May the Schwartz Be With You!

If you have been watching the local sports highlights recently you may have seen a number of Lions coaching candidates answering questions from media members. If you also happened to have no background knowledge about what was going on, you could have sworn that you were looking at the next Lions coach. As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast my friends!” Following one of the more bizarre coaching searches in NFL history, Jim Schwartz is expected to be named the next Lions coach on Friday.

Bobby Ross, Gary Moeller, Marty Mornhinweg, Steve Mariucci, Dick Jauron and Rod Marinelli all have one thing in common (Actually there’s a lot of things, but we’ll stick to one for reading purposes). Former Titans Defensive Coordinator Schwartz is expected to get a four-year deal from the Lions, a period of time that none of the names listed above have completed in Detroit. While many publications both locally and nationwide are providing praise on Schwartz, we really should step back and look at this decision with a microscope.

There is a saying that “defense wins championships.” While I believe this as well to be true, it can be considered that the Lions failed to pick up the top coordinator on the market. It is hard not to consider Baltimore’s Rex Ryan as likely the top coordinator out there. If you want someone with local ties perhaps the Patriots’ Dean Pees or Steelers’ Dick LeBeau could have been the ideal choice. LeBeau comes off as a real Jim Leyland style (plus-10 years) who would look to cast revenge on a rough performance in Cincinnati.

Any way you look at it, the Lions have picked up a coach whose team this season really hit lightning in a bottle. His Titans were set to ride Vince Young for 16 weeks until an injury forced Collins off the bench. The defense got last hurrah efforts from aging players like Keith Bulluck. These same players frequently made up for the bonehead plays of Cortland Finnegan and other emotionally-charged Titans. Schwartz may be ready with one-liners at his press conference, and only time will tell if that turns into wins on the field.