Lions’ Jim Schwartz ought to be feeling heat if they lose Sunday
Lose Sunday and Jim Schwartz should start looking over his shoulder.
He’s got a contract extension so secretive that it’s probably easier accessing National Security Council nuclear weapons codes. He’s run this team for the last 10 months as though he’s got nothing to worry about.
I’ve long maintained that Schwartz should get another season to prove whether he’s learned from the mistakes of this season. An important measure of good coaching is resilience. How does the head coach respond upon realizing some of the flaws of his previous approach? But if the Lions (4 9) cannot beat Arizona (4 9) in the flea infested Kennel Bowl on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz., between teams that have lost a combined 14 consecutive games, the Fords should elevate the temperature setting on Schwartz’s coaching hot seat.
If you can’t beat a team that has lost its last nine games then there must be some acknowledgment that the Lions’ problems adidas run far deeper than injuries and inconsistency. A loss to the Cardinals could imply an outright rejection of Schwartz’s neglect in aggressively demanding accountability from players for both on and off field transgressions.
The players bought into Schwartz’s sales pitch two years ago that the last four games of another playoff less season were significant as a springboard into the following season. The Lions won their last four games. But if that same message falls on deaf ears in the locker room this time, is that not an indication that the players have perhaps tuned out Schwartz?
Lose at Arizona and that becomes a definite concern.
Impulsiveness remains the long accepted third stage of perpetual Lions’ grief right after denial and anger. Take a broom and sweep away the debris. It doesn’t matter that history has proven that all that does is create more room for more debris, just from a different source. It has become reflex for the annually adidas frustrated to demand change solely for the sake of the change.
And ho adidas w well has that worked?
But if Bill Ford Jr. is genuinely serious about changing the culture surrounding this star crossed franchise, he shouldn’t automatically dismiss the possibility of a coaching change one year removed from an unexpected playoff appearance simply because a rare Lions’ playoff game remains a fresh memory or that Schwartz’s contract buyout might prove cost prohibitive.
Cardinals coach Ken Wisenhunt could lose his job after this season, just four years after he led that historically moribund franchise to its first Super Bowl.
That’s yet another reminder of how NFL success albeit momentary is unavoidable in a league that rewards ineptitude with high draft picks, easier scheduling and a hard salary cap that prevents the elite from stockpiling quality depth. “Coming close” in games and losing shouldn’t be so easily forgiven because “coming close” is a common NFL diagnosis. It only covers up the blemishes of poor adidas drafting, poor coaching and poor internal leadership.
It’s become the Lions’ ready excuse. Don’t fret. They’re close. They’re just one play away from snatching victory from defeat. But the distance separating those capable of making that one play from those incapable is measured in miles, not inches.
The Lions simply aren’t as close as the easily gullible believe. It’s in Schwartz’s best interests that this year qualifies as the aberration. But blow it in the desert Sunday against a team colder than the Lions and it should become increasingly clear to all that 10 6 last year was the anomaly.