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Jim Schwartz fired by Detroit Lions

jim-schwartzThe Detroit Lions have fired head coach Jim Schwartz, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. And with that, Black Monday continues to rear its ugly head across the NFL.

Schwartz was the fifth head coach fired by roughly noon time on Monday, with no real surprises among the group. The Lions reached the playoffs in 2011 and looked poised to turn the corner with a core of talented young players. Instead, they posted a 4-12 record in 2012 and collapsed down the stretch this season.

Earlier this month, a report indicated that Schwartz was likely to be fired if Detroit failed to reach the playoffs. The lions lost six of their last seven games during a stretch in which both the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears were playing without their starting quarterbacks. The NFC North was surprisingly mediocre all season long, but Detroit was unable to win when it mattered most. The low point of the season came when Schwartz appeared to swear at Lions fans during a brutal Week 16 loss to the New York Giants.

While Detroit is a difficult place to coach, the Lions head coaching job should have appeal for some of the league’s top candidates. Detroit has an impressive core of offensive talent led by Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford. The right offensive mind should be able to light up the scoreboard with what the Lions have.

Jim Schwartz was ‘disappointed’ in Lions fans for booing

Jim Schwartz fansThe Detroit Lions were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday after losing at home to the lowly New York Giants. Head coach Jim Schwartz more than likely lost his job in the process. And the fans let Schwartz and the team hear it.

After Matthew Stafford threw a pick-six with under five minutes left to tie the game and the Lions went 3-and-out on their next two drives, the fans at Ford Field began to boo. Cameras caught Schwartz turning to the crowd and saying something that appeared to resemble an F-bomb during the booing. He was asked about that moment after the game.

“I was disappointed to hear boos,” Schwartz said, via The Detroit News. “We’re getting ready to go to overtime. Our crowd has been good for us but I thought our team needed a lift right there. We didn’t need to feel bad at that point. We were going into overtime at that point and I was just trying to get the team ready. It’s tough; players are getting booed and you want to keep them fired up.”

Schwartz obviously did say something to the crowd, or he would have taken the opportunity to deny it. On one hand, you can see why the fans wanted to boo after watching their team blown another lead against an opponent that should have been beaten. But Schwartz seemed most bothered by the fact that the game was far from over.

“We’re trying to get to overtime and try to win the game,” he said. “We want our fans to support us and our fans have been great for us. I think the psyche of the team at that point, we needed to have that spark. We needed to feel like we’re going to go out there and win it. That’s the only thing I was doing.”

The bottom line is the Lions blew countless chance this season in a division that was mediocre at best. The fans of Detroit could feel another choke coming on Sunday, and they reacted accordingly. If the team struggles again next season, it probably won’t be Schwartz who has to listen to the boos.

Jim Schwartz appears to ask what the f— fans are booing for (Video)

Jim Schwartz fansSo Jim Schwartz is pretty much done as head coach of the Detroit Lions now that his team has been eliminated from the playoffs, and you can tell he’s getting ornery with fans.

The Lions blew their second straight game and are now 7-8 after losing to the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime Sunday. Matt Stafford threw a pick-six with under five minutes left to let the Giants tie the game at 20. Detroit went 3-and-out on their next two drives, but they intercepted Eli Manning with 23 seconds left to prevent the Giants winning at the end of regulation. Instead of trying to set up for a field goal, Schwartz elected to run out the clock and head to overtime. That decision likely led to fans booing as the final seconds ticked off the clock at the end of regulation.

Schwartz wasn’t pleased with the fan reaction and appeared to look at them and ask what the f— they were booing for. Gee, I dunno, maybe because you guys can’t beat the Giants and blew a golden opportunity to make the playoffs? Get with it, Schwartz.

Here’s a GIF of the Schwartz-fan thing:

Keep in mind a report said Schwartz would be fired if the Lions missed the playoffs. He’s toast.

GIF via SB Nation
H/T David

Report: Jim Schwartz likely to be fired if Lions miss playoffs

jim-schwartzThe Detroit Lions have had several chances to take control of what has been a mediocre NFC North division this season, and they have not been able to capitalize. A win at home over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night would have moved Detroit into a first-place tie with the Chicago Bears. The loss dropped them to third, behind both the Bears and Green Bay Packers. And now, head coach Jim Schwartz is reportedly on the hot seat.

With the Arizona Cardinals clinging to a surprising 9-5 record, it is starting to look like the NFC West may have three playoff teams. That means the Lions will likely have to win their division to get in. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the belief within the organization is that Schwartz will be fired if they don’t. Schwartz insists he is not concerned with the rumors.

“There are negative voices all over this business,” he told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver before the loss to Baltimore, via Around the League. “Those same voices told me I was committing career suicide when I took the Lions job, that it was unfixable and the worst in the NFL.

“There’s too much for me to be positive about to buy into the negativity. I have three games for an NFC North title. I’m going to try to win them.”

Schwartz now has two games left to try and win the division, and his team will need some help. The Lions have made the playoffs just one time in his five seasons as head coach. That postseason appearance came after an impressive 10-6 season in 2011, when it looked like Detroit had turned a corner. They followed that year with a 4-12 record in 2012 and are 7-6 this year. Typically, coaches with the type of talent Schwartz has don’t keep their jobs if they can’t reach the playoffs.

