Lions Ownership Discussing Firing Jim Schwartz

Submitted by MGoVoldemort on December 30th, 2012 at 11:52 AM
ESPN's Chris Mortenson (contradicting an earlier report by Michigan's own Adam Schefter) is reporting that Lions ownership is having discussions about firing Schwartz. They're reportedly concerned with the severe off the field image hit the team has taken of late, along with the obvious disappointment of finishing 4-12 after a playoff year. @ProFootballTalk: A week after Schefty said Jim Schwartz is safe, Mort says Schwartz could be fired Personally, I'd just clean house and show Mayhew the door as well. Mayhew put this roster together, and has to shoulder as much blame as anyone. Also, if his draft record is to come into focus, he has clearly been unable to add starters in the secondary, line backing, or the offensive line. I think the playoff appearance last year masks a lot of porous drafting.



December 30th, 2012 at 1:19 PM ^

Great idea, but he would never come. The lions inability to ever pick up a highly regarded head coach makes me believe that our management and ownership really is that bad. No big name ever comes here. Are any of our former head coaches still head coaches on other teams? I guess if you want to revert back to being a coordinator after your years after head coaching then Detroit is the place to come.


December 30th, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

Lions should at the least be looking for a new QB coach. Stafford's fundamentals, particularly his footwork and throwing motion, have regressed.


December 30th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

People keep saying urban Meyer on the board my ? Is with his so called health issues what more stressful job nfl or OSU. He wouldn't need to recruit or travel much in the nfl which would have to please him. I wonder if he would consider it for the right money?


December 30th, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

It's not Schwartz, it's the max contracts of Suh, Stafford, and Johnson combined with Avril's franchise number. Lions had 3 expensive players from the last 3 rookie drafts without the new cap. Oops. It's hamstringing the franchise.


December 30th, 2012 at 12:46 PM ^

I'm a giants fan so I don't have a horse in this race...but I just don't get the desire to fire a coach a year after the team's first playoff appearance in years. The league reacted and the Lions struggled this year. At the very least Schwatrz deserves one more year (maybe with some coaching changes and a new GM).

Detroit sports fans seem to expect the world every year and overreact when they don't get it. In fact, I remember several people on this board (and several friends) telling me the Tigers would sweep the World Series and when they lost I heard about the significant changes they needed to make. And that's coming from a New York sports fan.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:06 PM ^

You should come to Cleveland.  The sports fans here (especially the vocal ones) are incredibly stupid, impatient, etc.  They have no experience with winning and therefore have no idea how it works, how to get there, etc.  I moved here in 1995 and the fans dumped on Belichick 24/7.  Then the Browns left for Baltimore and Belichick went to New England.  Both won Super Bowls while leaving Cleveland behind.  It was very telling.  24


December 30th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

I am not really disagreeing with you, but has your franchise won only one playoff game in fifty years? I understand what you are saying about fans being quick to complain and jump ship but when you have had arguably the best running back ever and now one of the best receivers, yet you still can't put together a consistent franchise there has to be something wrong in the offices. We drafted a guy who purposely lined up in the wrong spot. multiple minor violations and run ins with the law. We throw the ball so much more than other teams in the league because we can't establish any resemblance of a run. Idk if Shwartz & Mayhew should be fired now, but they should be on a short leash, especially if these larger issues are not addressed in the off season.


December 30th, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

I would usually defend a franchise's "off year" based on all the injuries the Lions have suffered. But, after seeing the kind of talent the Packers have drafted and picked up off waivers the last couple years, and seeing undrafted linemen hold their own week after week, it's obvious the Lions have no clue how to stack a 53 team roster. They are pretty good in their 1-deep, but after that you are one injury away from scrambling to find a starter (this year they started practice squad guys at CB, S, WR, TB and all but for Bell are busts)


December 30th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

I hate the Bears and really want them to miss the play-offs but I also want Maybew and Shwartz gone and a better draft pick. Oh who to root for?

Perkis-Size Me

December 30th, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

It's not Schwartz. It's the Fords. The Lions desperately need new ownership, something which will unfortunately never happen.

The only plus the Fords have to their name as far as owners go is that they drafted Sanders and Megatron. Other than that, it's nothing but decades of futility.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

Fire Schwartz would be a good idea.  The guy just is not cut out to be a head coach. Last year was an anomaly.  

I hope they find a way to keep Suh in Det. after his contract is up.  As painful as he can be sometimes, it would be more painful to see him in another teams uniform.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

Clean house and rebuild the right way, not just promoting a Millen student and picking a rookie head coach.

