Posted December 29, 2013

Conflicting reports emerge on Jim Schwartz’s future ahead of Lions’ final game

Detroit Lions, NFC North
Despite a disappointing 2013 season, Jim Schwartz's tenure in Detroit might not be over. (David Richard/AP)

Despite a disappointing 2013 season, Jim Schwartz might not be fired by the Lions. (David Richard/AP)

Jim Schwartz’s fate in Detroit appeared to be sealed last week when his Lions lost their shot at the NFC North title — and Schwartz was caught by FOX’s cameras turning to shout at booing fans. But does Schwartz still have a shot at convincing ownership to keep him around? It depends on whom you ask.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Sunday: “League sources said Lions ownership is ‘on the fence’ about HC Jim Schwartz’s job status but it is ‘leaning towards keeping him.’”

Only moments later, though, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport presented a different tale:

Rapoport’s last point there could be a substantial one. William Clay Ford was the one behind decisions to stick with hires like Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli, well after the writing appeared to be on the wall. That said, Bill Ford Jr. reportedly pushed to keep Schwartz for the 2013 season — despite the front office asking for a change — due to a high buyout number. It’s believed that Schwartz is set to earn $12 million over the final two years of his contract, which Detroit would be on the hook for even if it cans him.

What has been most unclear is if possible changes are an all-or-nothing situation, with regards to the staff and front office. In other words, could GM Martin Mayhew return if Schwartz is fired? Or, in an even more improbable scenario, could Schwartz survive despite a massive overhaul in the front office?

A win Sunday would give the Lions an 8-8 record and just their second .500 campaign over the past 13 seasons. The other also came under Schwartz’s watch, in 2011, when the Lions made the playoffs as a wild card.

The NFC North was there for the taking this season, though. Detroit’s failure to grab it seemingly meant the end of the line for Schwartz and his staff.

Update: FOX’s Jay Glazer named Schwartz as one of three coaches he believes definitely will be let go after Week 17, along with Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and Washington’s Mike Shanahan.

23 comments
Sunshine48
Sunshine48

I think he deserves another chance.  They are better than they have been, they just need more discipline and Stafford needs to get that rhythm with his receivers.  There is a lot of talent there, they just are coordinated. 

redwings6464
redwings6464

it's time to clean house from the mat Millon the GM to the waterboy fire them all

JackGrenan
JackGrenan

If any of us performed this poorly at work we would be fired long ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Schwartz just cannot get things across to players such as discipline ...of course ON THE VERY 1ST PLAY OF THE GAME THE LIONS ARE OFFSIDE.  That was our season in a blink then the 2 field goals ......also get a great quarterback coach.....and ..and.. and..sad same old Lions!      

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

Need anymore proof Chevy's are better than Ford's?

scp1957
scp1957

Let me get this straight: It was the FORDS who decided to give that contract extension to Schwartz early, following the 2011 season play-off loss, with a year remaining on his original deal. Then, when Jimmy proved not to be the coach whom the FORDS (prematurely) thought him to be, the F/O wanted to can hum, but the FORDS, pleading poverty, said 'NO!' Finally, when even the FORDS have to acknowledge that Schwartz HAS to go, the FORDS try to cover their metaphorical backsides by (lamely) trying to pin the mess on the F/O. Never mind that it's arguable that that same F/O did the best job in the off-season with personnel. Never mind that Martin Mayhew, had the FORDS let him change coaches, might be the favorite for the GM of the year award.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Par for the course for my Detroit Lions under the FORDS, who manifestly do NO have a better idea about football.

HeysusChryst
HeysusChryst

Detroit is cursed. You could take and put Lions uniforms on Peyton manning and the rest of the Broncos and they would lose.

Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask
Papi Del Negro..... Dont ask

On the fence.. Fire his lazy eyed a$&!! Detroit is a ridculously talented but equally undisciplined team and that type of culture starts with the HC. What has he really done in Detroit? According to that record not enough to warrant another season with Detroit. The team needs a disciplinarian to fully help untap that potential and also someone to put Stafford in check as he is one of the biggest culprits on that team in terms of the lack of discipline.

AlbertGazalooch
AlbertGazalooch

He's gone! Loss to Minn Sunday was his last game. Will be offered a groundskeeper job for 2014 season.

JubJub
JubJub

Why would the Lions do anything but fire him?  What is it with this organization and its excessive tolerance for failure?  Exhibit A: Matt Millen.  This Lions team has very good offensive talent and a defense that hasn't improved in the least under Schwartz, who was a defensive coordinator.  They have underachieved badly the last two years.  There is absolutely no justification for keeping him.  

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

At least Adam put it in a nutshell (DET "on the fence"), but I'm hard-pressed to find much substance in what Ian 'Rapoport(ed).'  "Bill Ford Jr. is making the call," sounds about right. 

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

to me should just wait as sometimes these reporters trip over themselves and get so much wrong, like shecfter a few years ago when he reported that farve was defintely staying retired and working on a package and the next thing you know glazer reports the trade to the jets, which was the only thing he reported on the farve circus

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

The Lions are a talented team that has underperformed. Martin Mayhew brought in that talent so why would he get canned. It is the coaches who are suppose to make the best use of that talent, something that the present coaches have failed to do. I think this is the one job that Jon Gruden would leave the broadcasting booth if he was offered the job as HC of the Lions.

scp1957
scp1957

@JubJubActually, the defense was among the best in both run and red-zone. What they've done these past two years with the corners is under-appreciated. The interior line is, at worst, third-best in the NFL. The young ends are very promising. They now have young depth at every defensive position.


On the other side of the ball, Washburn has done wonders coaching up the line and, apart from Reggie's 4 fumbles, the backs and tight ends are pretty good. Alas, the refusal to get a legitimate flanker and Scott's periodic telegraphing of his play calls, has repeatedly killed their drives. (I don't entirely blame Matt for his sometime lack of enthusiasm. If I were he, the coach's unwillingness to put the other team away when the Lions start to get them on the ropes would just sap my spirits, too.)


Throw in a ST unit that could still stand some better coaching and you've got 7-9. I mean, would it KILL them to at least TRY to block a kick or punt?

TeddyBloomquist
TeddyBloomquist

@HarshRealities That might be the funniest thing I've heard this week! Jon Gruden will make out with the Glazer brothers before he ever coaches the Detroit Lions.

scp1957
scp1957

@HarshRealitiesAmen. Mayhew had one weakness, personnel evaluation, which he solved by bringing in the league's second-best data analyzer. (No one can keep all of the details for literally thousands of guys in their heads.) If only Jimmy was capable of so humbling himself, we might have gotten somewhere.