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Opposing View: Panthers at Lions


On Carolina's defense – specifically their corners, safeties and Julius Peppers: "Overall, they're very, very good. That's the first thing. They have a very talented unit – guys that have been with them for a while in terms of their core guys particularly up front. They have done a tremendous job and are very good run stoppers inside. Obviously with (Kawann) Short and Star (Lotulelei). They can rush the passer with (Mario) Addison and Julius Peppers just seems to be ageless at 37 years old. He still looks like he has the twitch and speed and is about as fast as he looked when I saw him the first time at Wake Forest when he was at Carolina. He was a very talented individual. Their perimeter guys can run and play. I know they've had a couple injuries here and there but, they'll have a number of guys that can line up and play and do the job. Particularly when you match that with their front seven, it's a very formidable defense."

On why Matthew Stafford has been so good late in games: "Well I think No. 1, he works at it and those situations. He certainly has a good sense of what can be accomplished within the time he has. No. 2 is that he doesn't get nervous in those situations. He's as calm as can be. No. 3, he's not afraid to lose. Often times you'll find that the good basketball players that want the ball in their hands at the end of the game and other guys don't. He's the guy that wants it. He will certainly do everything he can to try and get that into the end zone. Also, teammates respond to him because of the way he approaches it – hey, we're going to get this done. They all feel that. It's a trickle-down effect."

On scheming against an offense that has a running game with their quarterback and running backs: "That gives you a little bit of an issue because most teams in the league aren't going to run their quarterback because they're not Cam. They're not 245 pounds and can't dish out a punishment when they're running it. Most quarterbacks are in a position when they take too many licks they're going to have a problem. He's a rare guy – an unusual talent with a lot of power and ability, athleticism, brains and an arm to go with it."

On Christian McCaffrey: "Obviously his reputation precedes him. I watched him against my Hawkeyes in the bowl game and he lit them up pretty quickly. I was watching the game, expecting the Hawks to hang in there and do well and all of a sudden – I think the first time he touched the ball he took it to the house. He had a first half that was absolutely unbelievable. Everybody knows what he's capable of doing. He's fast, he's quick, he's smart and he's tough. We really just need make certain we cover our respective gaps and run to the football. They have some talent and there's some things he'll do that you can't quite prepare for. Just be ready to run and hit."

On Devin Funchess and his familiarity with him: "Well certainly, he's one of those guys that can obviously make plays and he's a nice target. He's a good route runner. He's a talented guy. We're certainly aware of him."

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