Jim Schwartz: The Tail of a Former Lion

Published: Jan 03, 2014 17:09pm EST
By JasonNeal, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Jan 03, 2014 @ 05:16pm EST


The Jim Schwartz era in Detroit has come to an unceremonious end. In four of the five seasons with Schwartz at the helm, the only consistent aspect for the Lions was notches in the loss column and increasing grey hairs in his mane.  Schwartz had a record of 29-51 in Detroit, with 10 of those wins coming in their 2011 playoff year.  Last year, the Lions won four games, yet Schwartz was retained as the head coach coming into the 2013 season.

Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone against the Chicago Bears in early November, Jay Cutler was fragile and struggled to come back from his injury, and at one point, the Lions led the NFC North; a division that no one seemed to want to run away with.  The Lions purred their way to losing six of their final seven games, including a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, where Justin Tucker kicked for more yards than Matthew Stafford threw for. 

The Lions brass decided to part ways with Schwartz after he chased down another head coach after a loss (Jim Harbaugh), had a defense that was perceived as one of the dirtiest in the NFL, and winning an average of just over four games a year in the four years that he was unable to lead Detroit to the playoffs.

Some say a team emulates its leader; Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are similar in football demeanor, Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh both clam up around the media when it comes to scheme questions, and Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy both have an incredible ability to explain themselves thoroughly to the point of exhaustion when asked a question.  What do all of these duos have in common?  They are all in the playoffs, unlike the Detroit Lions.

There is something to be said about the head coach of a team being detail oriented, leading in a way where men have expectations set and are held accountable to those expectations, and where there is a sense of pride about the job that needs to be done.  Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”  With players like Calvin Johnson, Nick Fairley, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, and Ndamukong Suh, it seems reasonable to think that an expectation of .500 or better would not be out of the realm of possibility. 

Jim Schwartz may land another head coaching gig somewhere because the NFL loves to recycle head coaches (looking at you Wade Phillips, Marty Schottenheimer, and Norv Turner), or he may land somewhere as a defensive coordinator.  No matter the future, the fact remains that Jim Schwartz was unable to pull the Lions out of a pit of despair with far better talent than Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron, and Rod Marinelli combined.  Schwartz probably should not get another head coaching job in the NFL, but who knows, maybe Oakland will be looking for someone when Dennis Allen wears out his welcome after next year.  


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