Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Stafford, Schwartz on Cards
By Josh Weinfuss
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona media heard from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and coach Jim Schwartz on a Wednesday morning conference call.
Here's what the two had to say about this weekend’s game in Glendale:
• Schwartz said facing three talented receivers who move around the field as often as the Arizona Cardinals' do makes it difficult to game plan. And it doesn't help having an accurate quarterback who knows his way around the pocket.
"It really puts you in a big challenge on defense,” Schwartz said. "You have to pressure, whether it’s by blitz or by front four because you can't let a guy like that [Carson Palmer] sit back there. But you also have a lot of different guys you have to cover and if you put too much attention on one, then Palmer's a quarterback that can find the other one. We're going to have to play our very best against them."
• Schwartz doesn't blame Bruce Arians for working Patrick Peterson into the offense, even if it makes more work for the Lions coach.
"You have to stop all the weapons that all the teams have,” Schwartz said. Peterson was on the field for just three offensive plays against the Rams. Schwartz said the Lions will know where he is if he plays on offense Sunday. "He’s a guy that if he has a ball in his hands, he can make something happen,” he said. "You can see why they’d like to try to get the ball in his hands on offense sometimes. But we know what number he wears so if he’s out there we’ll know it’s him. We’ll be ready however it comes out."
• One game into his career and Tyrann Mathieu is already being noticed by opposing quarterbacks and coaches. His strip of Rams tight end Jared Cook caught the attention of Schwartz while Stafford was impressed with Mathieu’s overall body of work.
"He’s very, very talented,” Stafford said. "He’s fluid, the way he moves. He’s obviously a gamer. The guy made a great play last week on Jared Cook and is always around the football, which is a sign of a good player. "You saw that when he played in college at LSU. He’s transferred that well to the league. He’s a guy that’s going to be a playmaker for them not just this year but for years to come."
• The Cardinals have built a reputation on their coverage of Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and Stafford doesn’t expect anything less Sunday.
"The Cardinals traditionally have played Calvin very physical,” Stafford said. "He’s a physical player but [they] have tried to get hands on him as far down the field as they possibly can."