HEAD COACH MATT PATRICIA

Opening Statement: “So, just a couple things, I think, from our end. We had a couple guys go down tonight. They’re being evaluated right now, so I don’t 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, we’re 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 they’re 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, we’re hoping those guys are OK. I think also, I would say from our standpoint, we obviously didn’t 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 I’m 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, that’s one thing about this group, all the way through camp as we’re trying to learn and evaluate these guys, I would say the one thing about them is they are—they’re a tough group that will go out and compete until the very end. And that’s 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. That’s 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 who’s going to hopefully help us here as we push forward. So, we’ll evaluate that at that level and then we’ll work into the season where we’re kind of in a different mode. We’re trying to game plan against somebody specific, we’re 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, that’s a whole other process that we’re 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 that’s 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, we’re 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, I’m 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 he’s 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 haven’t 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 you’re 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 Washington’s performance tonight: “Again, we’ll 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 we’re 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 tonight’s game: “I think that’s another one that we’ll 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 they’ve 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 he’s 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 that’s on the roster are the guys that we’re evaluating right now and we’ll 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. We’re 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, we’re really taking a look at who’s behind him and I’m not really sure how that’s going to go with any of them until we get to game action, as far as that’s concerned. We’re always looking at the waiver wire. That’s what we do. We have to check it out and evaluate all those guys that will be released here, that’s part of the process. That will be at every position. So, we’ll do that. And again, we’ll look at the tape and we’ll 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) he’s 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, we’ve still got a lot to teach him from the overall scheme of the defense, where he’s going to fit, the positions he’s going to play. So hopefully we’ll 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 don’t really think you can sit here and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got it all nailed down.’ That’s not how any season goes and really with coaches and players and teams, everybody starts over. You know, everybody’s not starting where they left off last year and certainly coming into a new situation. You know, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done and a lot of improvement that needs to be pushed forward and we’ll do that. We’ll 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 you’ve 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, there’s a lot of little things in there. There’s a lot of scheduling that goes on here. There’s a lot of travel that goes on here. There’s 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 that’s one thing that we’re still pushing to get better at.”

On his biggest reason for optimism for the team and the upcoming season: “I mean, look we’re going to come in and we’re going to work hard every single day. You know, we’re going to get better every day and we’re going to try and do the best we can. You know, those guys are out there working real hard and that’s a positive from my standpoint. You know, they’re trying to do it the right way. They’re trying to improve. They understand that this is a long journey. This isn’t a sprint that’s going to take place overnight. This is something that’s going to take a long time to do. This is something that’s a change in the way we’re doing things to try to make it a sustainable situation. You know, we’re not trying to do something that’s just going to happen for one day and then not the next. We’re trying to do it consistently over a long period of time. That I have seen progress with and we’ve got a long way to go and we’ll 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 haven’t had the opportunity to do yet. So, that was good to see him go out and do those things. We’ll 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, you’re trying to get them a good look and a good opportunity to go compete certainly.”

QB MATT CASSEL

On finishing the preseason 1-3: “Yeah, obviously we would’ve liked to have played better at times, but it’s a growing experience, every preseason is. Teams come together and you learn a lot about your ballclub. At the same time, a lot of things change as you get ready for season. We’ve got to get our focus ready for the Jets and go from there.”

On what needs to change before next week: “That’s probably a better question for Coach (Matt) Patricia and everything else. As players, we try to go out and execute the game plan with the best of our abilities. We all have work to do, we all have to get better in different areas and improve.”

On anything that stood out from the offense tonight: “Like I’ve said, we have a lot of work to do. I think when at times we move the ball and at other times we just stalled out, we have to get in more of a rhythm. That was just today and you take it for what it’s worth. You have to make corrections for next week and get ready to go.”

On being able to correct these issues in a week: “I’ve been through a lot of different preseasons over my 14-year career. There has been teams where we are 0-4 and look like a disaster and we end up going 11-5. There’s a lot put into early preseason games and we have come together as a team. At the same time, as I said, when it comes to regular season it can be a completely different story.”

QB JAKE RUDOCK

On how you felt out there: “I felt like there was a couple things I missed, I had a couple missed passes. Obviously, we have to connect on those down the field. We just did not come out fast enough, where as they did. Their offense came out rolling pretty well and we didn’t do that, we need to match that.”

On not doing too much: “I think that it’s a healthy balance. You want to obviously prove and show what you can do for the coaches that are upstairs, but you also just have to try to align what’s gotten you to that point. It’s definitely a healthy balance, but you have to find that”

On the general mood in locker room tonight: “Well, we didn’t finish the way we wanted to. We lost the game and guys are just bummed out about that. That is the thing, that’s the most important thing right now, that’s what we feel right now. Tomorrow does not exist right now because it’s tonight. ”

On the if team’s offensive rhythm can get affected on nights like tonight: “I think sometimes it can. Sometimes it’s just getting more reps out there, it helps you settle your feet and kind of understand where to be in the pocket. Sometimes it’ll happen with the way they are doing stunts upfront and the way the blitzes are coming in. So, sometimes yeah, you can get a better rhythm and sometimes in the 2-minute drive you’re throwing so you feel good and you’re seeing and trusting what you’re throwing.”

CB DESHAWN SHEAD

On his preseason performance: “Yeah, I missed (time), I wasn’t able to play two games and just to get back out there, and just play and have fun with my teammates was the biggest thing.  And get that communication going, talking and trying to put everything together.  So, just to get back out there and play was the biggest thing.”

On whether he decided or the team decided he would play in tonight’s game: “I mean it kind of was hand in hand.  I needed to get out there.  I haven’t played in two games, you know I played the opening games, but I just wanted to get out there as much as I can.  Get the reps in, get the feeling back, special teams, defense, I want to do it all.”

On whether playing tonight was more important than securing a roster spot: “Oh yeah, my mindset though, I have a different type of mindset.  My mindset every year is I have to, you know, I mean I’m an undrafted guy, so my mindset is I got to make the team every year regardless of the situation and everything.  Regardless, I need to get back on that field, get some plays in, get some reps in, and find ways for me to get better as well.  So, I can find ways to help this team.”

On the stresses of being injured during training camp: “I mean, it sucks.  It sucks, but you have to be mentally tough.  You have to be mentally tough and ignore the noise and just keep grinding.  Like I said, I’m a big believer in hard work pays off, and so 24 hours a day I’m working on finding ways to get back.”

TE HAKEEM VALLES

On what he will do waiting for the final roster decisions: “My family is in town and we’re just all going to relax.  Hang out with the baby and just relax. It’s going to play out how it’s going to play out.  You know, I put the work in and whatever comes of it is going to come of it.”

On avoiding being hyper critical waiting for the roster: “It’s just discipline. You had three (preseasons) for me in the house and you don’t know. Saturday’s going to be a wild day. You might expect something and the opposite might come. Or you might be expecting something and it actually might come. So, it’s more just, you’ve got to stay even keeled and just dig it for what it is and just be with the people you love.”

On his preseason performance: “I think it was a great summary of three weeks of hard work put in and it all kind of put out. I got to display my talents so well for this third preseason. It’s pretty cool.”

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