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Joe Schmidt thinks the Lions have to learn how to win

joeschmidt Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are in a paradox: In order to win, they need to know how to win. But they won’t know how to win until they’ve experienced winning.

That’s the view of one former Lion who won a lot during his Hall of Fame career: Joe Schmidt, who was on the Lions’ NFL championship teams in 1953 and 1957.

“I think they are starting to get the good players, but you have to experience [winning] one time in order to get that flavor and then you understand what you’re going after,” Schmidt told the team’s website. “Until you experience that and get that in your blood and everybody understands what we have to do in order to get there . . . they’re just climbing up the hill, so to speak. They are almost to the top, but the last 50 yards or 100 yards is very difficult.”

Lions fans know how difficult those last 50 yards or 100 yards are: The Lions haven’t been to a Super Bowl or NFL championship game since the 81-year-old Schmidt was a 25-year-old in his fifth NFL season.

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16 Responses to “Joe Schmidt thinks the Lions have to learn how to win”
  1. bennyb82 says: Jul 7, 2013 7:26 AM

    As a Lions fan, I think someone could make a decent movie documenting all the different ways the Lion`s have found ways to lose over the years.

  2. vibesid says: Jul 7, 2013 7:38 AM

    He is right, even though it seems like a Catch-22. The answer is to get the right players with the right mentality in the locker room. PLUS they need coaches who instill the desire and the confidence to win. The Lions are the only non-expansion team never to have been to a Super Bowl, so it’s about time for that to change. They need to focus on fundamentals to win.

  3. wryly1 says: Jul 7, 2013 8:08 AM

    Yes, ya gotta have a good QB, a good coach and a few other playmakers on both sides of the ball, but if NFL history teaches us anything, its that in the larger picture – and over time, organizations win from the top down. Lions don’t win because of owner William Clay Ford, just as Cowboys don’t win because of Jerry Jones.

  4. allday28mvpmvp says: Jul 7, 2013 8:32 AM

    I think Detroit can have a nice year. The Bears are in for a rough year, with Cutler likely out the door (he sucks, admit it) the Bears are the weakest team. The last time the Pack won the Superbowl it relied on Greg Jennings on offense and Desmond Bishop on defense. Check the stats, they lead their team in stats, especially in the post season. They are both now in Minnesota.
    Detroit can have a great year by having a strong showing in the division, which they typically don’t do. However I feel this is the year the Packers fall off. With that terrible offensive line (probably the worst in the NFL) I can see Fairly and Suh hitting Rodgers a lot. Not to mention Jared Allen, Brian Robison and Everson Griffien (All DE’s who combined for 30 sacks last year between the 3 of them). GB will feel foolish when they realized they didn’t protect their overpaid QB and their no-name backup flops.

  5. packerbackernj says: Jul 7, 2013 9:14 AM

    They need a head coach change.

  6. rmc1995 says: Jul 7, 2013 9:32 AM

    The Lions went to the playoffs two seasons ago. They need their secondary and skill positions to stay healthy, which will make the special teams better. A new punter will help tremendously as well.

  7. lks311 says: Jul 7, 2013 10:22 AM

    Last chance, Jim Schwartz. There is enough talent to win. Up to you to coach’em up. If not, there are a ton of bright minds that would like to have a crack at Stafford, Suh, Johnson, Fairley, etc…arguably as much talent as anyone in that division.

    I would love to see the coach succeed, but either way I’m good—just get it done.

  8. mblue24 says: Jul 7, 2013 11:04 AM

    They will be good. Go Lions!!!

  9. vibesid says: Jul 7, 2013 11:20 AM

    Some people think the NFC North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, since last year three teams won at least 10 games. (All teams except Detroit.) They also have to play the AFC North which is known to be tough also. So this is a great opportunity for Detroit to show how good they are and make the playoffs. No excuses.

  10. dragonfly99 says: Jul 7, 2013 11:21 AM

    Way to go Joe. He’ right. It’s unfortunate the Matt Millen years set them back so much.

  11. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 7, 2013 3:16 PM

    I very much agree. I say the same things every year, is that we have major issues from the top-down. The GM does not do a good job of evaluating talent and finding the best value plays regarding a roster mngmt strategy, and our coaches have major red flag areas with respect to the technical aspects of how and what they teach and coach the players to do and thus we don’t get the most out of our talent which is a compromised group of talent to begin with, and then we make loads of tactical strategy mistakes during gameday of the kind of nature that I cite as inexcusable mistakes. They need to figure out how to manage these weak areas more effectively to boost their results.

  12. cannonballdookie says: Jul 7, 2013 5:06 PM

    Didn’t they have a playoff season a few years back with most of these same guys including public enemy number one Jim Schwartz? They just need the players to keep their heads screwed on straight and the depth players to play well. Guys like Stafford, Megatron, Bush, Suh, and Fairley will show up.

  13. The Mayor says: Jul 7, 2013 6:06 PM

    Just call Kobe. He would be able to teach them how to be champions.

  14. flash84 says: Jul 7, 2013 6:45 PM

    0-16 is in their blood, they know their the worst team in professional sports and will never be a winning franchise.

  15. joecullendrivebye says: Jul 7, 2013 7:02 PM

    If you look at the fourth quarter and clock management, this team should have a better record under Schwartz. I don’t know if he talks with anyone, but he has not helped them at all.

  16. 1dragonstorm says: Jul 7, 2013 9:52 PM

    the lions have been a losing team for years. Only descent player on their team is megatron.. enough said

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