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Jim Schwartz taking increasing heat in Detroit

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We mentioned last week that Lions coach Jim Schwartz was due for some criticism in Detroit, even if we think it’s premature.

Following Detroit’s road loss to the winless Bills, the heat has turned up.

One headline on this week says: “Jim Schwartz showing no signs of resurrecting Detroit Lions; should his job be in jeopardy?”  The article says it’s time to put Schwartz “on the clock” and criticizes his “nauseating” first-half playcalling.

In the Detroit Free Press, Terry Foster writes, “It’s time to question Jim Schwartz’s ability as head coach.”

Foster doesn’t think Schwartz should be on the hot seat yet, but questions his game management skills.

Excellent beat writer Tom Kowalski writes that the loss to the Bills show how far the Lions have to go to reach respectability and that they aren’t much better than they were in the past.  We agree with the first part.

“It was interesting to note that Lions coach Jim Schwartz credited the Buffalo defense for making huge changes this season to help improve their run defense,” Kowalski writes.   “Really? That’s possible? You can actually make adjustments and improvements during the season?

Then riddle me this: Why aren’t the Lions making any improvements?”

We understand the frustration borne out of decades of losing.  From an outside perspective, though, this is an overraction.  As MDS wrote, the 2010 Lions are a historically unlucky team.   They have upgraded the talent base dramatically with young players.  Fixing the Matt Millen era was never going to be a two year job.

If the Lions are sitting at 2-7 a year from now, then it’s time to start questioning Schwartz.

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24 Responses to “Jim Schwartz taking increasing heat in Detroit”
  1. FinFan68 says: Nov 16, 2010 11:30 AM

    It may not look like it right now, but the Lions are well on their way to being a respectable team. They have lost close games. This team could easily be 5-4. Get stafford healthy and shore up some holes in the draft. Next year the Lions will be in the hunt for a division crown. They could still ultimately decide who wins their division because they will likely beat GB or Chicago. They are no longer a pushover; they just need to get a couple breaks to go their way. To start calling for the coach’s head at this point is absurd.

  2. smithopher says: Nov 16, 2010 11:35 AM

    This team has been in every game it’s played all year, a couple years ago they were blown out every week. He’s showing signs of turning this team around, and I actually believe that this team (and the Browns) will have a shot at making the playoffs next year. Gotta hang in there with Schwartz, he’s doing fine.

  3. jpmelon says: Nov 16, 2010 11:38 AM

    I don’t think its wise to accuse the coach just based on the Bills loss….anyone who follows football knows that the Bills are better than their 1-8 record suggests. The Bills had home-field advantage and they were far more desperate for a win.

  4. thenaj says: Nov 16, 2010 11:42 AM

    You can’t fix 8 years of disaster in 1 1/2 seasons. Not having Stafford is a blow. Sure Shaun Hill is serviceable but he’s no Stafford. Half of this roster is god awful and that’s nothing Schwartz can correct. They have got to knock it off with the penalties though. So many every game this year, shooting themselves in the foot at the worst times.

    @smithopher you are correct. They are in games as opposed to last season they were done by halftime.

    Oh and Terry Foster writes for the Detroit News not the Free Press.

  5. citizenstrange says: Nov 16, 2010 11:42 AM

    It doesn’t help that Stafford can’t stay healthy. If Stafford ends up missing a third or more of next season too you have to start looking for a franchise QB again.

  6. milwaukeebearsfan says: Nov 16, 2010 11:43 AM

    Year in and year out it’s always been the same thing with Detroit. All I know is that there aren’t many constants in the universe but having Detroit in the NFC North constitutes a three team division and I just don’t see Detroit improving anytime soon, whether it would be a coaching change, ownership change or waving a dead chicken over my head 15 times. Some constants are just destined to remain the same.

  7. semperfi24 says: Nov 16, 2010 11:44 AM

    Gotta agree with the first two comments on this. To say they havent shown any signs of improvement is the 2nd dumbest statement of the recent past (the dumbest being Nancy Pelosi saying we have to pass health care, so that we could read what is in the bill…but I digress). Lets not forget how many games this team has been in late in the game. If Stafford doesnt get hurt, they beat the Jets 2 weeks ago, a Jets team that is arguably the top team in football. In week one they were one bad call away from beating the Bears (we all know Calvin caught that TD….)

  8. dogwielder says: Nov 16, 2010 11:44 AM

    Firing Schwartz now would only guarantee another couple years of horrible football. Give the man time to work.

  9. pukey60 says: Nov 16, 2010 11:46 AM

    who is Jim Schwartz?

  10. odds75to1 says: Nov 16, 2010 11:47 AM

    Killer is a grumpy sourpuss who finds faults even in their wins!

  11. jimmylions says: Nov 16, 2010 11:56 AM

    I think people underestimate the Lions overall lack of talent before Schwartz arrived. Millen took a franchise that was an on/off playoff contender and turned it into one of the worst in NFL history. He should be tied to an old Buick and flogged in Hart Plaza.

    Schwartz has upgraded the team tremendously in just a short period of time. If Stafford doesn’t get injured, we beat the Jets and Schwartz is a hero.

    Part of the issue is the truly nasty Detroit fan culture when it comes to the Lions. Bashing on the Lions is something people do for sport, and completely without thought. When I go back there and wear my Lions jersey, I get grief from strangers who call me stupid — that’s in the Detroit suburbs.

