Jim Schwartz denies tension with Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew

Getty Images

Lions coach Jim Schwartz says he and General Manager Martin Mayhew have a fine relationship, despite a report to the contrary.

A day after Don Banks of SI.com reported that tension has developed between Schwartz and Mayhew about the collection of players with character problems the Lions have acquired over the last couple of years, Schwartz said that’s not the case.

It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Schwartz said, via the Detroit News. “I don’t like to comment on rumors, particularly from people not in our building that don’t see us every day, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are all in this together and we are all very determined to get us back on the right track.”

Although Banks listed Detroit as a place where changes could be coming either in the front office or with the head coach, Schwartz said he was aware of no issues with any team executives. And Schwartz said he wasn’t happy about having to respond to such a report.

“This whole ‘there is a report that this, how do you respond to it,’ it’s just become a whole thing where we’re responding to an anonymous source or a report that somebody said this or that,” he said. “It’s counter-productive to what we’re trying to do. Though I will say, it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

The record of the Lions since Schwartz took over the team and Mayhew took over the front office is 22-42, so it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s some unhappiness about the current state of the franchise. But it says a lot about how bad the Lions were in the Matt Millen era that even as he was reporting tension, Banks also reported that Schwartz and Mayhew’s jobs are probably safe: Even at 20 games under .500 over four years, the Lions are in better shape now than they were before Schwartz and Mayhew got their jobs.

36 responses to “Jim Schwartz denies tension with Lions G.M. Martin Mayhew

  1. Schwartz is the quintessential electrified high-production tension machine. That guy could somehow create tension at his own funeral.

  2. I really like Schwartz, he’s a great guy. He did a wonderful and random act of kindness for my family one night at Buffalo Wild Wings. But, that being said, unfortunately this team is headed in the wrong direction again & 2013 should be his last shot at keeping this job. Lions need a 10-11 win season or solid playoff run for Schwartz to be in Detroit after 2013.

  3. Pretty low standards when a 22-42 record is areason to celebrate due to how bad your predecessor was. I don’t think the kitty cat fans should get their hopes up for the near future.

  4. Of course I don’t expect Schwartz to confirm this problem.

    So the issue is that awful is better than horrible, so let’s stay the status quo. What a insane approach. In the Lions executives mind, If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, then it must be chicken…. They have shown their colors and failed. It’s time for real leadership and that means changing the the coach and culture of this orgainization.

  5. “Even at 20 games under .500 over four years, the Lions are in better shape now than they were before Schwartz and Mayhew got their jobs.”

    In baseball, hitting .343 is great. In football, winning 34% of your game over four years? Not so much. Megatron is this generation’s Barry Sanders – super talent stuck on a team of suck.

  6. Schwartz needs to stop passing the ball with a 12 point lead and 4 minutes left in the game.. See the Indy game.. That game was grossly mismanaged… I like Megatron like the next guy but football is football, I don’t even do that crap on Madden…

  7. Schwartz is the worst. Period. Lions need to move on. Mathews record isn’t worth supporting either. That team needs to move on.

  8. It’s how you deal with and reform bad character players. Did anyone have more issues than Janoris Jenkins? Seems to be working out pretty well for the Rams.

    Do better, Schwartz

  9. Schwartz gets one more year to prove this year was an anomaly. They are one year removed from their first playoff visit in a long while. That visit bought him a LITTLE slack in Detroit this year.

    The week the Lions are out of the playoffs next year is the last week that Schwartz is the Lions’ coach. He’s either in the playoffs or out of his job next year. End of story.

  10. Coach Schwartz has demonstrated very little control over HIMSELF. How in heaven’s name can he NOT have lost control over an entire team?! Lions need a new and different HC. Isn’t Mooch from that area? Schwartz must GO!!

  11. I figured that the Lions would have done better this season, but with all of the off-field issues surrounding this team, they really hurt the core.

    Time will tell if Jimmy can turn that ship around.

