Lions coach Jim Schwartz joined Dan Patrick on Wednesday morning, a day after a much-publicized meeting between Commissioner Roger Goodell and Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Schwartz attended the meeting, but Schwartz isn’t talking about it.
Dan started the interview by asking the simple question of who set it up. And here’s what Schwartz said: “I don’t know it’s really my place to comment on that. That’s Ndamukong Suh and that’s the Commissioner that can comment on that.”
Dan then crafted on the fly the perfect follow-up. “Did the Commish clear up something for you as a coach on what you can tell your players?”
“I have a very good understanding of the league office’s point of view, and I’ll just leave it right there,” Schwartz said.
Fine. But if that’s the case, then Schwartz either can’t or won’t communicate the league office’s point of view with his players. Based on the words chosen by Schwartz, it sounds like he doesn’t want to share the league office’s point of view with his players, possibly because doing so would take some of the steam out of a defense that Schwartz needs to play instinctively, without thinking about whether they’re dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s when trying to break a guy in half.
That’s the point I made last night. The league office shouldn’t have to explain anything to players. The coaches are the ones who are responsible for properly letting players know what they need to know. If the players are confused, it’s happening in part because the coaches want them to be confused, because the players don’t want them to play with any less aggression.