Josh Sitton: Lions defense full of scumbags, Jim Schwartz is a d—

Josh Sitton PackersGreeen Bay Packers offensive lineman Josh Sitton has added some spice to his team’s Thanksgiving Day game with the Detroit Lions.

During a radio interview on 1250 WSSP Tuesday, Sitton called the Lions defensive lineman a bunch of “dirtbags” and “scumbags,” and he called Jim Schwartz a d—.

Sitton’s comments came when he was asked whether he thought the Lions would take a penalty in exchange for putting a hard hit on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who likely won’t be playing in the game anyway as he recovers from a broken collarbone.

“Absolutely,” Sitton said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that. They go after quarterbacks. Their entire defense takes cheap shots all the time, that’s what they do, that’s who they are. They’re a bunch of dirtbags, or scumbags. I mean, that’s how they play.”

Sitton has been with the Packers since 2008, so it’s easy to see what motivated his response. Two years ago, Ndamukong Suh stomped Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving.

Sitton said he believes the attitude of the defense starts from the top with Schwartz.

“It starts with their frickin’ coach,” he said. “Starts with the head coach. Schwartz, he’s a (expletive), too, I wouldn’t want to play for him. … Starts with him, their D-coordinator and their D-line coach. They’re all just scumbags, and so are the D-line.”

This sort of honesty is nothing new for Sitton. You may recall after the “Fail Mary” game between the Packers and Seahawks last year, Sitton ripped Pete Carroll and Golden Tate and said they were full of crap.

You can hear his interview below:

[Read more...]

Jim Schwartz’s family is finally speaking with him again after Lions’ terrible season

The Detroit Lions were one of the most disappointing teams in football last season, going from a playoff appearance in 2011 to a miserable 4-12 record in 2012. After posting its first winning record in 11 years, the team was expected to continue improving and possibly even win a playoff game. Instead, the Lions went in the opposite direction.

Head coach Jim Schwartz took a lot of the blame for the four-win season, but it wasn’t just the fans who were upset with him. His own sons were also furious with their father.

“Nobody is happy. My kids are just starting to talk to me again,” Schwartz said earlier this week, via MLive.com’s Anwar S. Richardson. “My son (has) a lot of Lions posters and sweatshirts and hats. They weren’t happy with 4-12 either. Believe me, nobody was, and we all want to get that taste out of our mouth. The only way we are going to get that out is if we move on past it, and we identify what the unique capabilities of this team are, try to accentuate those, identify our weaknesses, try to minimize those, try hard every day in the offseason and training camp, and have a good game plan each week.”

We’ve heard the whole “my wife won’t even talk to me” bit before when coaches or teams struggle, but Schwartz reiterated that he was serious about his family being angry. He said his son Christian took the abysmal season particularly hard.

“That wasn’t a joke. He was mad,” Schwartz said. “If you see his room, he’s got Lions helmets and jerseys. It’s not because he’s my son. It’s because he’s a big Lions fan. If I worked down at the Rogue (automotive plant), he’d still have all that same stuff. He’s a fan … I imagine that you walk into the Rogue on Monday morning after a Lions loss, nobody is in a good mood. Nobody is in a good mood over in Allen Park either. Part of our job is moving on and getting ready for the next week.”

A lot of things went wrong for the Lions last season. They were certainly better than their 4-12 record indicated, but you have to make a lot of mistakes to lose 12 games in a season. Schwartz took the blame from one particular player for losing control of the team, but it certainly wasn’t all his fault. Regardless of who was or was not to blame, Lions fans were given flashbacks. When you look at their records through the 2000s, you realize that is a very bad thing.

Photo credit: Jim Brown/US Presswire

Lions player: Team was undisciplined, Jim Schwartz lost control

The Detroit Lions looked like the Lions of old this past season, and that is not a good thing. After turning things around with a 10-6 record and a playoff berth last season, Detroit won only four games in 2012. A lot of people are to blame for the disappointing campaign, but it starts with head coach Jim Schwartz.

According to one anonymous Lions players, a lack of discipline was one of the team’s biggest problems this season.

“I think players first and foremost are at fault,” the player reportedly told CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman. “I also think Coach (Schwartz) lost control of the team a little. I hope he comes back. It would be stupid to fire him, but we were an undisciplined team. Most of that is on us.

“But everyone needs to be accountable. The coaches, the players, the front office. Guys need to stop acting like a–holes off the field. Need to stop getting stupid penalties. The truth is coaches need to punish guys more when they screw up.”

Titus Young is a perfect example. It took punching a teammate, headbutting an opponent and intentionally sabotaging his own offense for Schwartz to finally get fed up with the young receiver, and even now he may still return to the team. Several Lions players were arrested over the offseason, which prompted an anonymous Detroit player to call the team a “laughingstock.” Coincidentally, the player Freeman interviewed used the exact same word.

“We go from the playoffs to a laughingstock in a year,” the player said. “That’s on us first. But everyone has to take the heat, including the coaches.”

Was it the same player in both instances? The Lions have been a laughingstock since their arrest-filled offseason, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if two different players described them as such. In any event, Schwartz’s seat is going to be very warm to begin the season in 2013.

Photo credit: Jim Brown/US Presswire