Get an assistant GM from a recently dominant team, get a proven coach, and will someone please wipe out the entire scouting dept.? Our drafts have sucked. I think we have a talent scout who has been with the team since the 80s.

I would say get rid of the Fords but that's very unlikely unless the old man croaks soon and Jr. takes over which I think would improve the organization somewhat.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:36 PM ^

A fish rots from the head down. As long as Ford owns this team don't expect any miracles. When I was in high school circa 1980, the team's slogan was "Restore the Roar." I can't believe I'm talking about this 30 years later.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

people need to quit GOING TO THESE GAMES every week. make them play with the stadium 3/4 empty. until the Ford's see their profits drop significantly we're gonna have this BS every year

One Armed Bandit

December 30th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

You might as well get rid of Schwartz too. Even if he survives this season, next year would be his last if we didn't make the playoffs. No coordinator would come if he knew he might be out of job after one year.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:47 PM ^

CBS did a nice little write-up regarding this - (LINK)

Among some of the more illuminating statements -

"It'd be hard to blame that lack of regard for the team and the law solely on Schwartz. Of course, Schwartz also is probably the easiest person to blame in this situation." - when discussing discipline issues

If the Fords are disillusioned with the culture in the locker room, then it is not entirely clear that firing Schwartz totally resolves this particular issue, although it is easier to replace the coach and potentially certain members of management than let go of otherwise talented players. For a family that dabbles in a top ten Fortune 500 company, they don't seem to understand this aspect of leading change very well. 

Even if you have a roster that is strong enough to at least do respectably in the league, if you feel as if you cannot count on your teammates to keep the team in mind and put the team in a position to win, then even your best and most well-meaning players will be reluctant to give 100%, especially if the issues are allowed to linger.

I have to believe that, despite the head-scratching drafts of the Lions (and these definitely contribute to the lack of depth at key positions), part of the problem is cultural. It might very well be that Schwartz, in the end, is not the person to lead such a charge, but it is something that needs to change or it will likely be the case that anyone who is hired will have more trouble winning consistently in Detroit than they might in other places. 


December 30th, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

but I disagree and I think that would be giving them a free pass. We want answers!

I do think that the Fords care about the Lions winning. To suggest that they don't is to suggest that they're not even fans of their team. Does an increase in wealth decrease one's interest in the game? Or decrease their desire to see their own team win?

They need to get over themselves and admit this era of management is crap and start fresh there.


December 30th, 2012 at 2:46 PM ^

I haven't looked at the numbers for the Lions but there are plenty of owners, especially in smaller markets, that are not willing to take a loss on a pro team in order to fund a "championship" payroll.  Perhaps Ford is not willing to reduce some of his $1.2B in net worth to fund a Super Bowl caliber team.   Enough fans will keep coming at this level to make his hobby profitable while he maintains all the perks.  

Think of the Lions as having ownership/management similar to Wisconson's AD/President whereas Dave Brandon, willing to pay top $ to assistant coaches, is more like to Illich (gotta like those Pizza guys)

Clearly Barry didn't think the Lions owernship was willing to do what it takes to field a winning team.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

December 30th, 2012 at 3:25 PM ^

"Bob, you don't need to win to be a winner."  Cue ka-ching effect.

So I guess the question is how much Ford still has to pay Schwartz even if he fires him.  And I wasn't paying attention, but Schwartz got a "multi-year" contract extension last summer, so if it's 2 yrs, then he's around through 2014.  I'd say Schwartz isn't going away any time soon.


December 30th, 2012 at 1:57 PM ^

As many have said, the team has done nothing since William Clay Ford Sr. bought the team in '63.  Their last championship was in the 50's.  It's been a long time but we wont have to wait another 50 years for the team to either be sold or pass to William Clay Jr.   Since Jr. seems to be doing a decent job with the car company (I believe he's due some credit for turning it around and for steady leadership through 2008), there's hope he'll do the right thing by either turning the franchise around or selling it to someone who can.

Until the change of control happens there is no hope for the Lions. 


December 30th, 2012 at 4:20 PM ^

Jr brought in Millen!  This family is clueless when it comes to NFL football and nothing will change until there is a new owner. I wish we could pass a law to keep the Ford's Lions out of the state of MI.  Just start a new expansion team and have the fan own the team!


December 30th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

I would say that Mayhew has had more hits than misses, but not nearly enough hits as an elite GM in the league.  You need at least one more year to get the Millen years behind 'em.

That being said, I believe Swartz needs another year to truly determine if he is a good coach.    Their record is much worse than the team is.  However, I also thought RR needed one more year, which obviously was dead wrong.

I sure hope I didn't misspell a word, eliciting a handful of ridiculous replys that judge far less than the content of my post.