  12. As Lion fans, we will probably never know why ownership is always the last ones to question the direction of the organization. It has been this way for 50 years and there is no relief in sight. Clearly, Mayhew and Schwartz are not the answer here. After some shrewd trades and some manic shuffling early on, the positive reworking of the roster tailed off substantially and the team has gotten virtually no boost from its recent drafts. Credit them for Stafford, Suh and maybe Nick Fairly. Debit them for picking Pettigrew over Clay Matthews. The Jahvid Best pick, while intriguing based on potential, was ill advised based on history and they failed to acquire any impact RBs knowing that Best was likely finished. Ignoring Randall Cobb they hung their hat on the hot tempered, brain dead Titus Young. Reilly Reiff instead of a corner or safety. Ryan Broyles may prove to be a good pick but a luxury pick at a time of necessities. The list goes on and on. Too many of Mayhew picks were either depth players or not NFL caliber players at all and many failed to catch on anywhere after being cut by Detroit and Mayhew has wasted several of those in trades to add players who were then cut within weeks or given no role on the roster. It was certainly easier to clean up Millen’s mess on the way to competitiveness than to reach elite status and Mayhew accomplished the first part admirably but one must certainly question his approach in pursuit of higher echelons. While a sense of purpose and confidence is an essential component of the job, Mayhew’s process had an aroma of arrogance, eschewing options to upgrade need positions in favor of his view of “best player available.”

    All of the above would be somewhat mitigated if the team as a whole played with a greater sense of smarts and discipline, but, unfortunately, the team rarely displays the traits that made Coach Schwartz an appealing candidate 4 plus years ago. He did an excellent job of eradicating the losing culture within the team, but the coach’s inability to instill a greater sense of intelligence and discipline contributed to the regression of the team’s status as much as the talent deficit created by a series of underwhelming drafts. The team is now going to head into the off season in a serious tailspin with over 30 free agents, many of which are unrestricted. After last season, the Lions may have been an appealing destination but why would quality free agents want to remain or come to Detroit now? In most other sports organizations, the Mayhew/Schwartz tandem would not be brought back to clean up their own mess but, if history is an indicator, this ownership won’t make changes after messes, only catastrophes and, so, for those hoping for major change, 2014 is practically around the corner.

  13. Lions need to clean house. Schwartz is one, all the players with character issues, they can all be shown the door.

    The Lions have a nucleus of good players to build from, and would be well served trading guys like Suh, Titus Young, etc.

    But they need a coach and a GM who know what their doing.

  14. The perfect replacement would be Bill Cowher. He wanted to coach last year but didn’t get an offer high enough. The Lions need to open up the wallet and become relevant.

  15. interesting which posts get selected to be dropped…

    even some of millen’s top picks were selected by mr. ford.

    it has long been theorized that the lions ownership is happiest with a team that wins between 7-9 games a year, scores a lot of points, and has a lot of yes men, but never really grabs the brass ring.

    might have to pay people more than.

  16. Does anyone actually think they’re going to draft character issue and injury prone players again this season after all this? If they do, they deserve the full wrath of everyone.

  17. They love each other like the Odd Couple, with the taller Schwartz playing the role of a standard nerdy white guy in casual athletic gear, while the shorter Mayhew plays a stereotypical black man, immaculately groomed in an expensive button down suit.

  18. @wludford trade titus young? really? what do you expect in return for a 2nd round pick that got benched for the rest of the season for conduct detrimental to the team issue? a team of misfits from the head coach down? well either way thank you detroit for picking titus and leaving randall cobb for greenbay to draft. also i hope they keep the swartz in detroit for years to come, same with lovie in chitown. i love those coach’s.

  19. take away the win streaks from the end of the 2010 season and beginning of the 2011 season (4 and 5 wins) and the lions are 13-42 during the schwartz, ie, not millen, era.


    in the millen era the lions were 40-104, or .278.

    same old lions.

