Lions coach Jim Schwartz was not happy with any aspect of the way his team played in Thursday’s loss to the Browns.
“We played poorly in all three phases,” Schwartz said at his press conference. “We played poorly on offense. Dropped balls, didn’t execute, didn’t move the ball, didn’t have any explosive plays, didn’t score any touchdowns. Defensively we made some critical errors, we didn’t tackle well, we had some key penalties. And then special teams we got lucky, we allowed a kick for a touchdown that got called back by a holding penalty. We didn’t punt the ball well. We didn’t kick the ball especially well. We were poor in all three phases.”
Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?
Schwartz noted that the Lions gave their best player, Calvin Johnson, the night off to rest a bruised knee, and that the rest of the offensive skill position players should have seen that as an opportunity to step up. Schwartz saw no sign of that.
“It was very disappointing to see the way we played without Calvin, because there were opportunities for other guys to make plays,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz also said defensive players were taking bad angles, missing tackles and allowing the Browns to run effectively even against eight-man fronts.
“We needed to see improvement from the last game to this game, and we didn’t see that,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz now has to hope the improvement comes before next Thursday’s game against the Patriots, which will be the last preseason game for many of the team’s starters. The Lions have a lot of work to do.