Tom K.: Already a lot to like about Schwartz

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Before he's been head coach in a pro game,'s Tom Kowalski says new Lions Coach Jim Schwartz already has some key edges over what Lions fans have gotten from that position in the recent past:

Jim Schwartz, the Detroit Lions' new head coach, might not win a football game during his time in Detroit, but he has already separated himself from recent Lions' coaches in one significant way. In my opinion, Schwartz is the first coach in decades who will give the Lions an advantage in strategy and gamesmanship on Sunday afternoon.

Blown timeouts, poor clock management and incredibly conservative strategic decisions have been the hallmark of Lions' head coaches in the past. That should change drastically under Schwartz, who is like a skilled poker player - he's going to play the odds because he really knows the odds and while he won't win every time, he expects to win in the long run.

Killer writes that Schwartz's ability to be adaptable and innovative sets him apart from the likes of Rod Marinelli, Steve Mariucci and Marty Mornhinweg.
One of the reasons Schwartz was not only the top choice but, really, the only choice for the Lions in the hiring process was the wealth of his football experience, his overall intelligence and knowledge and his lack of "scheme identity.'' Marty Mornhinweg and Steve Mariucci were West Coast offense guys and Rod Marinelli was a Tampa Two defense guru. The Lions wanted to steer clear of that mentality; they wanted to find a coach who could fit a scheme around the talent, not the other way around.

Schwartz has stuck to one principle - that he wants a bigger and stronger team. The reason is because the cold hard results prove that bigger, stronger football teams win more football games.

Another reason Schwartz is a good fit with general manager Martin Mayhew and president Tom Lewand is that they're all in agreement about just how bad the team is (or was). There is no pie-in-the-sky feeling that filling a few holes here and there will put them in Super Bowl contention. The roster needed a complete overhaul and attitude adjustment and that's going to take time and they're all on board with that.

I like what I've seen from Schwartz too. But I also remember how excited I was when Mariucci -- who, unlike Schwartz, actually had a track record as a successful head coach -- came to Motown.

As some in The Den might say, it's all Honolulu Blue Kool-Aid until it's proven on the field. Which seems to be completely fine with Schwartz.

Talk about it in The Den!