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.