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Quotes: Monday practice


Head Coach Gary Kubiak
OLB Connor Barwin
NT Shaun Cody
T Duane Brown
CB Kareem Jackson
WR Andre Johnson
DE Antonio Smith

Head Coach Gary Kubiak
(opening statement) "As far as practice, (ILB Tim) Dobbins did not practice. (CB Johnathan) Joseph did not practice. (WR DeVier) Posey did not practice. Other than that, everybody was at work, but we were very light. It was more of a jog-through than anything else."

(on RB Ben Tate) "He's doing good. We worked him pretty hard yesterday before the game. He responded well to that, so that's positive. Everything we're going to do this week is going to be very light, just getting ready more mentally than anything else. We'll have to push him away from the group to see how far he's come. He'll probably be doing a combination of working with the trainers and working with us tomorrow."

(on CB Johnathan Joseph's hamstring) "He's got a strain, but it's a slight strain. It's just how he reacts to it. He's feeling pretty good today. We'll see where he's at tomorrow. But like I said, these three guys (ILB Tim Dobbins, CB Johnathan Joseph and WR DeVier Posey), it will go up, because it's so quick and the work that we do is strictly more mental than it is physical, going into Thursday. So it's probably going to be one of those where we work them out the morning of the game and make a decision."

(on the quick turnaround after playing such a long game) "That's what makes it really tough. We played five quarters of football and had 92 plays of offense. That makes it very difficult on the guys. There is a carrot at the end of the week. As hard as it is, you get a chance to give guys a break after the game and stuff. You've got a big period between then and your next game. I think that kind of gets them excited, but I've got to be smart with them and get them to Thursday right now."

(on LG Wade Smith) "He's okay. He's sore, but he took part in practice. He did play the whole game. All expectations are that he'll be ready to go."

(on the high number of carries that RB Arian Foster has had through 10 games) "You're right, he's had a lot of carries. We're the number one possession team in football. He's our back, so he's going to carry it. Yesterday, you got 92 plays. It's got to be spread around somewhere. He's holding up very well. He's having a great year. I thought he was off to a great start yesterday. We did not run, obviously we got in a situation where we couldn't run the ball because we got down, but I think (RB) Justin (Forsett) has come in and given him some nice breaks and has played well. Hopefully we keep going here. He seems to get better as we go. We'll keep going and hopefully he stays good and healthy."

(on if he expects RB Ben Tate to play this week) "I think he's got a good chance. It's really difficult for me to answer those questions this week. On a normal week, you're physically practicing and so this will be one of those weeks where it will be hard to answer any of those questions until you get right up to the morning of the game. You work those guys and out and say he's okay and good enough to go."

(on OLB Connor Barwin) "I think (OLB) Connor (Barwin) has had a good month. Connor plays with a great deal of effort. He draws the best tackle that a team has. That's just the way the position that he plays is, so that's the way it works. I think he's had a few sacks come along the way, he made some plays. He made some big plays against Baltimore. I think these things come in bunches. One thing you don't have to worry about with Connor is every week you're going to get the same effort, same everything from him. Really when you look at it, when you talk about a guy like (RB) Arian (Foster) playing a lot of plays—Arian hasn't played nearly as many plays as Connor and (OLB) Brooks (Reed) or (T) Duane Brown and (G) Wade Smith and (C) Chris Myers. You've got some guys with a lot of snaps under their belt, but those two guys have held up very well."

(on what he thought about WR Keshawn Martin's game yesterday) "He's been coming on. I think it's something we've been seeing in practice. Those rookies hit a wall Week 7 or 8. It's a lot of football. After the bye, I've seen him come back a little fresher. He's practiced well and makes a big play in the game yesterday. I was teasing him as I told him, 'You got your first touchdown and you should've had your first three, on those two returns.' We're very excited about him and we have the confidence to put him in the game at any time."

