Jim Schwartz: No excuse for Lions’ penalties

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Everyone who watched Sunday night’s Lions-Saints game wondered the same thing: How on earth can Detroit commit so many stupid penalties?

Lions coach Jim Schwartz sounded after the game like he’s wondering that, too, and he said he’s particularly disappointed that the Lions picked up three different post-play personal fouls, indicating that his team didn’t learn from Ndamukong Suh getting a two-game suspension for a post-play personal foul.

I’ve been very understanding on penalties that occur within the play,” Schwartz said, via MLive.com. “Something that has to do with the play, whether it’s pass interference or holding or something like that. There’s no excuse for the multiple penalties we had today.”

Schwartz suggested that he’ll bench players who pick up personal fouls, as he did with receiver Titus Young, who may have cost the Lions four points with a personal foul that moved them from the 3-yard line to the 18-yard line. Young apologized afterward.

“I was completely wrong for what I did,” Young said. “I kind of let my emotions get the best of me. I really wasn’t thinking of anything but myself at that time. It wasn’t a good time to have a penalty, period, but definitely in that situation I will say I was wrong. It’s something I will learn from. Hopefully I won’t let it happen again.”

Lions center Dominic Raiola was seen chewing Young out on the sideline, and he said after the game that he was angry at teammates who cost the team with their stupid mistakes.

“We’re undisciplined. Undisciplined. Undisciplined,” Raiola said “We [expletive] it up. It’s very disheartening to do this [expletive] in big games. We got to clean it up. We ain’t going to win [expletive] games like this if you play like that.”

It’s on Schwartz to see to it that the Lions don’t play like that.

49 responses to “Jim Schwartz: No excuse for Lions’ penalties

  1. Lions have long term potential (first time in decades anytone could say that).

    but two big chores this off-season:

    1. draft well;

    2. clean out the malcontents and troublemakers. The team needs greater discipline — equal passion but greater discipline.

  2. Feel bad for Raiola and Backus. Those guys have been there forever through such crappy teams. Now they have talent on the roster and it’s all being sunk by a crummy coaching staff.

  3. The Oilers were the chippiest team since Glanville was the head coach. They moved to tennesee but the cheap play continued. Swartz came out of that system. simply put garbage in garbage out.

  4. how about Jason Hansen…the poor guy has been on the team for 20 years. At the beginning of the season he was happier than I’ve ever seen him. I don’t want to know what’s going through his head. Probably retirement.

  5. Hasn’t anyone been watching them play this year? This isn’t exactly breaking news. Schwartz needs to be held accountable for their stupid play, as he has let it continue all last season and this year too. All young guys, all different points in the game, that’s coaching people.

  6. Do you see what happens?

    I have really been enjoying watching the Lions fail. Too much talk, dirty play, too much strutting and styling.

    I was pulling for you guys at first. Now back to the basement with you fools.

  7. Gee coach, we’re just doing what you told us to do. I mean we didn’t stomp, gouge, bite or tear anyone. Someone has to pick up the slack until Nampsychoh Sueh gets back.

  8. “You reap what you sow.” Jim Schwartz is overly emotional and undisciplined. The head coach does not set a good example. He has not held Suh accountable for committing stupid penalties. After last night’s game, it’s clear that lack of discipline and stupidity is a wide spread problem.

  9. Look in the mirror, Schwartz. This team’s attitude starts with you. The entire Lions team has not recovered from Schwartz melting down on Harbaugh weeks ago.

  10. So….if Raheem Morris should be fired for lack of discipline, so should Schwartz (“may the Schwartz be with you” )

  11. The discipline problem that has plagued the Lions this year, and in years past, rests on the coaches shoulders every bit as much as it does on the players. I love my Lions but I HATE undisciplined play.

    There’s still time to right the ship. The schedule down the stretch, the Packers game not withstanding, doesn’t look too daunting and all the other teams competing for a wild card spot also lost.

  12. The personal foul penalties are just out of frustration when the game is rigged and you are supposed to lose anyway.

    And the same thing happened in the Bengals Steelers game.

