Check out what Detroit Lions players and coaches are saying about the Seattle Seahawks before the two teams meet in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Head Coach Jim Caldwell
(On his impressions of the Seahawks this year without some key players like Earl Thomas and Marshawn Lynch...)"They look as good as they've always looked. Obviously there's a couple different people here and there, but for the most part, it's still a dynamic team that can play defense and great special teams and obviously outstanding offense."
(On the challenge facing of Russell Wilson, particularly the threat he presents with his legs, similar to the challenge Aaron Rodgers posed in the regular-season finale...) "Those guys have an unusual skill level. Russell Wilson is one of those guys that can hurt you in the pocket and out of the pocket. They present a real problem, they're really unique in that regard and we just have to play our scheme and play it well."
(On how he's seen Russell Wilson's game evolve...)"I'll just tell you that since he's been in the league, he's always been the same, and that's a championship quarterback. He played extremely well from the first time he took a snap under center in this league and he continues to do so."
(On the challenge of playing on the road at CenturyLink Field...) "It's always a challenge on the road, obviously playing at places that are very difficult to play with the noise and all of the other factors that you deal with. They present quite a challenge, but that's what this league is all about. You have to be able to go on the road and you have to be able to perform well. We understand it's a difficult task, as well."
(On what he remembers about his team's game at CenturyLink Field last year…)"It's always rowdy. It's always a lot of noise. I remember a few years back there was a visiting team that went in with six false starts in the game, maybe it was more than that, but it was six at a minimum. Those kinds of things stick out in your mind, but it's difficult to hear. It's certainly a team that you have to prepare for in that regard. We've been in some noisy stadiums, but this is a little different deal. It's loud and a lot of electricity. I know it'll be an exciting time."
Quarterback Matthew Stafford
(On playing at CenturyLink Field...)"They do a great job with home-field, create a lot of noise. The eleven guys between the white lines are pretty solid, too. That's our biggest challenge is playing the guys on their team. Coach Carroll does a great job of getting those guys ready to play and they come out and play well, especially at home."
(On the Seahawks' defense...) "Strong, fast, physical. Disciplined in what they do and they play hard. We had a chance there late in the game to win it, Kam [Chancellor] made a great play. So it was a tight game last year with some missed opportunities in there that you always look back and wish you had hit or whatever they were. It's a really good, solid defense."
(On Bobby Wagner...) "I think he's got four and a half sacks, doing a nice job of rushing the passer. When he's getting matchups with running backs he's winning those matchups. He's a run and hit guy, he can really fly sideline to sideline, he's very instinctual, plays the gaps well and does a nice job in pass coverages as well. He's one of the key guys on that defense in my opinion, from what I see, and he does a really nice job."
Safety Glover Quin
(On the Seahawks' offense without Marshawn Lynch…) "Their philosophy doesn't change. They still like to run the ball, they still want to run the ball, the run game still makes their offense go. They just don't have Marshawn Lynch, but they've still got Thomas Rawls who runs the ball very effectively. They're going to run the ball. Still got Russell Wilson that runs the ball. Their offense hasn't changed, it's just the guys that they have. We've still got to stop the run to be effective."
(On what he takes away from last year's three-point loss at CenturyLink Field…)"We just know we've got to go out there and play our game. I think last year when we went out there we did a good job of stopping the run. Russell Wilson had a couple scramble plays and that's about all I can remember for the most part. But I know we were right there in the game. I think we had a forced fumble for a touchdown we scored on defense, so we just went out there and we understood the environment that we were going into against the team that we were playing against and we just wanted to go play a good game. We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win it. We didn't get it done, but we definitely feel like we can go out there and get a win."
(On if he agrees with his head coach's statement that Russell Wilson is 'deadly'…)"My coach said he's deadly, he's deadly. He definitely can hurt you on the field."
(On the Seahawks' streak of winning nine playoff games in a row at home…)"We're not worried about their streaks of how many games they won at home. That stuff doesn't matter. Right now their record is 0-0, our record is 0-0. This is just like opening day and we've got to go on the road and get a win. … This is not some impossible feat. We've just got to go out there to their house and we've got to play a good football game. That's really what it boils down to. … Right now there's 12 teams in the tournament and we're one of them, so everybody's got the same chance to win. You've just got to go play the game."
(On similarities between Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers…)"Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, they're similar in the fact that they can make plays off-schedule. I think Aaron Rodgers loves to do that. I think Russell Wilson does it when he has to. It's a big difference. But both of them are tough to tackle, so we've got to do a good job of keeping him in the pocket and not letting him extend plays."
Wide Receiver Golden Tate
(On if he got the sense Seattle wanted him back before he ended up signing with the Lions in free agency before the 2014 season…)"I did. I thought they did. I thought they wanted me back. I thought I did everything I could, helped them win a Super Bowl, was in the community, was a good guy. But it worked out. I'm happy where I am and excited about the future of this organization and hopefully I'm here for a long, long time."
(On if he's heard from Seattle fans this week…)"A lot of people reached out on my social media who are Seahawks fans and said, 'Hey you're my favorite player. I'm excited to see you come back to town. Unfortunately I'm going to have to root for the Seahawks, but I'll be wearing your Seattle jersey.' So it's always good to have somewhat of a legacy like that."
Get to know the faces of the Detroit Lions' offensive and defensive units heading into the team's Wild Card playoff matchup with the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
Cornerback Darius Slay
(On being in the underdog position this week against Seattle…) "That's not new. I've been in the underdog position a long time, all the time. Every game we won I think we were, so it's nothing new for us. We just go play ball."
(On playing loud music at practice to try to simulate the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field…) "Just trying to simulate the game. We've been in loud stadiums before. We were there last year."
(On what he remembers about playing at CenturyLink Field last year…) "It is loud. But I don't consider anywhere being difficult to play because we're just all playing, it doesn't make it difficult. But it's real loud out there, though."
Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter
(On the Seahawks' defense…)"Phenomenal defense. It's been rolling for four or five or six years or however long. They've been really great, got a lot of great players, a really outstanding pass rush, outstanding linebackers, outstanding back end. They've really got it all. It's a good challenge. It's what we're in this business for, to play really competitive games against really good challenges."
Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin
(On the Seahawks' offensive philosophy…)"I think the one thing that you have to like about them is they have their scheme and they're going to stick to it and their guys are going to play that scheme, they're going to play it really fast and really hard. I know maybe they're not getting the results they want or that they have in the past [in the run game], but they're going to block well, they're going to run hard, they're going to do the things to try to set the tempo on offense that they've always done. Obviously we have to do a much better job than we have done the last two weeks of stopping the run. If we don't stop the run we have no shot."
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