Schwartz: Critics of Lions’ D don’t know what they’re talking about


Lions coach Jim Schwartz says he has no plans to change the alignment he uses on Detroit’s defensive line. And he says people who attribute the Lions’ rough season to that alignment are ignorant.

Schwartz told reporters today that he will not consider shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, and that he will continue to use the Wide 9 to give his defensive ends a leg up on rushing to the outside, and he doesn’t believe that makes the Lions any different from any other team.

“We didn’t have enough sacks this year,” Schwartz said, via “To be able to blame that on the Wide 9, the people that say that really don’t know what they’re talking about. Every team in league, when it’s third down, lines up exactly the way we do it. It puts guys in the best position to rush the passer.”

Schwartz said the Lions have the right personnel for the defense he runs, and he sees no reason to change.

“You always have a philosophy and the philosophy is behind your player acquisitions,” Schwartz said. “You always have a plan for every player. You don’t just pull names out of a hat and say, ‘Hey, this is where you’re going to fit him.’ . . . We predominately play a Wide 9, but we play other fronts. I think it depends on the personnel, how we go through our OTAs, everything. We’re always working to look at and tweak. You never say never, but that’s our base front.”

The Lions’ defense took a step backward in 2012, but Schwartz isn’t going to blame the scheme for that. The blame, apparently, lies with the players.

56 responses to “Schwartz: Critics of Lions’ D don’t know what they’re talking about

  1. Wide 9 is a failure. Teams have shifted toward s the 3-4 but the lions are suited for a 4-3. Just ditch the wide and get a blitzing LB or safety.

  2. The defense will work with fast thumpers at the
    LB spot. You also need a Alpha- pass rusher, a Kearse or Charles Haley Type pass rushsr. Schwartz is a good coach. Lions will be crazy to fire him.

  3. So what is it then? They say the Lions are loaded with talent, and they have the best defensive alignment for their team. Yet, they still lost a lot of games. So why did they lose?

  4. KVB is gone, Avril wants to play on grass. So, the Lions will need 2 new DE’s. Corners would be nice as well. Get two more to play alongside Houston and Detroit will be solid on D again.

  5. On this one he’s right—it was talent, not the scheme that yielded so few sacks from the prior year…particularly Kyle Vanden Bosh, who got old quick. BUT, the part that is his fault is his stubborn resistance to make personnel changes when he knew KVB was done.

  6. I don’t have no vested interest for or against the Lions, but Schwartz is totally right on this one. Detroit has the star players and key pieces in place. People forget how much aggressive defenses rely on the defensive backfield to keep the ball in the pocket until they get there.

    Once the Lions shore up their secondary, people will forget there was ever any issue with their defense in 2012. However, in order for anything I just said to be correct, they must bring back Avril.

    Delmas seems unlikely to return, but they should put a priority on that as well.

  7. Something good to talk about here @lionsdraftguy, @mjkelly77??

    Oh right, you won’t be here. You are on the niners articles trash talking.

  8. lionsdraftguy-

    I’m a diehard Bears fan. I dont see where we have any reason to talk trash. Better record sure, but we missed the playoffs just the same. The front 4 of the Lions’ is surely not to blame for their problems.

  9. lionsdraftguy says: Jan 21, 2013 3:32 PM

    “Here comes the trash talk from Bears and Niners fans…..”

  10. So if it’s not the system, it’s the players? Wasn’t the Lions D-line touted in pre-season as one of the best in the NFL? So this then is all the secondary’s fault? Sure, that’s the reason.

  11. Don’t change a thing! On defense, everything worked fine. Don’t get a running back or complementary receiver to Megatron either. Just throw it his way 20 times a game, every game. It’s not at all predictable.

    Since your team always plays on Thanksgiving, this is what I’m thankful for. As long as you team is in the same division as mine, I never have to worry about a prolonged stay in the basement. That’s pretty much been your team’s home for the last half-century. So again, don’t change a thing!

  12. @source7769

    Milliner will not solve the problem, nor will Jones.

    Our safeties are by far the Lions defense biggest problems. If you watch a game instead of just calling yourself a fan, you’d know this.

    Delmas is way overrated and we literally dont even have a SS. Spievey sucks to even be called a starter.

    And by the way, if you followed the Draft, youd remember we drafted 3 CBs last year. You think the team is going to give up on them already?

    We need 2 DEs, and 2 Safeties.

  13. Anyone who seriously takes Jim Schwartz as an authority on coaching… whether it’s D or O or STs… should have THEIR head examined.

    Schwartz is lost, and we Lions fans are being forced to suffer through another period of denial… and poor results.

    This team is to close to being good to waste in on 1 or 2 more years with Schwartz as HC. It’s truly a crying shame.

  14. cadillacjosh says: Jan 21, 2013 3:50 PM


    I’m a diehard Bears fan. I dont see where we have any reason to talk trash. Better record sure, but we missed the playoffs just the same. The front 4 of the Lions’ is surely not to blame for their problems.”

    I agree 100%.

  15. Rather than spend high draft picks on DB’s the Lions continually draft broken down, concussed RB’s. Hence they can’t cover worth a hoot, nor can they run. So they’re left with airing it out to 1 WR.

    This is why the Lions are annually one of the worst franchises in the NFL no matter the coach or scheme they are running.