(on ILB Darryl Sharpton) "I thought it was impressive. He's beat up, but when you play like Sharpton does, that's the way you're going to feel. I thought it was impressive. To be two weeks into practice, to go in there and play as much as he did and play as physical as he did and he came out fine, taking a lot of reps today. I think (Linebackers Coach) Reggie (Herring) and (Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) gained a lot of confidence in him. As we work (ILB Tim) Dobbins through his shoulder issue, it sure helps to have him out there."

(on the team's ability to replace players without missing a beat the last couple of years) "It definitely helps, but you have to know how to respond to those problems. I think the depth of our roster is good. We've had to replace some of our depth on the roster this year with some of the faces we lost. To see a guy like (TE) Garrett Graham become the player he's become and to see (WR) Keshawn (Martin) jump in there and play the way he he's played, (T Derek) Newton, we've been tested from that standpoint. I think our team knows how to problems a little better. I don't think they panic when we show up on game day and all of a sudden this guy is down because he can't go. The next guy goes in and we go play. I just think we have a little bit more confidence in how to handle those situation and we are better prepared for them too."

(on the team struggling for much of yesterday's game) "We didn't play up to our standard and that's the thing we talked about this morning. We started fast. We had a big turnover and we went right down the field. We had an opportunity to start fast as a team, but then we started giving up big plays. We had a few assignment issues, which is unusual for us. That's something we've got to fix. We had a couple of opportunities to make plays and we were right there to make it and we didn't make it. They get paid, too. Give them a lot of credit. They made a lot of great plays. The thing we did do defensively was when it was huge, five minutes left in the fourth quarter, we stopped them. In overtime, we stopped them. When they got down there on the 5-yard line, we rose to the occasion. In overtime, once again, when it was crunch time we found a way to make some plays to get the ball back to the offense to find a way to win. It's nice to fix those problems when you're still in the game."

(on if he expects NT Shaun Cody to be able to play this week) "(NT) Shaun (Cody) is a lot closer. I know this is important to him to play in this game. We'll see where we're at tomorrow. He's going to work this week, but he's probably still going to be a game time decision from us because we're going to do the right thing with him because we have a lot of football left to play."

(on how you prevent a team from letting up and letting a team back in the game) "I don't think people let up. I'm watching film and I see guys playing hard. We missed a couple of plays. We missed a go route on the second possession that if we make that play, then we keep going. I think it's part of football. You're going to have spurts where you're going to play good. You've got to keep playing. I wish every week that we showed up and played dead-on for four quarters, but it's probably not going to happen. You've got to work through it."

(on how difficult it is playing an early game on Thursday) "Nothing is more tough than coming off a Sunday nighter, a Sunday and then a Thursday. It is tough, but I think that's what builds the character of your team. First off, be honest with them as a coach. I know you're beat to heck and you're worn out and can barely move tonight, but we got them going. We're going to feed them some steak and lobster tonight, treat them good. Then I have a carrot for them at the end of the week where they get some time off with their families for Thanksgiving. It's tough duty, but we have to rise to the occasion. We're looking forward to it. We had a good evening today and we've got to step forward tomorrow again."

(on practice tonight) "It was very good. We were focused. It's hard to get them refocused that quick and have them let go of a big win, but they did a good job."

OLB Connor Barwin
(on playing in his hometown of Detroit on Thanksgiving) "I don't know. It's going to be crazy. All my family is going to be at the game. I think just making the trip, it's going to be a weird experience for me, obviously, very special just like I said, to be playing in Detroit for the first time since high school and then to be playing on Thanksgiving Day, it's really kind of unique and pretty special."

(on the quick turnaround) "I don't think it's going to be tough. We played five quarters, but we're not going to do anything physically this week, so I think by Thursday I know I'll be fine. I'm sure everybody will be fine and ready to play."

(on if he lived and died with Lions football as a kid) "Yeah, I don't remember them winning too much on Thanksgiving, but I remember watching Barry Sanders go to work every year. I remember watching him run around the Pontiac Silverdome and Herman Moore, Wayne Fontes, back in the day. I was hometown. We always rooted for Detroit."