  20. Personally, I believe the Lions’ problems are all on Mayhew. It is Mayhew that has the final say with drafting these players.

    Schwartz is a good coach, but Mayhew is a joke.

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and this is why Mr. Ford should have never hired Mayhew since he was a part of the Millen Era.

  21. Now what do you all expect from a guy that his only management experience was working 8 years under Matt Millen. What does Mayhew have in his pedigree to even slightly suggest he was qualified to be a GM in the league. His biggest accomplishment he’s given credit for is the trade of Roy Williams to Dallas. He did nothing, Jerry Jones had made that same offer multiple times in multiple years to Matt Millen, Mayhew just had the common sense to take the offer, he negotiated nothing, it was there for the taking. He’s too arrogant to give anything but the minimal required time to the press and the fans of Detroit. His draft picks and free agent acquisitions are at best marginal. Picking so high every year in the draft, he should never miss, but he’s barely above the Mendoza Line. Detroit deserves better.

  22. When your losing there should be tension all over and there should be. If not then your comfortable with losing.

  23. Mayhew’s record is actually much worse, he was the asst GM under Millen. That is how crazy and dysunctional the Lions are, the asst GM for several yrs on consistently horrible teams was upgraded to GM. Mayhew clearly over his head.

    Speaking of Mayhew’s head, as a former Redskin he is at the age many former players are feeling full effects of their various injuries, including hits/blows to the head. Mayhew would have had better drafts just by going by the choices of th draft guru at the ourlads site.

    80s Saints/Redskins RB George Rogers said he could not lift his arms above his shoulders by the time he was 40. Even minor injuries add up.

  24. Lots of comments about how bad a HC that Jim Schwartz is, but at least he doesnt jerk good players around like Rex Ryan. Or how about that great coaching job by Andy Reid in Philly? I could go on, but the point is made. Why heap all the abuse on Schwartz and Mayhew? Try beating on some other teams for a change.

  25. A lot of local radio talked about 0-16 as the floor. The tautological silver lining to the worst-case-scenario is always that it can’t get any worse.

    But it can.

    I said, then, that it wasn’t the bottom, and it wasn’t. Why? Because after Millen, after 0-16, the league came to the Fords and said (basically), “Let us help you. Let us suggest some football-brains for your front office.”

    And how did the Fords respond? “No, thanks. We’re good. We got this.”

    I knew then I hadn’t seen the end of our irrelevance.

    I agree that Megatron is the Barry Sanders of this era… I just hope they get it figured out before he’s out of his prime — or out of the Motor City.

  26. Jim Schwartz doesn’t strike me as the type of guy who could lead a franchise for numerous years & have continuous success. His attitude & demeanor come off as childish, and at times, better than everyone. His reaction to the Harbaugh backslap was ridiculous & his challenge management by throwing the challenge flag on thanksgiving for a play that is automatically reviewed screams of incompetence & a clear disregard for the rules – especially a very easy, commonly known rule that was told to him before the game due to the same mistake the week before. There are some pretty good head coaching prospects who will probably get jobs this offseason – prospects from both the pro level as coordinators as well as head coaches on the college level. I understand that the Matt Millen Era was a complete disaster in Detroit, but 20 games under .500, with only a single one-and-done playoff birth, over the subsequent 4 years is unacceptable. By keeping Schwartz, the Lions could be missing a golden opportunity this offseason to bring in a quality head coach that can harness the great talent on this team & give the City of Detroit the consistent winner they deserve.

  27. “Isn’t Mooch from that area? Schwartz must GO!!”
    Nope. He’s from the U.P. a true Yooper! Detriot and the U.P. are a million miles away.

  28. Going back a few years but Chuck Noll was 12-30 in his first 3 seasons with the Steelers, Tom Landry was even worse with the expansion Cowboys. Given the way Millen left the team, Schwartz isn’t doing that bad. The character issues are a concern, however patience is a virtue. Firing coaches after making the playoffs after more than a decade won’t get you to the promised land.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.