  16. While I wish the Lions would make a big change and go to a 3-4, he is kind of right.

    Fans don’t know what they are talking about. So many people hear “Wide 9” and think that’s the only thing the lions run and nothing ever changes play to play. It was the same thing when they ran the “Cover-2”. So many fans couldn’t comprehend that that was just a base defense and they did, in fact, run different coverages within that base.

    That’s not to say some things shouldn’t change, and I’m sure the coaches would love to make some changes, but that comes with having better personnel so that teams can’t consistently run 3 step drops to wide open recievers

  17. lionsdraftguy says: Jan 21, 2013 3:32 PM

    Here comes the trash talk from Bears and Niners fans…..


    Why would we talk trash? We’re going to the Super Bowl!! Who’s got it better than us?????

  18. “We didn’t have enough sacks this year,” Schwartz said, via “To be able to blame that on the Wide 9, the people that say that really don’t know what they’re talking about.”

    Umm, doesn’t that sentence suggest that the Wide 9 didn’t produce enough sacks? If I didn’t hate this guy, I’d love this guy.

  19. I am a Lions fan but I am getting very tired of Schwartz’s inability to accept or pass blame for anything. Linehan? No problem there, what are you talking about? Gunther? Defense is fine, you’re crazy. He might as well say the team didn’t make the playoffs because of the players, us coaches have nothing to do with that.

  20. Please continue on as normal coach. There is nothing wrong with going 4-12 for a team that many said had the talent to win your division. I enjoy having your team as the doormat to the division. Don’t change a thing.!!! How is this guy still the coach??

  21. If he asks too much, they might line up wrong on purpose. Those personnel acquisitions don’t include character checks. He has a toaster full of half effort guys. That’s the problem.

  22. Last 10 Super Bowls 5 winners 4-3, 5 winners 3-4. 6 losers 4-3, 4 losers 3-4.

    Pretty even. It seems personel may in fact be the issue, not sceme. 6 of the 20 participants used a variation of the wide 9. ( AKA Tony Dungys tampa 2)

  23. You can say what you want about the Lions, but the fact of the matter is its not the coaches fault! He is simply working with what he’s been given! Do you really think he wanted Broyles with the second pick over a cornerback? I personally think they should of took Jenoris Jenkins with the 1st pick and Richard Sherman with their 4th pick! If they take those players we have a legitimate secondary and we probably go 12-4. It was a set back season, but thats all it was a set back. I’d bet anyone, anything that they win the north if they address the secondary issues this offseason!

  24. Probably the worst coached team in NFL. Remember the red flag incident on Thanksgiving. Remember the fourth and one inside the ten yard line. They went for it and lost ground when a field goal would have tied the game against Tennessee. That was late in the fourth quarter and Tennessee wan the game by three. The loss to the Colts was probably the worst coaching job I have ever seen. They made a hero out of QB Luck.

  25. I think it is entirely fair to criticise the Lions defence given the way they played last year, and to tell those people who do, that they don’t know what they are talking about is a slap in the face to loyal Lions fans everywhere.
    Whether its scheme, personnel, injuries, coaching or fill in your reason here, this team didn’t get it done on either side of the ball this year.
    And the sad thing is there is nothing coming out of the Lions organization that gives the fans much reason for optimism about next year.
    It’s going to take more than just changing the special teams coordinator and “tweaking ” the defence to get people excited about this team.

  26. lionsdraftguy…. Why would expect any different considering that you go out of your way to post something negativ in every 49ers article. Grow up!…nobody cares about your garbage city or franchise. The Lions have NO rivals. They probably think they do, but all those good teams you THINK of as rivals couldn’t name 3 players for the Lions if you spotted them Calvin and Stafford. What a joke

  27. Remember when the lions went 10-6 and the fans said that next year the Lions would win the Super Bowl? I recall everyone else saying that they overachieved and would go 6-10 at best.

    Stop believing the hype. This team, starting with its coach, is a JOKE.

  28. YPG 20th
    PPG 27th
    Plays from scrimmage 9th

    It’s obvious that the offense had much to do with the defensive struggles. It’s not like the d was constantly getting gashed for huge plays, their opponnents just enjoyed really good field position. Also the punter sucked big time this year. Something you can totally hang on the defense is it’s lack of turnovers, which contributes to the offensive woes. Really the 2012 Lions’ struggles are a “chicken or egg” problem.

    Someone said Delmas was overrated, I disagree. The defense is much better when he’s in there flying around and making plays on the back end, and when he’s healthy he would start for almost any team in this league.

    I don’t think it’s a wise move to get rid of Schwartz or Linehan just yet, I’d rather let Stafford develop a bit before trying to install another offense. It’s clear he can produce in this system, not sure what more you’d want from him at this point.

  29. the problem with Delmas is not the talent – the problem is that he is never on the field , he is always hurt and has played like 9 of the last 27 games, not worth a huge investment

    he comes under 3.5 million, maybe, but i doubt it,,let some other team take that risk

  30. Football is a team game and the secondary is so bad it hardly makes a difference if you play a Wide 9 or not. The secondary couldn’t cover my grandmother in a wheelchair and you simply can’t win games in the NFL when you let the other team pass in, over and around you all day long.

  31. Schwartz needs to knock it off with the arrogance. A head coach in his division got fired after going 10-6 with a superb defense. He was 4-12 with a crap defense. Just stop talking, please, at least until you start beating the Bears consistently.

  32. “Schwartz told reporters today that he will not consider shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense”
    Do the lions even have a nose tackle or anyone that could play OLB ?

    Why would you ask Suh & Fairley to eat up blocks than to make plays?

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