On Wednesday, we heard Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh throw his support behind coach Jim Schwartz as chatter continues that there will be a coaching change in Detroit if the Lions don’t advance to the playoffs.
Running back Reggie Bush didn’t discuss Schwartz’s job security, but he did address one of the chief criticisms of Schwartz from outside the organization. Many have pointed to the slew of penalties and turnovers from the Lions as signs that the team is undisciplined and that Schwartz is to blame for that. Bush agrees about the lack of discipline, but not about Schwartz’s culpability.
“Just in our play. It could be from penalties or it could be from turnovers or it could be from how we finished the games in fourth quarters. It’s not one specific play or moment in a game. It’s the total game. It’s how we play,” Bush said, via the Detroit Free Press. “It’s not a coaches’ thing. It’s a players’ thing. We can do a better job all across the board.”
Bush said he thought Schwartz was a disciplinarian, although he did offer a contrast to the way things were when he played for Sean Payton in New Orleans. Payton would announce to the team when a player was being fined for breaking a team rule, something that Bush said made players want to avoid having their name on Payton’s list.
“Well, hell, yeah, because you don’t want to get your name announced for getting fined,” Bush said. “I’m not going to say that’s the reason we won the Super Bowl or the reason why we were successful. But it was just the environment that he kind of created for the team, and I’m sure he still does it.”
Schwartz said he doesn’t think discipline “is an issue for us,” but that’s a hard case to make. Undisciplined play, be it turnovers or penalties or lack of focus, has factored into too many Lions losses to say it hasn’t been an issue. Another loss or two before the end of the regular season and it may be time for someone else to try to instill some in Detroit.