    Considering that Stafford is pretty much done for the year … so are the Lions chances of getting close to .500.

    The real bummer is that trashing the Pats on Thanksgiving would have been awesome.

  12. thelionsinwinter says: Nov 16, 2010 11:59 AM

    Hey. Enough of all that facts and logic and reasoning and sound football knowledge. “You are what your record says you are,” even though that’s demonstrably not true!

    Ty @ The Lions in Winter

  13. fourthand20 says: Nov 16, 2010 12:00 PM

    Running repeatedly up the middle with no offensive line is ridiculous. At minimum, fire the OC now, then if no improvement, Schwartz goes. Bidding high next year for Vick wouldn’t hurt either.

  14. clownburger says: Nov 16, 2010 12:07 PM

    He’s only be questioned by incredibly ignorant morons who have already forgotten that 50 percent of the team was overhauled last year!

    The ones calling for his head already are just showing their ignorant asses at this point. I’m not sure how these idiots are employed.

    Ford will give Shwartz plenty of time to prove himself. He’s nowhere near the hotseat. NOWHERE NEAR IT. I mean not even close. To suggest otherwise is either ignorance or pot stirring but either way it’s HORRIBLE journalism.

    To give you all an idea of the brilliance of these so called journalists at Mlive they have something called “Expert Picks” where 10 Detroit reporters aka Ignorant morons pick winners for the upcoming week of football.

    Last time I checked, 7 of the 10 had below .500 records. I’m not kidding.

    Nuff’ said.

  15. katmanduu says: Nov 16, 2010 12:19 PM

    Patience people….PATIENCE. Dude has done a good job, considering that he took over the worst team in NFL history. That isn’t a quick fix, and Schwartz has them headed in the right direction. QB needs to stay healthy.

  16. dallascheerleaders says: Nov 16, 2010 12:22 PM

    This team has greatly improved under Schwartz. Keep in mind how sucky this team was and for how long. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  17. 303bengalguy says: Nov 16, 2010 12:34 PM

    The “Stafford is injury prone” crap has got to go… it’s not being injury prone to get crunched by a DE coming around from your blind side!

    The fix for this team is to nail the draft this year… getting a top OT should be a top priority. The offense is loaded if it has the proper line in front of the skill players to allow them to work their magic.

  18. artbyshan says: Nov 16, 2010 12:51 PM

    The Lions have been competitive in every game despite injuries. This team is on the right course, and it’s just a matter of time some of those close losses will be wins. Give the guy a chance. It’s not like he took over a successful team.

  19. jagerbolt says: Nov 16, 2010 1:01 PM

    bengalguy beat me to it, but as soon as they fix that o-line and get a better secondary, they will be a tough team.

  20. Nevis says: Nov 16, 2010 1:11 PM

    Lions are far better than years past, and I think this is a discussion after next year.

    Schwartz also can’t help it that his #1 overall QB can’t stay healthy, which should be the real concern in Detroit.

  21. fartography says: Nov 16, 2010 1:13 PM

    It is not too early to start questioning Schwartz’s job security. He’s won 4 games in a season and a half. Nobody should be allowed to do that and feel safe with a head coaching job. The Lions lost close games before Marinelli, too. We’ve seen all of this before.

    It’s not just that they lost to the Bills. It’s the WAY they’re losing these games. Dumb penalties combined with lack of urgency in the first half. That’s all on the coaches.

    And yes, the O-Line is freaking terrible. Lions fans have begged for Backus and Raiola to be shipped out of town for years and it’s not happening. Coincidentally in those years we’ve never been able to run the football. Then figure in the idiotic penalties those two generate.

  22. fartography says: Nov 16, 2010 1:31 PM

    And I’m tired of the “If Stafford hadn’t gotten hurt, Schwartz would’ve been a hero against the Jets…” schtick.

    Here’s what really happened. Stafford got hurt, and then Schwartz called a bootleg pass play on third and long instead of burning 40 seconds off the clock. With an ice cold third string schlub of a QB. And then he didn’t ice the kicker because “that strategy is overrated.” So basically he doesn’t buy what every other head coach in the NFL would have done. BTW, that same kicker missed three field goal attempts two days ago.

  23. commandercornpone says: Nov 16, 2010 10:27 PM

    look… coming from north of daytwa…

    stafford appears fragile. or doesnt know how to fall or take a sack or avoid the rush. yes daytwa needs to get mo better OL.

    even if he isnt “fragile”… just “wrong place wrong time”… pretty soon if he misses more time, he will be yesterday’s news anyway.

    then it will be time to get another one.



    get the drift…

  24. tokyolionsfan says: Nov 16, 2010 10:59 PM

    Schwartz is making real progress; to say otherwise is absurd. They still have glaring holes on this team: OL, DB, LB. That’s the draft priority for 2011 and grab a developmental QB in the 2nd half of the draft.

    That said, if Schwartz doesn’t start showing progress especially with regard to the pre and post snap penalties, Mayhew has got to start bringing the heat. I fully support bringing Schwartz back for 2011 (it would be utterly crazy not to) but he has to have the team show progress with the penalties and poor tackling and he has to show progress with his poor clock management.

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