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KEY QUESTIONS: How do Lions move on after tough finish?
September 25, 2017 05:58 PM | Tim Twentyman
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell isn't real big on shoulda, woulda, and coulda excuses the Monday following a loss. He's a pretty even keeled coach with an eye always looking forward.

Should the Lions have had more time on the clock to run another play?

There have been some pictures released on the internet that have tried to suggest Golden Tate was down with more than 10 seconds left on the clock, but Caldwell reiterated the same stance Monday he had after the game.

"It is what it is," he said. "Eight seconds. It's what we had. What we have to deal with. That's it.

"I like to deal with reality. The reality of it is it doesn't do any good to complain about it. It doesn't do any good to say, 'maybe' or 'perhaps.' It's over and done with. We lost the game. They applied the rule as the rule stood correctly. That's it. End of story."

Caldwell made the point that a typical play takes four seconds. There were 12 seconds left on the clock at the snap.

Is it hard to move on from a heartbreaking finish?


The reality of the NFL is that there's typically a pretty good chance the next opponent is going to be a good one. There isn't much time for hangovers in this league. The Lions play on the road in Minnesota in an important division matchup next Sunday. Look at the film Monday. Correct mistakes. Move on.

"We just need to go back to work," Caldwell said. "We'll see how we bounce back. The idea is to get it behind us as quickly as we can. A lot of that has to do with guys just making up their minds that it's over and done with."

Caldwell did admit, however, that the close ones can make players think about them a little longer.

"This is kind of part of this league," Caldwell said. "How do you handle it?"

Why did the team go away from Jamal Agnew on special teams?

The reigning NFC Special Teams Player of the Week had just one early kickoff return for 11 yards. After that, he was replaced by TJ Jones on kickoffs.

In the fourth quarter, when the Lions finally forced the Falcons into their first punt of the game, it was Golden Tate, not Agnew, returning the punt.

Caldwell said Monday it wasn't an injury situation with Agnew.

"It was just that a couple things popped up and we thought we'd make a little adjustment," Caldwell said. "He'll be fine. We still have a lot of faith in Jamal. He'll do well."

Does TJ Jones deserve more reps moving forward?

Jones made a number of big catches Sunday, and has made the most of limited opportunities early on. He's played in less than a quarter of the team's offensive snaps (24 percent).

On Sunday, Jones caught all three of his targets for 63 yards.

"He serves a great role for us because he can play almost any position," Caldwell said of his fourth-year receiver. "He's very smart. He knows the assignments of all of the pass-eligible individuals and he executes well. Depending on the ballgame and certain situations, that could happen."

But Caldwell also said that he likes the current rotation he's got going right now at receiver.

How were the Falcons able to keep Ziggy Ansah completely off the stat sheet?

Nothing on the stat sheet for Ansah Sunday. No tackles, quarterback hits or hurries. The Falcons did a great job taking him completely out of the game.

"They obviously chipped him a little bit, cut him at the line, those kinds of things," Caldwell said. "Those things are going to happen when the week before you got in and around the quarterback quite often."

Ansah was coming off a three-sack performance the week prior in New York.

The attention paid to Ansah did allow some other players to get some one-on-one matchups they could take advantage of, particularly Anthony Zettel and Jeremiah Valoaga, both of whom recorded sacks in the contest.

Has Caldwell lost any confidence in Eric Ebron?

Ebron admittedly had a tough outing Sunday with two drops in the fourth quarter. He finished with just two catches for nine yards on seven targets.

"Often times we can see it coming in practice," Caldwell said. "How they practice how they perform. At some point, it spills over and we start seeing it in ball games as well.

"Eric works hard. Eric went through a week of practice (last week) without dropping one ball through the course of the week. We track all those things.

"In this game, he just didn't perform as well as we'd like or as well as he'd like. But I do believe this guy works at it, he's dedicated to it and I think he'll be able to have a week like he did last week."

In a Week 2 win over the Giants, Ebron caught all five of his targets, including a touchdown.

"I anticipate he'll keep continuing to improve," Caldwell said.

Is there any update on MIKE linebacker Jarrad Davis?

Davis missed Sunday's game with a concussion. Will he be ready in time for Sunday's game in Minnesota?

"This week you have two days before you find out what's happening in that regard," Caldwell said, referring to the release of Wednesday's first practice report of the week. "You can check that injury report."

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