    The fix is in.

  13. Lions were the feel good story team beginning of season. Finally the franchise gets turned around, class act players like megatron gets the Winnings he been waiting so patiently for, and suh was the man in d that everyone was suppose to fear. But I guess WINNING DOESN’T SOLVE EVERYTHING.

  14. The thing is, the Lions undisciplined play has gotten much worse as the season has gone on. I remember a game early in the season where neither the Lions nor their opponent had a penalty until the 2nd half! Now we’re treated to this crap-fest – they’re not even “good” penalties (holding to avoid your QB getting creamed, etc.).

    I’m at a loss to explain it – it’s very frustrating as a fan. You could feel they were out of control early in last night’s game and the coaching staff seems unable to do anything to fix or control it.

  15. Schwartz wasn’t necessarily chewing his guys butts off after the penalties. It seemed like he was talking to them nicely therefore does he actually condone this behavior?

  16. Andy Reid will bench any star player who does such things. Other inferior players are cut by coaches who control their teams. No player has been benched for a game or released from the Lions just from their behavior. Thats poor discipline and if you expect to win in that division in the future you must control the controllables.

  17. If I were swartz I would have to bench these guys. Two nationally televised games where your team is embarrassed, make that 3 games. It shows a lack of class and professionalism to a national audience.

  18. Yeah Raiola should keep his mouth shut too. This is the same guy who made a living giving Lions fans the bird while we were 0 for the century.

    He’s right this time though.

  19. Schwartz is a good coach. To be a great coach, he must be able to control his players. I’m a Saints fan and I think that the Lions outplayed the Saints. A great coach needs to keep his players in check. Schwartz needs to be held accountable. HE needs to be disciplined!!!

  20. In the past year the Lions have shown they have talent and can play tough. Now if they have any hope of playoff sucess they have to show they can play “SMART”. “Play smart” should be the new team mantra.

  21. spungy says:
    Dec 5, 2011 8:24 AM
    The personal foul penalties are just out of frustration when the game is rigged and you are supposed to lose anyway.

    And the same thing happened in the Bengals Steelers game.

    The fix is in.
    Lets have some examples of how this game was rigged. The Lions were lucky they didn’t lose by 30.

  22. Very disheartening loss last night. Stafford finally pulls together a good game against an upper-tier opponent, the receivers actually start catching balls (and holding onto them). Only one turnover, late in desperation time. They actually had a chance to not only look respectable competing against a bonafide playoff team but perhaps even win. They got away with undisciplined play against bad teams and still won, so it got ignored. Now it is actually costing wins and a potential playoff spot, I certainly hope Schwartz finally feels the urgency to do something about it.
    The impending Bears collapse elevates their hopes but if this kind of play continues they’ll be one-and-done anyways if they make the post-season.

  23. no excuses…….the refs are watching everything they do. And they should too. The Lions give the refs a reason to pay attention to them. They just do not get it. Burelson getting all those OFF. pass interference penalties, shows defiance to the rules. His refusel to ajust his play shows how selfish this team is. That said, those where lame push off penalties. Play tough….not like punks.

  24. The Titans were a very chippy/dirty type team with Fischer and Swartz….What were U expecting? Same thing!

  25. I have no love for the Lions, although, even as a Bears fan, I was pretty happy to see their ‘golden story’ this year. I tend to like the underdog.

    However, beginning with the ‘handshake seen round the world’ I started to lose the warm and fuzzies for these guys. I adore composed professional athletes who can pour their passion out on the field, and be a role model for children all at the same time.

    Schwartz, don’t act so confused. I said it last night while watching the game, this starts and ends with you. You’ve already shown your players how to respond to something you don’t think is proper, they are simply playing the way they think you expect them to.

    The fouls last night were just outrageous in their number. Worse was the fact that the ONLY person on the sidelines I saw really telling these kids how it is was Raiola. After the punch (almost over a refs shoulder, I might add, which SMACKS of smarts) I saw Schwartz, and a few other coaches or assistants tap the kid on the head like ‘It’s okay kid, we all make mistakes.’. He COST your team, possibly a win. For a STUPID reason. ‘It’s okay kid’ just isn’t gonna cut it.

