Behind Enemy Lines: Joey Harrington

The Detroit quarterback talks about playing right away and about the impact of Roy Williams, among other topics.

Q: Can you comment on the up and down nature of the Lions' season so far?

A: "I don't want to say it's to be expected but when you have a young team like this you are going to have ups and downs. The key is to have a level head, never get too high or too low. It is such a long season and you are going to have so many momentum changes in a game as well as in a season. If we can learn to keep a level head and play through the ups and the downs I think we will be OK."

Q: What kind of progress do you feel you've made in your three seasons?

A: "My second year was a little better than my first year and this third year is a little better than my second year so far. It is slow steady progress. As much as you want to see immediate results the majority of the time this is how it happens. It takes a little while to see things. It takes a little while to become comfortable with everything on offense and recognize things on defense. I am starting to get to the point where I am feeling a little bit more comfortable."

Q: Are you glad you played right away rather than sitting and watching?

A: "It still goes both ways. There were a lot of things that I saw that first year that I definitely could not have seen sitting on the sideline. But I would be lying if I said that it didn't do a little bit to damage my confidence. It is tough and you have to feel out each quarterback and get a sense of what they will respond to and how they will progress in each situation. As of right now I didn't have any other choice, so its good for me because of that."

Q: How has Kevin Jones been?

A: "When Kevin gets going he is a huge spark. He was a giant spark for us against New York when we came out in the second half. We were not running the ball extremely well and he essentially took over that drive, right out of the gate in the third quarter, to go down and score a touchdown. He had a couple big runs. When he is running the ball well it provides such stability to the offense. He really is a great spark in there."

Q: What's Steve Mariucci been like?

A: "Coach does a very good job of earning the respect of his players. He is very consistent in what he says and what he does. The way he acts in the meeting room is the same way he acts on the field, in the lunch room, and the same way he acts on Sunday's on the field. It is very consistent and you can respect a guy like that."

Q: Is the team more confident this year?

A: ''We absolutely know we can win now. It is a completely different attitude in the locker room. It is fun to be a part of this team right now. I enjoy those pre-games. I enjoy just being in the locker room with the guys because it is fun. They make it fun to play."

Q: What kind of impact has Roy Williams made?

A: "Roy is the type of receiver that the defenses have to acknowledge. Even if he is not catching the ball defenses have to be aware of him and maybe play a safety over the top, which takes an extra guy out of the box. If I see man coverage out there consistently on Roy, I am going to take a shot. That is the kind of confidence that I have in the guy. Even when he is not catching the football he is doing other things like attracting attention from the defense to help out our offense."


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