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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


**On Detroit TE Brandon Pettigrew:

**"He's the second favorite target for Matthew Stafford and just has two, maybe three less receptions than Calvin Johnson. He's a guy that Matthew has a whole lot of confidence in, especially in the middle of the field. Most of the passes out to Calvin are out on the perimeter and he kind of works the middle of the field. The thing that I've been impressed with is his all-around game. He can run block as well. I know their run statistics aren't very impressive; they're probably more of a pass team first but when they do run the ball, I really have enjoyed watching him block. He's an all-around tight end and he's about what we thought when we were going through the draft process. He's a very good player."

**On how much the Lions move DT Ndamukong Suh around on the defensive line:

**"He's going to be moving around inside between the two guards. I don't see them moving him outside. They've got the two really good starting defensive ends that can rush up the field. I think you'll see him play both on the left and the right side."

**On TE Tony Gonzalez's ball security throughout his career:

**"To have the 1,000-plus catches that he has, I don't think that he's put the ball on the ground very often. I think it's a lot of the work that he does on his own during practice. He's catching the ball, tucking it away. He's not just catching it, he's running the routes where he's at the top of his routes and working off of the stem and catching the ball. He's, in my mind, the best tight end to ever play the game."

**On his view of the Lions rushing defense and the importance of explosive plays against them:

**"I think their run defense is very impressive and I think that's a good way to put it, that they've had a couple of explosive running plays that have gotten out. There's some tough sledding when you watch the tape for offenses that try to run the football. They're very aggressive with their defensive line. I think the explosive plays have kind of been the thing that have shown up and that's why their yards-per-carry is so high."

**On the rotation on the Lions defensive line:

**"That group of defensive lineman, I think, is very impressive. It doesn't matter if it's the first group or the second group, they are running off the football and trying to be disruptive and that's the style of defense that they play. It's an aggressive one-gap, not a two-gap, style. They're going to try to create the negative plays and I think they've been very successful doing that for the most part and that just blends right into the way that they want to rush the passer."

**On LB Stephen Tulloch:

**"He's very familiar with what Coach Schwartz has done with the defense there in Tennessee so he has a very good understanding of it. I'm sure that's why they added him to their roster."

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