Schwartz showing a lack of tolerance for poor play -- how refreshing!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good article by's Tom Kowalski today outlining that for all of Coach Jim Schwartz's other qualities -- he seems to be an intelligent, confident, forward-looking coach who isn't overwhelmed by his new position -- he also possesses something new General Manager Martin Mayhew has shown as well: ruthlessness.

When a Lions player isn't getting the job done, Schwartz doesn't tell us he'll need to check the film to make sure his eyes worked on Sunday; he makes changes to the lineup. The latest is taking underperforming Aaron Brown off kick return duties and installing fellow rookie Derrick Williams -- and essentially putting Williams on-notice to perform or else.

But that's only the latest such move by Schwartz, Killer notes. Others have included:

* After signing Phillip Buchanon to a 2-year, $8.5 million contract with the expectation he would be a starting CB, Schwartz has replaced Buchanon in the starting lineup with journeyman Will James. James has played solid, consistent football and made it difficult to take him out of the lineup, Schwartz said. But this also has to do with how Buchanon's been performing, and it's interesting that his contract isn't saving him. Writes Killer: "Buchanon didn't just slide to the nickel back position or even the dime -- he's at the bottom of the depth chart. For two games now, he has seen only time on special teams."

*LB Ernie Sims, a first-round pick, could be losing more and more playing time to third-rounder DeAndre Levy; as could veteran Julian Peterson, who was signed in the offseason with fanfare and high expectations. Why? Levy's simply getting the job done better.

*Left guard Daniel Loper practiced with the first-team offense almost all of training camp. He's been replaced as a starter by Manny Ramirez.

*S Kalvin Pearson gave way to Marquand Manuel, who gave way to in-season signee Ko Simpson, as Schwartz continues to look for solutions on the other side of NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month Louis Delmas.

Noticing a pattern here?

There's a fine line between accountability for your play and too much of a revolving door leading to no continuity or improvement. But as Killer points out, a lot of coaches talk tough, then don't back it up. Schwartz seems willing to back up his talk with action.

"I've never been known as a patient person," Schwartz said. "There's a fine line between staying the course and being on the right track and then going the other way and continuing to do the same things and not having results and expecting things to change. It's my job to recognize that.

"We keep putting the same people in the same positions and the job doesn't get done, so we need to make a change. Either put players in a different position, or put different players in the same position."

Talk about it in The Den!