Schwartz at a loss to explain Lions

The Detroit Lions played what may have been their best quarter of football in years on Sunday in the first 15 minutes against the Seattle Seahawks, and they lost the game anyway.

So does that mean these are the same old Lions? Or is there a glimmer of hope to be found in those first 15 minutes? Lions coach Jim Schwartz says that at this point, he doesn’t know what he should think of his team.

Honestly, I don’t know,” Schwartz said after having a day to think about how his team played. “I don’t know whether to look at it as ‘glass half-full’ or ‘glass half-empty’ because you put all of those things [together]: OK, cross-country trip, play on the road, obviously a loud place, adverse conditions and the fact that we were in that position. OK, there’s positives there. The fact that we were up 17-0 and let it slip away, there aren’t many positives that you can look at there.”

Schwartz has said he’s encouraged by some of the things he’s seen from his team this year, especially from the younger players who will — he hopes — be the nucleus of a team that finally turns things around in Detroit. But in going over everything that happened to his team in Seattle on Sunday, Schwartz came across like David from the Seinfeld episode “The Wait-Out,” who asks questions to himself, aloud, and then answers them.

“Are we happy where we are? Absolutely not,” Schwartz told reporters Monday. “Do we have a long way to go? Yes, we do. Are we working? Sure. Are we seeing positive signs? Yeah. Are we seeing inconsistencies? Yes. Are there changes to be made still? Yes. To label us happy or unhappy or anything else — we have work to do every Sunday and we’re not there yet.”

The bottom is that Schwartz inherited a terrible team — the only 0-16 team in NFL history. Can that kind of team be turned around quickly? Apparently not.

21 responses to “Schwartz at a loss to explain Lions

  1. They’re all masterminds until they take over terrible teams. Time will tell, but all great coaches had or have great talent. Nobody wins with bums.

  2. Defense wins games, and when the Seahawks defense picked Stafford 5 times…there’s the game! It’s not that hard to understand what happened!

  3. Its going to take a long time to turn around an 0-16 team. Are they more competitive? Yes, but theyre still not good. Theyre headed in the right direction and thats a positive. there is some talent on the team but theyve had alot of terrible drafts and it takes a while to recover from that. It may even take 5 years, but all you can ask for is improvement each year to go with solid personel decisions

  4. They are better than they were, even if only for a quarter here, a drive there. A lot of good things have started to happen, but it’s very early days yet.

  5. This is a good example of a team with some talent (they should have talent seeing how they draft in the first 5 spots for the last decade or so) but has not yet figured out how to win.
    I read lots of comments about the top teams being only a missed kick or a lucky bounce from losing more games. But that is the point, good teams almost always figure out how win, bad teams usually figure out a way to give up 17-0 leads. Maybe someday the talent will get a clue. But as for now Mr. Schwartz, the mystery is easily explained: with the game on the line your entire team has its sphincter so puckered they could push out a collective fart and it would make a sound only dogs can hear.

  6. Apparently it’s understandable for a football team to take years to revive from disaster, but an entire country? Obama needs to fix that right up in just a few months or he’s terrible!

  7. It takes time to turn around the 7 years of roster mismanagement that Millen perpetrated. Step one is getting rid of anybody who’s OK with losing, or who won’t buy in. Step two is to accumulate some talent. Step three is to be patient while your young players learn to play in the NFL.
    The Lions are in the beginning stages of Step 3. They had to basically gut that roster, all they had was one very good receiver. Young players need to develop their skills and learn to close out a game. They’ve got some good pieces, but Schwartz needs to understand that it will take time.
    I recall the 90s Cowboys teams. I believe they were 1-15 the year after they got Jimmy Johnson. Then they finished at .500. Then they were really good. If the Lions can manage 4 wins this year and 8 the next, they’ll be on track.

  8. So does Schwartz go down quickly like Marinelli, or stick around for a while? I would hope he wouldn’t get canned after one season, but how long does he have?
    Full disclosure-as a Viking fan, I love having a 3-team division race the last few years.

  9. The fact of the matter is is that Detroit is in a much better position for the upcoming future than the Raiders or Browns.
    Having to take over a 0-16 club is OBVIOUSLY going to take some time. But after last years draft and some good moves Detroit should be out of the cellar halfway through next year. If they can piece together another draft like this last one then the ship should be coming together nicely.
    The Raiders and the Browns though… that situation won’t be fixed for another 2-3 drafts IF they are lucky.

  10. a coach is only as good as his players, its that simple.
    The lions need some time and a competent front office for a change and they could be in the mix, but they should build right, and not think that a strong armed QB and a great WR are going to fix all their problems.

  11. The irony is suffocating – “Schwartz at a loss to explain Lions”.
    When can I get a “Zorn confounded by head coaching responsibilies” headline?

  12. Michael Davis Smith says:
    “The bottom (line?) is that Schwartz inherited a terrible team — the only 0-16 team in NFL history.”
    I saw the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Bucaneers team that started out 0-26…watch those guys play for awhile and you don’t feel so bad for a coach that inherited Calvin Johnson, Ernie Sims, Kevin Smith (along with the 1st pick of the draft) and crew. And this Lions team currently has more talent to work with than the Rams, Browns and Chiefs imo.

  13. I wish that after the Vikings win a superbowl the lions bring a lombardi trophy back to Detroit. The city has been declining for years, the games are never sold out (with fans in the seats). They really need something to cheer about. Something to give hope back to them. They need to get money back into the city.
    I go to every Viking game at Detroit and its nice to see some fans still going but even they are wondering why. They have good fans but when you aren’t good it’s hard to keep your spirits up and attend. Its a shame, Ford Field is one of the nicest stadiums out there yet its never packed. Except for the game against the Vikings in week 2, though the entire top section on the south side was empty.
    If anything I want them to come 2nd to the Vikings every year.

  14. “SgtSigma says:
    November 10, 2009 11:57 AM
    So does Schwartz go down quickly like Marinelli, or stick around for a while? I would hope he wouldn’t get canned after one season, but how long does he have?
    Full disclosure-as a Viking fan, I love having a 3-team division race the last few years.”
    The Vikes boat always sinks in the playoffs. (Except the Party Boat)
    And the have the same nuber of Lombardi trophy’s as the Lions. Zero.

  15. this is what happens when you draft a QB and a TE in the first round of the draft with one of the worst offensive lines and the worst defense in the NFL.
    i was shocked at both picks when they happened, and even in their brightest moments this year I still feel that they should have gone a different direction with at least one of the two picks.

  16. Trench,
    The Lion’s had the best draft last year up to this point. USA Today Sports Weekly, check out the article. And Pettigrew is already beast chaeck his stats and watch his highlights. Can’t say the same for Stafford yet but also Delmas has already won one rookie of the month award this year. I know he was a second round pick but he is the best rookie defensive player in the league.
    Nevisyakker,
    All the top 5 draft picks except for Calvin that Millen chose are off of the team. So all that top 5 talent you talked about isn’t in Detroit anymore.
    SgtSigma,
    Marinelli had 3 years here not one. He was a terrible, and I mean the worst Head Coach in history terrible, coach and that is why he got replaced as well as his full-blown retard son-in-law Joe Barry.

  17. The Lions had a damn good draft, maybe one of the best last year.
    It’ll take a couple years to turn this around. There are too many men on a football team to reroute everything that quickly.
    The Lions issues are lineman (O and D) and secondary. The last draft was notoriously weak especially for lineman and secondary players. With an uncapped year coming up, this draft should be one of the best. We have a good opportunity coming up.

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