The Lions and Packers finally can confine their rivalry to the football field, and not the shooting range.
Coach Jim Schwartz says that he never meant to say anything bad about the Packers and their decision to skip a day of OTAs in order to go skeet shooting.
“We had no sporting clays today or no amusement parks or water parks,” Schwartz originally said.
Though we didn’t present Schwartz’s remarks as a slight against the Packers, who went skeet shooting, someone took it that way, prompting coach Mike McCarthy to respond.
“I don’t know what the problem with skeet shooting is; I thought that was probably one of the best events we’ve ever had here. . . . I actually got a chuckle out of hearing someone else worried about us taking our team skeet shooting,” McCarthy said.
Schwartz has now responded to the, um, response.
“You know what’s really funny?” Schwartz said Tuesday, via Anwar Richardson of MLive.com. ”I had no idea that it was even that. I had players who were saying, ‘Hey coach, somebody went skeet shooting. Somebody went to a water park. You know what’s really funny? [Lions P.R. chief Bill] Keenist sent me that article, and the day that article came out, you know what I was doing? Skeet shooting. I thought that was the funniest thing.”
Schwartz ultimately wasn’t offended by McCarthy’s response.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Schwartz said.
The broader point is whether it makes sense, with decreased offseason workouts, to sacrifice one of only 10 OTA days for a team-building exercise. The fact that McCarthy would and Schwartz wouldn’t possibly suggests that one guy is loose (winning a Super Bowl tends to do that) and the other guy is a little tight. Or maybe Schwartz didn’t feel the need to reward a team with players who have created off-field issues this year.
Or maybe, given those off-field issues, Schwartz didn’t want to put guns in some of his players’ hands.