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Schwartz says corner is hardest position in sports

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions Getty Images

He has the best receiver in the NFL.  He’d apparently prefer to have the best cornerback.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz says cornerback is the hardest position in the NFL, or in any sport.

“It’s tough to play corner [in the NFL],” Schwartz recently said, via the team’s official website.  “I think it’s probably the most difficult thing to do in all of sports.

“You have to run with world-class receivers, you’ve got to start backwards and they’re going forward.  They know where they’re running, you don’t.  You’ve got to be tough enough to take on pulling guards and running backs and skilled enough and fast enough to cover the elite athletes, you know, guys that are Olympic-caliber speed.”

(Deion Sanders thinks the comment about taking on pulling guards is funny.)

The trend is toward larger corners, something the Seahawks have pioneered.  The Lions now have four corners who are at least six feet tall.

“You don’t want to end up sacrificing speed, you don’t want to end up sacrificing toughness and change of direction.  I think that’s the balance that you have to play there,” Schwartz said.

If that’s the case, it seems like more teams would have been willing to trade for Darrelle Revis, and to give him $16 million per year on a pay-as-you-go contract.

And it seems like the Lions would have been more interested in taking a corner like Dee Milliner or D.J. Hayden with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft.

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36 Responses to “Schwartz says corner is hardest position in sports”
  1. whooligun says: Jun 3, 2013 3:58 PM

    Fire Schwartz!

    (from a Lions fan)

  2. arrowdead says: Jun 3, 2013 4:00 PM

    actually I pioneered the trend to larger corners, starting in the Madden 06 franchise-mode draft….

  3. jersey73 says: Jun 3, 2013 4:01 PM

    I still say QB is the toughest position in all of sports.

  4. coltzfan166 says: Jun 3, 2013 4:02 PM

    I’ll agree that corner is pretty hard but harder than QB?

  5. logicalvoicesays says: Jun 3, 2013 4:03 PM

    LOL. Signed, DeAngelo Hall. #23makesitlookeasy

  6. faultylogic29 says: Jun 3, 2013 4:04 PM

    Makes sense. The Lions corners make it look like the toughest position in sports.

  7. logicalvoicesays says: Jun 3, 2013 4:05 PM

    Best secondary in football is in DC with Hall, Wilson, Merriweather, Amerson, Phillips and Rambo. Calvacade of talent at every position. #ThankgodImaREDSKINSfan

  8. wecomefromthestars says: Jun 3, 2013 4:08 PM

    “If that’s the case, it seems like more teams would have been willing to trade for Darrelle Revis,..”

    Mike, don’t be like that. The ACL ligament in the knee of a cornerback is the most crucial piece of connective tissue on earth. Until we see him come back and play as he did before, which the likeliness of that happening is around 4-8%, we’re just speculating at best, and making a****** comments at worst.

    Chalk up a mark for another goofball who was mesmerized by AP’s inhuman comeback. Darn you AP!!

    -Also, Schwartzy knows wtf he’s talking about. NFL corners are perched at the top of the athletic pyramid, no doubt.

  9. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 3, 2013 4:09 PM

    I think Lions head coach is the most difficult position in all of sports.

  10. hatesycophants says: Jun 3, 2013 4:12 PM

    It is apparent to no one that Schwartz would prefer to have the best Corner in the NFL over having the best WR. No one.

  11. swaggyy says: Jun 3, 2013 4:13 PM

    ^ LOL they certainly showed that last season. The legion of boom is far and away the best secondary. Oh and Gym Shorts, you’re an idiot why are you still a coach?

  12. nygiantstones says: Jun 3, 2013 4:14 PM

    Playing CB in the NFL reminds me of the quote about Ginger Rogers dancing with Fred Astaire when people talk about how great he was – “she did everything he did but backwards and in high heels”. Same thing with NFL CBs, they do everything WRs do but backwards.

  13. noeffinway says: Jun 3, 2013 4:17 PM

    Why don’t you ever pick apart one of McCarthy’s news conference?????

  14. Patskrieg dot com says: Jun 3, 2013 4:36 PM

    As a Patriots fan I’d like to concur that yes it’s (apparently) really really really hard to find and develop good corners.

    Having a “defensive backs coach” whose best experience in football was as DC of a mining school in South Dakota doesn’t make things any easier.

  15. kpow55 says: Jun 3, 2013 4:45 PM

    He has a healthy respect for a position he covets….

    I would say the team covets but their past drafts have clearly shown otherwise.

  16. nagaswan says: Jun 3, 2013 4:54 PM

    The only thing the Seahawks pioneered is calling HGH adderall.

  17. micknangold says: Jun 3, 2013 4:58 PM

    prime didn’t take on pulling guards? that’s not surprising since corners are supposed to slip those pull blocks and make the play or force it back inside.

  18. stephen02120 says: Jun 3, 2013 4:58 PM

    Um, wouldn’t the Bucs’ willingness to pay a one-legged corner $16 million per year actually support Schwartz’s claim? That’s a higher annual salary than any free agent was able to get this year.

    Milliner had more surgeries in college than interceptions. Hayden almost died last year. And you claim that the Lions’ passing on these two in the first round somehow contradicts Schwartz’s claim? Huh?

    And how is it apparent that the Lions would prefer the best corner to the best receiver? Hitting a baseball may be the most difficult thing to do in MLB, but would you question a team that would rather have the best pitcher over the best hitter?

