalo and we have to keep our mindset that we have to win the rest of these games, we should have won yesterday, but we didn’t and we have to move on.”


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Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 108 Comments »

Spievey to Start Against Jets

Posted by Tara Altman on November 7, 2010 – 12:49 pm

Rookie S Amari Spievey will get his second start of the season against the Jets at Ford Field today in place of an injured C.C. Brown. Brown suffered a knee injury against the Washington Redskins in Week 8.

LB Isaiah Ekejiuba will also be out for today’s game with a knee injury.

Inactives for today’s game include:

  • QB Shaun Hill (3rd QB)
  • RB Aaron Brown
  • S C.C. Brown
  • LB Isaiah Ekejiuba
  • T Jason Fox
  • C Cody Wallace
  • DE Willie Young
  • DE Lawrence Jackson

See full starting line-ups from both teams


Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 11 Comments »

Suh Named Pepsi’s NFL Defensive Rookie of the Week, Stafford Named GMC Never Say Never Moment

Posted by Tara Altman on November 6, 2010 – 8:22 pm

Lions rookie DT Ndamukong Suh has been named Pepsi’s NFL Rookie of the Week, while QB Matthew Stafford has been named the GMC Never Say Never Moment for Week 8.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.nfl.com/partner?partnerType=rookies

http://www.nfl.com/partner/story?id=09000d5d81bcc5d0&partnerType=never-say-never

Voters on NFL.com have made their choice. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions is the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for games played on October 31-November 1, the NFL announced Friday.

Suh registered two sacks and four tackles and put an exclamation point on the victory with a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:36 to play in the game that gave the Lions a 37-25 win over the Washington Redskins.

Suh was selected from among five finalists through fan votes on NFL.com/rookies. The other finalists were safety Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, running back LeGarrette Blount of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, quarterback Sam Bradford of the St. Louis Rams and cornerback Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots.

After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/rookies throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLV in North Texas.

This is Pepsi’s ninth year as the official soft-drink sponsor of the NFL and the ninth year that Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s return to lead Lions’ fourth-quarter comeback is the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week for games played on October 31-November 1. The GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week is the best moment or play of the week that represents determination and perseverance.
In his first game since Week 2, Stafford was determined to show he had fully recovered from a shoulder injury. Did he ever. Not missing a beat, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft refused to let the Lions surrender, bringing them back from two fourth-quarter deficits with a pair of touchdown passes to Lions WR Calvin Johnson, the final TD coming on fourth down with 3:12 to go.
Stafford was selected from among three moments by voters on NFL.com/gmc. The other two moments were Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie RB LeGarrette Blount’s pivotal role in the Buccaneers’ fifth consecutive road win and Kansas City Chiefs K Ryan Succop finding redemption with a winning field goal.
After the regular season, fans will have a chance to determine the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Year from among the 17 weekly winners. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/gmc throughout the month of January.


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Suh Named Defensive Rookie of the Month, Logan NFC Special Teams Player of the Month

Posted by Tara Altman on November 4, 2010 – 10:58 am

Rookie DT Ndamukong Suh has been named the NFL Rookie of the Month, while WR Stefan Logan has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month.

It is only the second time that two Lions have been named NFL Rookie of the Month and NFC Player of the Month in the same month (September 2004: WR Roy Williams, Offensive Rookie of the Month and WR Eddie Drummond, NFC Special Teams Player of the Month).

“First and foremost I have to give a big up to my coach (Danny Crossman) for making good calls as far as what we returns we want to go with and the blockers up front do a great job keeping their guys keeping their guys from getting down field. It’s always an honor. We just have to keep on doing what we’re doing. I appreciate it and it’s a big honor.”

Suh is the Lions’ second rookie to earn NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. He joins S Louis Delmas (September 2009) as the only Lions’ rookies to be named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. With RB Jahvid Best earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month earlier this year (September), Suh and Best become the second Lions rookie tandem to be named Rookies of the Month since 2005 (WR Roy Williams in September and RC Kevin Jones in December). It marks the first time that both an defensive rookie and an offensive rookie have been named Rookie of the Month in the same year, and the first that two rookies have been named Rookie of the Month in consecutive months.

“It’s definitely a great honor, I’m definitely proud to accept it, but to me it just adds more pressure, which I like, to continue to work and live up to it,” said Suh. “I definitely something that I’m proud to carry and be a part of.”