(on how many tickets he got for this game) "I got a suite for my family to stay in. Well, me and my brother split a suite and then there's a ton. I don't know how many people will be there that I know that got tickets on their own."

(on what this is like for his family that are Lions fans) "Well all my family is rooting for me and the Texans. Now some of my friends in Detroit still will be rooting for my success, but for the Lions to win. I think that's fair."

(on what it was like for him this year when the schedule came out and he saw the Detroit game) "Obviously that was the game that I circled that I knew would be fun to go back home and play."

LT Duane Brown
(on the team's depth helping them be successful) "Depth is a huge part of it looking at things that you can't control like injuries, having key players go down and guys being able to step up, fatigue setting in during games. Having guys that need to take a break, take a couple plays off and guys stepping in and not missing a beat, depth is a huge part of our success."

(on playing on Thanksgiving) "I'm excited. Growing up we always sit with the family, eat food, and watch some games. It's my first opportunity, a chance to do that. Being from Virginia, our game is going to be televised out there so a lot of my family and friends will be able to tune in."

(on Thanksgiving memories) "Big memories, great conversation, watching football and eating a lot of turkey. It's a good time."

(on the Lions' defensive front) "Probably one of the best four in the league, very, very talented group, a very relentless group. The play is never over with any of those guys. We're expecting a dogfight. We're expecting it to be just a battle for four quarters, maybe more looking at this past week. We expect it to be a very hard-fought, physical game. I played against (DE Kyle) Vanden Bosch a couple times in my career and I know what to expect from him. Watching film of the rest of the group, it's pretty much the same."

NT Shaun Cody
(on if this is the first Thanksgiving game he could win) "Yeah, it would be awesome to go back home, back to Detroit, not home, and get a 'W' there."

(on if he could play this week) "Yeah, every week we're trying to see where it's at and get a feel for it. It's definitely feeling better. I'd love to get a chance to play this week. I was there for four years and we had some tough four years. I'd love to get a chance to get back there and play."

CB Kareem Jackson
(on making some adjustments against the Lions) "I watched the film today and I say we just have got to do a better job of tackling. A lot of their big plays came from missed tackles, so we've just got to do a better job of tackling."

(on taking pride in his tackling) "I take a lot of pride in that. The way I see it, that's one of the best things that I do, tackle. For me to miss tackles in any game, that definitely bothered me. Like I said, Thursday we'll get a chance to correct all of the mistakes."

(on Lions WR Calvin Johnson) "(WR) Calvin Johnson is Calvin Johnson. I don't think I have to say much about him. Everybody knows about him. He's a great receiver. He'll definitely be a Hall of Famer. We'll have to do little things to kind of mix it up and kind of keep the quarterback off balance and whenever we get a chance to double him and just try to keep the ball from going to him."

WR Andre Johnson
(on having an upbeat walk-through after Sunday's overtime win) "We're just getting prepared for Thursday. That's pretty much it."

(on if the quick turnaround is more difficult because of the team had an overtime game yesterday) "No. You just have to do the things you need to do to make sure your body is ready to go. Make sure you get recovered. We had guys sitting in the cold tub and stuff, doing things as soon as the game was over yesterday, so we'll be ready to go."

(on if he's excited to play in his first Thanksgiving Day game) "It's a great opportunity, something you probably dream about as a kid, playing in a game on Thanksgiving. It will be a great opportunity for us and we're going to try to make the best of it."

(on if he dreamed of playing on Thanksgiving as a kid) "I never just sat there and really thought about it. But I've always watched the games on Thanksgiving. It's just great that we get a chance to play."

(on how he follows up his performance from Thursday) "I mean, you can't get caught up what happened in the previous game. You just have to keep plugging and keep moving forward. Every opportunity you get, you just try to make the best of it. That's what I try to do."