    I don’t think Schwartz has the guts to bench the guys who committed these fouls and penalties. Because they are still in the hunt, he will let his desire to make the playoffs override the serious need to teach these players a lesson they won’t forget.

  26. I think the Lions are just not ready for the big stage. You could see the saints were yaking away at them all game long and Logan and Young “bit” hard … in the case of Pettigrew it looks like he felt the Saints safety went for his knees. That is a lack of focus on all three players. The only wierd thing in this game was the three PI’s against Burleson. One looked warranted the other two were really head scratchers and to top it off no call on the Stafford INT when it looked pretty clear that the Saints DB got there early. Anyway, I can’t recall ever see ing one guy get three offensive PI’s in one game – especially since it looked like pretty routine stuff.

  27. The Lions are just taking a page out of the Piston’s late 80s early 90s Bad Boy playbook! Suh starring as the pesky Bill Laimbeer. They’re just forgetting to do the winning part!

  28. This is too damn funny, Schwartz cultivated his team to play dirty and “intimidating” (how’s that working Jimbo) and now he wants to blame his players for what they have been coached up to do. Let’s not anyone forget that Schwartz provided the blueprint to his players when he tried to attack Harbaugh after their game. What Schwartz did then is no different than what his players are doing now. If you don’t like an opponent, stomp on him…..if you don’t like an opposing coach who just beat you, try to attack him, if you don’t like an official’s call, shove the official to show him who’s boss, etc. etc. etc……I’d say it’s time for Schwartz to be held accountable.

  29. There are few things that a coach has control over during the game. Interceptions, dropped passes, blown coverages, shanked kicks, fumbled punt returns, all rest squarely on the shoulders of the guys who wear the helmets.

    But to put a team on the field week in and week out that is as consistently undisciplined as the Detroit Lions have been, rests squarely with the guy in the polo shirt and the headset.

    You can tell Schwartz is a bully, just by watching the way he carries himself, and how he has little to say about the personally embarassing conduct of Suh, and now Titus Young, other than “it hurts the team.” How about saying something to the effect of “it hurts my credibility as a leader, and win, lose, or draw, it is just not the way we want to play football.” Get some class about you, Schwartz.

  30. Hey- when your coach hunts down another coach after a game like he did in San Fran……….that’s the culture he’s cultivating. I can’t in a million years see McCarthy, Belichick, Payton or other top tier coaches acting like that. Its completely juvenile……..and now that’s the team he has.

  31. If you did not see the game here’s a comparison.
    N.O coach got into face of player who committed a dumb penalty -team only did one of those, and absolutely read him the riot act.He was screaming at this guy, even though team had game well in hand.
    Scwartz, patted his guy on the head and said OK, and sent him off even though the guy took the team from the 6 yard line back to the 20 where they kicked a field goal, down by 14 points.
    Scwartz team is out of control because he and the coaching staff encouraged the rough tough image all along and now its way out of hand. The only way he can possible straight that ship is to can someone and make a huge example. No fine, no suspension but actually cut a player.

  32. Schwartz sat his starting left tackle for a game at the beginning of the season for a flag after the whistle. Since then every prersonal foul has been between the whistles. Maybe you lazy kneejerk comments need to read the article. He benched Titus Young after his penalty. Titus is coming along and would have been valuable in the second half of the game. Logon’s ball flip is stupid taunting but didn’t really cost a series. Pettigrew was responding to a taunt where the db stood over him and swung and made contact with his foot. The ref should have thrown the flag on the Saints but thought better to protect the saint and got in between Pettigrew.

  33. Coaches don’t teach this. These are grown men playing this game, not children, even if they act like it. The problem is that Schwartz isn’t doing ENOUGH to discipline this team. You don’t sit Titus Young, but leave the others on the field. Also, when Young and Logan came off the field, Schwartz was asking them what happened. Why? Just chew their butts out and tell them to head to the locker room. Don’t even allow them to remain on the field, just get out of my sight. THAT sends a message. Schwartz is too busy trying to be a therapist, rather than being a coach.

