It is almost a given that Jim Schwartz will be fired on Monday. He is 29-50 as the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
There is no excuse for the team to underachieve like they have for the last two seasons. General Manager Martin Mayhew has assembled a talented roster that can compete with the best in football. The problem is that they have been undisciplined for a long time. Detroit has constantly shot itself in the foot with stupid penalties and turnovers.
It is said that a team takes on the personality of its head coach. Schwartz is known to have a fiery temper. Detroit plays like they can’t control themselves in key moments. It has undermined their vast talent.
Matthew Stafford has regressed in the second half of the season. His turnovers have cost Detroit a chance at winning the NFC North. Schwartz has to be held responsible for not reining in his quarterback. Reggie Bush’s fumbling issues have also been a factor as well.
Schwartz is a good coach. He deserves credit for getting Detroit back to respectability. This is a case where he has taken Detroit as far as he can. It is probably time for a change.
This decision also stems from a need for a new face to front the organization. There have been too many times where Schwartz has gone off on people and embarrassed the team. That is not something that a head coach should be doing.
The Ford family is very patient with the people that they hire. They kept Matt Millen as team president for seven years despite his constant blunders. I feel that Schwartz has exhausted any equity he gained from his playoff appearance two years ago. He has made enough mistakes for the Fords to justify getting rid of him.
If there is a new coach, there will not be a shortage of candidates. This is one of the most attractive jobs in the NFL. It is a team that can win right now. The new coach should be someone who can command respect and hold players accountable.
If Detroit opts for a defensive-minded coach, some candidates could be Ray Horton, Mike Zimmer and Mike Pettine. Offensive coaches could include Ken Whisenhunt, Bill O’ Brien and Darrell Bevell. They may be able to get Stafford back on track.
It will be up to the Fords to get this right. With the right coach, Detroit could flourish in 2014.