No-nonsense Schwartz opens camp with a test

Saturday, August 1, 2009

As the Lions start training camp, step one for Coach Jim Schwartz is to test every player's upper-body strength in the bench-press and lower-body strength in the vertical jump, Nicholas Cotsonika reports at

"There's accountability for your conditioning level," coach Jim Schwartz said Friday. "Guys worked extremely hard. We had great participation in our off-season program. But they've been away for about a month, and you want to see where everybody is. You want to see who's been working, who hasn't."

Schwartz is sounding no-nonsense, and plans to go full-bore from the onset. The plays were put in place in June. As Cotsonika puts it, "The players should know what to do, and they need to be ready to do it. Schwartz said they will practice third-down, red-zone and two-minute situations in the first two days."
"There's no longer an easing-in process to training camp," Schwartz said. "You've got to be full-speed the first day. You go back 30 years in the NFL, maybe even more, guys were working at the bank or laying concrete or working in the shoe store in the off-season. These guys are professionals 12 months a year. They're paid well enough that they're paid to keep themselves in shape."

Schwartz earlier in the year talked about the quantifiable strength improvements for players from instituting an old-school Olympic-style weightlifting program. I'm sure part of the reason for his Day 1 strength tests is to be able to look back later and see who was working the hardest and who wasn't. The numbers don't lie for Schwartz.

Talk about it in The Den!