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MONTE & CLYDE

On the Lions' new West Coast offense:

"Marty Mornhinweg is from the Steve Mariucci and 49ers camp, where they're all disciples of (Seattle's) Mike Holmgren. You can go to Andy Reid (Philadelphia), Mike Sherman (Green Bay) and Jon Gruden (Oakland). It's all the same. Marty's offense is back to the early stages. He hasn't taken it to the next level yet. What they've done is gotten better and better every week. Look at the points scored. It's a good pass offense."

On playing an 0-7 team, the fourth time this season they'll face a winless team:

"What we pointed out was the Minnesota Vikings in '96, when they came down to Tampa and played a team that was 0-5 (the Bucs won 24-13). That's a good reminder. (The Lions) are 0-7 and, believe me, they're looking for their first win, especially at home. You'd rather play an 0-7 team when they're on the road, believe me."

On being 22nd in the NFL at stopping the run:

"We've played the run really well at times. But some breakdowns have knocked our stats out of whack. Jerome Bettis makes a couple long runs, Ahman Green makes one last week. We've got to be consistent with it so we don't have those big breakouts."

On matching up with the Lions defense:

"They always come alive at home. We've always had trouble with them. Last year, we got up early on them. But they're very good and they're getting healthy. I think the biggest thing is that they were minus so many guys. They've just been banged up something fierce. They've gotten both their safeties back, so they're not giving up the big plays."

On their problems with Lions defensive end Robert Porcher:

"(Porcher) is a good rusher, especially there on turf and with the noise. We have to handle him. We know Porcher and those guys. We know how they rush in a dome up there. So it'll be a dogfight."

On staying out of the third-and-long situations:

"I think it starts with the run. When we don't run it, we struggle, and Green Bay was an example of that. We have to be more successful running the ball and we have to keep the third downs manageable. We can't take a sack, we can't get a holding call, we can't jump offsides. We can't have eight third-and-11 pluses on the road. You can't have them anywhere. But on the road, they kill you."

_ RICK STROUD

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