DT NDAMUKONG SUH:

  • Suh was dominant during the month of October as he finished with 14 tackles, 4.5 sacks (29.5 yards lost), 1 interception, 1 pass defense and a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He was a key cog in the Lions going 2-2 and winning both their home games.
  • Suh’s 4.5 sacks in October are the most for the month by a Lions rookie since sacks became official in 1982. They are the fifth-most among all Lions’ defensive players for October and the second-most (DT Doug English in 1983) among Lions defensive tackles.
  • Suh had more sacks (4.5) in October than any other rookie in the NFL has tallied for the entire season, and he had the most among defensive tackles in the League (Chicago DT Israel Idonije recorded 4.5 sacks but did it over 4 games starting at LDE).
  • With 4.5 sacks, Suh became the first rookie defensive tackle to record 4.5 sacks in October since Jacksonville DT John Henderson had 5.0 in 2002. He also became the first defensive tackle in the NFL to collect 4.5 sacks during October since Tampa Bay DT Warren Sapp had 5.0 in 2005.
  • In three of the four games Suh played in October, he had at least 1.0 sack, and he finished the month off with 3.5 sacks over the final two games.
  • At Green Bay (10/3), Suh registered his first sack of October with a 5-yard loss.
  • In the Lions 44-6 win over St. Louis (10/10), Suh recorded his first career interception when he tipped Rams QB Sam Bradford’s pass at the line of scrimmage and plucked the ball out of the air in the fourth quarter. Suh then returned the interception 20 yards to set up a Lions field goal.
  • Suh’s interception against the Rams was the first interception by a Lions’ rookie defensive lineman since DT Thurman McGraw intercepted a pass vs. the Los Angeles Rams October 15, 1950. Suh is also the first rookie defensive tackle in the NFL to register an interception since Falcons rookie DT Trey Lewis had one at Tennessee October 7, 2007.
  • At the New York Giants (10/17) Suh recorded his fourth full-sack of the season in the second quarter for a 5-yard loss. Earlier in the game, Suh recorded half-a-sack with DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.
  • Suh electrified the Ford Field crowd as part of a dominating performance by the defensive line in the team’s 37-25 win over Washington (10/31) when he registered 2.0 sacks (17 yards loss), 4 tackles (2 tackles-for-loss) and put an exclamation point on the victory with a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:36 to play in the game that gave the Lions a 37-25 lead.
  • In the second quarter, Suh halted a Redskins drive when he registered 2.0 sacks in the span of three plays for a total of 17 yards lost. Suh became the team’s first rookie to record two sacks in a game since DE Kalimba Edwards at Arizona December 8, 2002. He is the first Lions rookie defensive tackle to record 2.0 sacks in a game since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
  • Suh became the first Lions rookie defensive lineman to return a fumble for a touchdown since Bob Bell (25 yards) at Green Bay November 1, 1971.

WR STEFAN LOGAN:

  • Logan had arguably the best all-around performance for the month of October by a special teamer in the entire NFL. Logan contributed on every kick and cover unit, and he came up with huge plays in all four of the Lions’ October games.
  • In each of the past three games, Logan had a kick return for at least 50 yards, including a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. St. Louis (10/10), a 58-yard kickoff return at New York Giants (10/17) and a 71-yard punt return vs. the Washington Redskins (10/31).
  • Logan became the first player in Lions history to return a 100-yard kickoff return and a punt return for at least 70 yards in the same season (both returns occurred in October). He is the only player in the League this season with a kickoff return over 90 yards and a punt return over 60 yards, and he accomplished this in the month of October.
  • Logan led the NFL in kickoff return average (35.9) in October as he returned 10 kickoffs for 359 yards.
  • As a punt returner, he averaged 18.4 yards per return (8 for 147 yards), which was the second highest in the NFL during October among punt returners with at least 4 punt returns. He highlighted the month as a punt returner against Washington (10/31) with a career-long 71-yard return that set up a Lions touchdown.
  • Logan also contributes significantly on the team’s cover units. At Green Bay (10/3), Logan became the only special teams player this year to recover two fumbles on special teams in a game this season. Logan recovered two fumbles on kickoffs against the Packers. His second fumble recovery led to a Lions 24-yard field goal and put Detroit within two points of the Packers 28-26.
  • Logan’s 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Rams gave the Lions a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. It tied a franchise record for the longest kickoff return in team history (CB Terry Fair, 105t vs. Tampa Bay September 28, 1998) and it is tied for the sixth longest in NFL history.
  • Logan’s kickoff return for a touchdown was the team’s first since TE Casey FitzSimmons returned an onside kickoff 42 yards for a touchdown vs. Chicago September 30, 2007.
  • The kickoff return for touchdown was the second of Logan’s career.
  • At the New York Giants (10/17), Logan struck again with a 58-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to help set up a Lions’ field goal as the team mounted a comeback. Earlier in the game, Logan returned a punt 21 yards.
  • On Sunday against the Washington Redskins (10/31), Logan set up the Lions first score of the game when he returned a Redskins punt for career-high 71 yards. He gave the ball to the Lions offense at the Redskins 19-yard line.
  • The 71-yarder is the longest by a Lions returner since WR Eddie Drummond returned an 83-yard touchdown at Jacksonville November 14, 2004.

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