    You don’t like Schwartz. That’s obvious. There wasn’t an apologetic paragraph at the bottom of this article like the one that was included in yesterday’s article questioning Jeff Fisher’s 2012 draft class (which also took a shot at Schwartz). Certainly the Lions coach has deserved criticism over the last few years. But for claiming the corner position is difficult to play? Give me a break. You’re just inventing reasons to criticize. And your reasons aren’t even remotely logical.

  19. blackandbluedivision says: Jun 3, 2013 5:03 PM

    A team full of 6’0 corners who can’t tackle worth a cuss.

  20. 8to80texansblog says: Jun 3, 2013 5:04 PM

    Is it just me or is Schwartz a real clown… Like I feel like he gives Krusty and Bozo a run for their money.

  21. scratchnpost1234 says: Jun 3, 2013 5:09 PM

    Hey Swaggy, that headcase Titus Young tore the PED pumping legion of boom up last year. Imagine what he could have done if he was sane?

  22. scratchnpost1234 says: Jun 3, 2013 5:13 PM

    Agreed Stephen. I’m surprised they don’t blame Schwartz for OJ because OJ went to USC and Fisher went to USC …so you know that all must be Scwartz’s fault too. That’s all the connection they need to bash him.

  23. monstersofthemidway545051 says: Jun 3, 2013 5:18 PM

    Hardest doesn’t mean most valuable.

  24. 23chameleons says: Jun 3, 2013 5:19 PM

    Schwartz is prefacing the issue his team is going to have this year. By going on record saying how difficult it is, he’s already laid the foundation for the expected success opposing QB’s & WR’s will have at Detroit’s expense. It’s a pass happy league and Detroit is going to go up against a LOT of good QB’s and WR’s this season.

  25. fatsolio says: Jun 3, 2013 5:42 PM

    I’d put hockey goalie above cornerback though a corner is a difficult position to play and is probably the most difficult in football. Anyone who says quarterback probably hasn’t thrown a football much in their life. It really isn’t THAT hard.

  26. firstvictory says: Jun 3, 2013 5:47 PM

    It’s Monday. I think Florio is still hungover. I’ll point to the Cam Newton/athletes don’t have to respond yes/no as Exhibit A and this as Exhibit B.

  27. eoneil32 says: Jun 3, 2013 5:48 PM

    or they just didn’t think Milliner or Hayden or Revis are any good

  28. brianbowman16 says: Jun 3, 2013 5:54 PM

    Stephen, i agree with you one thousand percent.
    However, I have to give Florio credit. He allowed youe comments to be posted, and that’s a helluva lot better than a certain other Lions hating blogger on PFT.
    People don’t care to realize that Schwartz has very little say in what players are brought in. His record as a head coach are tied directly to Martin Mayhew’s inability to judge talent. Now all of a sudden we are seeing talented players coming in that actually have track records of success. Mayhew knows his ass is on the line this year and you can sed that through the addition of Reggie Bush and Quinn.
    Awesome comments Stephen, glad to see another commenter use common sense.
    GO LIONS!!

  29. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 3, 2013 5:59 PM

    Hard to play or not hard to play, I don’t care!

    I only want to know why our CB group has not been a strength. Do we have the wrong coaches or the wrong players, and why do we have the wrong anything and what are we doing about it? That’s all I want answers to, and nobody from the Lions have answered them….

    Which leads to an additional set of questions: why not and what’s the problem here?

  30. thesteelers says: Jun 3, 2013 6:23 PM

    I would agree. The popular pick is obviously QB because of the mental aspect, but CBs must be smart as well as have a wide-ranging skill-set (speed, quickness, ball skills, tackling, etc.). Not to mention how incredibly difficult it is to mimic and lock down an NFL receiver.

  31. slick50ks says: Jun 3, 2013 7:22 PM

    Detroit doesn’t have a very good front office, but I don’t think it’s bad enough to waste a high pick like that on someone like D.J.Hayden.

    Now Milliner is a different story…

  32. lakermetskins says: Jun 3, 2013 8:07 PM

    Hate to say it, but Schwartz is right! How many elite QB’s are in the league as supposed to elite CB’s. The league has minimized the position to the point that it’s hard to name 3 true shutdown corners!
    A great cornerback now= a guy who doesn’t repeatedly get abused with a handful of interceptions.

    That being said, the focus of defenses is now based on the pass rush, not the cornerback.

  33. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 3, 2013 8:48 PM

    “If that’s the case, it seems like more teams would have been willing to trade for Darrelle Revis, and to give him $16 million per year on a pay-as-you-go contract.”

    Really ? Good thing you’re not managing the cap for some unfortunate NFL team.

  34. fourthandafoot says: Jun 3, 2013 9:22 PM

    It boggles my mind that a NFL GM came with in a minute or two of selecting DJ Hayden at pick 3 over all. I watched a ton of his game film and at no point did I think pick 30 let alone # 3 over all. At least it wasn’t an Al Davis size/speed pick. DJ can actually play football.

  35. cjspiller12 says: Jun 3, 2013 9:26 PM

    Hardest thing in pro sports hands down is to hit a 90 mph fastball, and it’s not even close.

  36. coachdel says: Jun 3, 2013 10:43 PM

    I contend that being a LIONS FAN is the toughest job in sports

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