    I am a fan of the Lions, but not of their undisciplined play. Last night was an EMBARRASSMENT for anybody associated to this team. Losing can be accepted when you lose to the opposition. The Lions beat themselves last night as much as anything else. All due respect to the Saints, who played a very good game and deserved the win. But the officiating was blantantly lopsided, and the Lions just melted down in a collective sense.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Even the 0-16 team wasn’t this dumb.

  34. I know exactly what is wrong with the Lions of the 60’s through today even though players and coaches have changed: the owner plays money ball (cheap). Pay the few top players good money and find bums and has beens to fill the rest of the holes on the team.
    Those has beens are players that your couldn’t coach, they keep making the same mistakes over and over and Lions keep finding these guys available.
    Nate Burtleson was let go by the Bears who basically gave up on him. Ditto the Vikes. But he was available on the cheap to the Lions though. What a find.
    He did the same pushing off penalty four times last night and costs his team at least 110 yards in field position. One person. But he was cheap and he was available.
    The Lions have a lot of players on their team just like Nate.

  35. mondzy805 says:
    Dec 5, 2011 10:12 AM
    Stick a Fork in them, their Done. Always next year, Detroit.


    This is premature.. remember the Giants and Bears lost this week too… still 4 games left, a LOT can happen.

    Positives that should be taken from this game as a Lions fan:
    – Even with all those penalties, they were still in the game.
    – Nick Fairley looked unstoppable until he reinjured his foot. He looked like a bust before that game.
    – Raiola actually showed some backbone by being a leader on this team.
    – Stafford only over threw a few guys.
    – Next year, Kevin Smith will be third on the RB depth chart.
    – The secondary (which was mangled in the previous two weeks) held up well considering they were going up against another stud QB.
    – Suh didn’t take a penalty in this game (though he did crash his car in Oregon…)
    – Schwartz didn’t fight a man on crutches after the game.

    Hmm… maybe I’ve started reaching for silver linings… LOL

  36. Emotion is a tricky intangible. It can make you do amazing feats of athleticism…or can turn you into an anchor dragging the team down. But it is the coaches responsibility to not only help his team control their emotions, but also how to channel that emotion into positive results. Schwartz has not learned that yet. He had no problem with their emotion and dirty team criticism when they were 5-0 because his team was intimidating their opponents. But now, that same emotion is causing this team to lose focus and create problems. And now, Schwartz will come off as a hypocrite if he penalizes his players for playing how he wanted them to play from the beginning…with pure, blind emotion.

  37. It makes me wonder. Could the Lions sign Jim Schwartz to another contract (or extension) and add a clause that penalizes him for every penalty beyond the league average? They could throw in a bonus if the team is under the average. Everybody who does their job wins that way.

    I mean it is phenomenal the way he turned the franchise around but something has to be done about that crap.

  38. Nah, he got the upside, I got the downside. See there’s two sides to every Schwartz.

    Dark Helmet

  39. Schwartz deserves credit for what he’s done, but agreed… no ‘in house’ accountability IS the issue.

    Part of Schwartz intention IS to get the team to stand up for themselves, and Raiola did it! Others need to follow suit, and Schwartz will then have to back it up.

    Way to go Dom – you appear to be the only man in that locker room with balls big enough to do what needs to be done. In your face Titus and Petty.

  40. Derty Ernie what are you talking about…. You have no clue what you are talking about… Burleson never played for the Bears. And no he wasn’t cheap and he wasn’t left for dead. Lions payroll is actually considerably higher than 80% of the league. Albeit to all their top picks during the past 10 years… But besides that under this new regime during the past three years they have shown they are not afraid to spend money on good free agents!

  41. Schwartz helped create this. He tries to be a bad A and unfortunately he has let embed too much and the players are now regularly taking it to far. I applaud coaches who make efforts to control the most elementary fundament: speech. If you can control your mouth (are you paying attention Coach Schwartz?) then chances are you’ll keep everything else in check. BOOM!!!

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