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Jim Schwartz: Lions not married to any defensive scheme

Jim Schwartz, Tyrell Johnson, Kyle Vanden Bosch AP

The Lions opted to retain General Manager Martin Mayhew and coach Jim Schwartz after a 4-12 season, but that doesn’t mean the status quo will remain in place across the entire organization.

Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham both said that the team is not locked into to any particular defensive scheme and that they would evaluate this year’s results to tweak things to fit the personnel on hand.

“We evaluate every Monday after every single game. Adjustments we need to make, things we need to do better, things that work, things that didn’t work,” Schwartz said. “You also do that on a yearly basis. Part of it is also tied into personnel that you have and you want your schemes to match your personnel. You have a general philosophy, but there’s some flexibility within that philosophy.”

While they didn’t discuss it specifically, Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website suggests that could mean less of the Wide-9 look that the Lions have featured since Schwartz’s arrival in 2009. The scheme is predicated on creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but the Lions saw a drop in sacks in 2012 as they allowed three more points per game than they did in 2011.

We’ll see what changes wind up getting made, but we’d expect to see a fair amount of them in Detroit if Mayhew and Schwartz are going to avoid the axe again this time next year.

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16 Responses to “Jim Schwartz: Lions not married to any defensive scheme”
  1. Ponder This says: Jan 10, 2013 10:40 AM

    By this time you’d think they’d be able to acquire the players that fit their philosophy. How about having a plan?

  2. linebusy says: Jan 10, 2013 10:44 AM

    For all intents and purposes when Schwartz speaks the words “You have a general philosophy” he’s basically stating “We are married to a 4-3 Over base with downhill LB play”. Will they change the DE’s launch point? Sure… but they did that this year anyway. It changes throughout the game. Fans are taking this as though something structurally different will occur, when really, it won’t.

  3. vikefan says: Jan 10, 2013 10:48 AM

    at least the Lions r married to Schwartz, good news for rest of NFC North

  4. dtlb58 says: Jan 10, 2013 10:55 AM

    Upgrade the talent, then they need to leave their egos at the door and lastly, get rid of Gunther. He is a Myth.

  5. comeonnowguys says: Jan 10, 2013 11:11 AM

    They’re also not married to covering wide receivers, and avoiding dumb penalties.

  6. johnnythek1 says: Jan 10, 2013 11:36 AM

    Hey, if it’s good enough for someone named Tim Twentyman, it’s good enough for me.

  7. hrmlss says: Jan 10, 2013 11:40 AM

    So flying by the seat of their pants? It has worked so well.

  8. alucardsanigav says: Jan 10, 2013 12:03 PM

    It’s hard to be married to any scheme when you have no money to spend, your first, second and third stringers(who wouldn’t start for any other NFL team) are on IR, and you’re just looking for warm bodies to stick out there from week 5 on.
    …and I’m a Lions fan.

  9. mnnightowl says: Jan 10, 2013 12:08 PM

    Seems like they’re not even in a serious relationship with any particular defensive scheme.

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 10, 2013 12:14 PM

    This is good news because they seriously need a divorce from their current scheme. An entirely new redesign is needed, but first they have to get an assortment of useful players and now we are starting to tread water with some DL players expected to be lost, and other potential concerns if they don’t reconfigure properly very soon.

  11. theboondoggles says: Jan 10, 2013 12:28 PM

    Sorry Jim, but I don’t believe you. Is any successful head coach married to anything in terms of schemes? How about you and your OC and DC work around the strengths of the players on your roster? That seems to work in New England and San Francisco!

  12. jonofink says: Jan 10, 2013 1:06 PM

    As a long time Chiefs fan I know all about Gunther Cunningham and his smoke and mirrors routine. Just because you scowl and wear yellow tinted glasses doesn’t mean that you are a competent defensive coordinator. He should have never been hired in the first place after getting fired by the Chiefs for having the 32nd ranked defense, only to be immediately hired by the Lions… WTF… And now like how many years later you wonder why you have a problem on defense… Fire the guy. He totally sux…

  13. caeser12 says: Jan 10, 2013 1:38 PM

    Lions are not married to defense, PERIOD

    Fixed it.

  14. scantenii says: Jan 10, 2013 5:16 PM

    The Fords need to open their pocketbook and go get Gruden or Cowher to coach… Then again this is very easy to say for me because it is not my money…

  15. spooner97 says: Jan 11, 2013 9:27 AM

    After I got married I said I didn’t want to be married anymore too.

  16. hornyak2012 says: Jan 12, 2013 11:55 AM

    Wide 9= prevent defense= prevents you from winning!

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