Lions fire Jim Schwartz

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Jim Schwartz is done after five years as the head coach of the Detroit Lions.

Schwartz was fired this morning, after the team finished its once-promising season a disappointing 7-9, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN and later announced by the team.

The Schwartz era was marked by a return to the playoffs in 2011 following the disaster that was the Matt Millen era. For turning a team that had been 0-16 before he arrived into a playoff team, Schwartz deserves some credit.

But Schwartz also deserves a lot of blame for the fact that his team was always undisciplined and error-prone, and for the fact that the Lions had a golden opportunity to win the NFC North this season, only to fall into third place with a late-season collapse.

Now the Lions will begin the search for a head coach who can take a roster that has talented recent first-round picks including Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Ziggy Ansah, and turn that talent into a winning team. That was a task that Schwartz couldn’t manage.