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Nate Burleson: Don’t blame Jim Schwartz for Lions’ problems

Greg Gautreaux, Jim Schwartz AP

The Lions followed a 2011 playoff appearance with a bad 2012 offseason and then a bad regular season: Detroit had more player arrests than wins last year. But Lions receiver Nate Burleson says that’s not a reflection on the head coach.

Asked on NFL AM if Jim Schwartz deserves some of the blame for the Lions’ lack of discipline, Burleson answered, “No.”

“For me, to put blame on the coaches is really a cop out,” Burleson added. “Because at the end of the day, we’re the ones in the jerseys. They put us in a position to succeed.”

Burleson said that Schwartz did a great job in 2011 of building the team’s confidence and toughness, but he blamed some of the younger players for turning cocky off the field after that season.

“In 2011, we really captured what he was trying to sell us, which was high-intensity, almost through-the-whistle type of play. And to be honest, as a team, we embraced it so much that during the offseason we had some issues with some young guys getting in trouble and we had to address that,” Burleson said. “We had to reset and kind of understand that coach wasn’t telling us to go out there and act like hoodlums, he was basically telling us to go out there and play at a very high, almost violent level, but we have to keep it on the field.”

Schwartz may not deserve the blame for the Lions’ players off-field problems. But if they’re not better on the field this year, Schwartz may pay for it with his job.

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18 Responses to “Nate Burleson: Don’t blame Jim Schwartz for Lions’ problems”
  1. schmokes says: Feb 18, 2013 10:50 AM

    So in 2011, schwarz tells the team to play through the whistle, and be violent. One of his players stomps on someone after the whistle, he gets in a shoving match after a game with another coach….why aren’t we blaming him?

  2. hehateme2 says: Feb 18, 2013 10:51 AM

    Some franchises just can’t get it going in the right direction.

  3. h3min1230 says: Feb 18, 2013 10:52 AM

    He’s right, these are grown man, they don’t need to be cuddled.

  4. souldogdave says: Feb 18, 2013 10:59 AM

    Schwartz is no Harbaugh, but the players obviously have responsibility here regardless of Schwartz’ weaknesses.

  5. jaykray says: Feb 18, 2013 11:01 AM

    The word is coddled, not cuddled.

    But to your point, a grown man does not need either in the work environment.

  6. kevinwi says: Feb 18, 2013 11:03 AM

    Schwartz does deserve some type of the blame…it was he who created the atmosphere in Detroit.
    I think his brand of coaching breeds dirty play and it extended into the offseason. These are the type of players you wanted, these are the type of players you got.

  7. blackandbluedivision says: Feb 18, 2013 11:05 AM

    So at what point did he tell them to be responsible young men on and off the field? Sorry, Nate it isn’t all about play on the field. A coach has to bring in responsible men and train them to know that the team comes first. Anything they do off the field will affect the effort on it. Yea, he shouldn’t have to baby players but at the same time he hasn’t shown in effort to reprimand players for their actions. He only does so after the media has hounded him long enough. Then he gives a stereotypical answer just to appease the media.

    Sorry, Nate you coach is just as undisciplined as your teammates.

  8. sgtdiver says: Feb 18, 2013 11:11 AM

    Yeah I can see how Suh stomping on a player really hurt the team. Just like it did with the Ravens when their player pushed a ref during a fight. I can’t even explain in words how irritating it is to keep reading stuff like that. Nate is right and all I can hope is that it gets turned around this year. Complacency is the worst thing to happen to a team.

  9. lightcleric says: Feb 18, 2013 11:15 AM

    I agree. The coach does have effect on a team’s general attitude, but we don’t need to be making excuses for adults to act like children, and we’ve seen in Titus Young’s case that sometimes nobody can get through to them.

  10. olcap says: Feb 18, 2013 11:20 AM

    Wasn’t coach’s fault that coach didn’t know the rules on Thanksgiving, giving the opposing team a touchdown, LOL.

  11. richardmb52 says: Feb 18, 2013 11:26 AM

    I think Jim Schwartz is doing a fine job, and i hope he keeps it up. ( of course that means 2 wins each for there division rivals lol )

  12. vikings1986 says: Feb 18, 2013 11:30 AM

    Nate Burleson lol tryin to get that next contract and stay with the team lol

  13. tennesseeoilers says: Feb 18, 2013 11:35 AM

    Jim Schwartz was the real thing/straight up during his decade with the Titans. That’s why I wasn’t surprised last season when news leaked out that he was ticked with the Lions’ front office for drafting so many “low character guys.”

  14. jonsilver1947 says: Feb 18, 2013 11:43 AM

    That situation is not a case of not knowing the rules…coaches (2 others besides Schwartz) are provoked by the situation and lose it for a moment…and what is a normal, appropriate act 99 times out of 100 becomes a mistake that 100th time…it’s not like someone physically attacking someone else (inappropriate at almost all times)…that’s why they should have changed the rule as soon as they saw what it leads to, and why they finally will this offseason…in an ideal world, you would have control of your emotions 100% of the time, but NFL football coaches operate in a less-than-ideal world, like the rest of us, and lots of coaches are more passionate than most of us…

  15. torrigjp says: Feb 18, 2013 11:44 AM

    Nate Burleson is the ultimate team mate. All of you 20+ year old saying it’s a coach’s fault that his players are getting in trouble are idiots. It’s free will. Let Darwinism take it’s course.

  16. samaugster23 says: Feb 18, 2013 11:54 AM

    It is kinda funny that everyone thought Schwartz was the next coming when he took the Lions to the play-offs a year ago and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Now everyone wants to throw him under the bus.
    Does Phil Knight get blamed for his employees if they get arrested for a DUI or does Bill Gates get the blame for his employees arrest for a domestic violence??? Does your boss take the blame if you get caught with a stripper?????
    MAN UP and take the blame for your own actions. These players are not marionettes, the coach is not a puppet master.
    Go Lions!!!!!!
    Take the next step!!!!!!

  17. ghouchens says: Feb 18, 2013 1:50 PM

    Too bad we dont have a coach like Harbaugh … someone who throws a hissy fit in the middle of the Superbowl because a referree’s call doesnt go his way … or sulks for weeks after the game because his team lost.
    Now there’s a real example for your team!!!

  18. bayafan says: Feb 18, 2013 2:28 PM

    @ghouchens finally a lions fan who appreciates Harbaugh and how good he is at turning the 49ers around a taking them to a Super Bowl after only two years. Maybe the lions will be lucky to get a coach like him who can finally take the Lions to a Super Bowl.

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