(on how nice it was to see the offense put up big numbers in the win against Jacksonville) "It was fun as an offense. We really try to run the ball. That's our main thing, to get our running game going. When we run the ball well, we have a lot of control of the game and things like that. It hasn't changed. It was just situations in the game where we had to throw the ball more to win. So we were able to do that."

(on if there is a better way for the offense to play despite the big numbers it put up against Jacksonville) "I think we can do it both ways, but I just think that where we start at, we start with our run and that's the way it's always been."

(on the thoughts he had as a child playing on Thanksgiving) "Like I said before, it's probably something you dream about, getting a chance to play on Thanksgiving. We have a great opportunity and we'll try to make the best of it."

(on the number of nationally-televised games the team has played in this season) "I mean, it's fun. A lot of people, this year, they get a chance to see what we're about and what type of team we have. And we just try to make the best of those opportunities when we play on primetime."

(on how he feels after playing so many plays the day before) "I'm a little sore but I'll be fine. I mean, I played a lot yesterday but that's anybody. Like I said, we'll do the things that we need to do to make sure we're ready to go Thursday."

(on if the short turnaround before Thursday's game is a problem) "No. I don't think so. They have a short turnaround also. We're both in the same boat. Just going to go out there and play like we normally play."

(on how exciting it is to share the best record in the NFL this late in the season) "It's great. This is something we've been waiting for around here for a long time. To be 9-1, it's awesome."

(on if any fans said anything crazy to him when he jumped in the stands at the end of the game yesterday) "No. Nobody said anything, they just didn't want to let me go. Nobody said anything."

(on if it's hard not to get caught up in the hype or if the team is mature enough not to get into that situation) "I don't get caught up into the hype. People always ask when they see you around, 'How does it feel to be 8-1? 9-1?' I tell them it just feels like it's supposed to happen. Like this is where we're supposed to be. It feels normal. It feels fine. I think if we had a worse record, guys would be upset and probably going crazy around here. We knew what type of team we had coming into this season and we knew what we had to do to get to where we want to go. So far, we've been doing it."

(on Detroit WR Calvin Johnson) "He's a heck of a player. Big body. Goes up and attacks the ball real well. You see it week-in and week-out from him. He's leading the league right now, I think, in yardage. So he's a heck of a player. He's one of my favorites."

(on if he's gotten a chance to know Detroit WR Calvin Johnson) "We did a photo shoot together a few years back and I had a chance to sit down and talk to him a little bit. Other than that, I haven't had a chance to see him much."

DE Antonio Smith
(on being 9-1 at this point and if his situation like this in Arizona was similar) "It started out pretty similar, but this has taken a new turn. We kind of built our way up to nine, and what was it? 9-7 back then, but now it feels like you're the big dog, so this feels a lot better."

(on how excited he is to play on Thanksgiving) "I'm always excited to play on flashing lights night with everybody looking at you on primetime TV. I think no player would tell you they don't like playing in that. I'm excited. It's my first time for Thanksgiving, so that makes it even better."

(on his memories of Thanksgiving) "The only game I would ever watch is Dallas. Sorry Texans, but I grew up a Dallas fan. I'm ashamed to say that now. I didn't watch no Lions games. I only watched Dallas games. I just remember always seeing that, I used to think it was real, but now I know how they make it, the turkey with all the different legs on there. That was like one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving."

(on the quick turnaround) "It's kind of difficult, as far as everything coming at you in a condensed package. It's cut like plain vanilla but still, it's a lot at one time and coaches are just trying to get it to you as fast as they can so that you have more time to chew it over before game time. It can be hard, but I think if you focus, we'll be just fine."

(on his favorite thing about Thanksgiving) "Good food, that's what everybody likes about Thanksgiving. I think that's what Thanksgiving is about sometimes, just cooking a lot of food and pigging out. I think it's a time for families to get together. I got a pretty huge family. The Lord blessed me with a pretty huge, loving family so that's when I get to have fun. I get to watch them get a little too much brandy in them, play dominoes, and come up with different kind of quotes. My family is hilarious and that's probably the best thing I like about Thanksgiving."

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