The Detroit Lions wont be switching to a base 3-4 defense but Jim Schwartz has indicated a willingness to tailor the defense to suit the skills of the players.
“We predominately play a Wide 9, but we play other fronts,” Schwartz said. “I think it depends on the personnel, how we go through our OTAs, everything. We’re always working to look at and tweak. You never say never, but that’s our base front.”
While that may be true, and something we have seen a bit in the past, the Wide-9 is very much part of the team’s philosophy and fans can expect to see a heavy dose of it in 2013.
“You always have a philosophy and the philosophy is behind your player acquisitions,” Schwartz said. “You always have a plan for every player. You don’t just pull names out of a hat and say, ‘Hey, this is where you’re going to fit him.'”
In fact, it could be argued that the Lions are actually “doubling down” on the Wide-9 with news that former Philadelphia Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn will join the team as an assistant. Washburn has extensive experience coaching the Wide-9 with the Eagles and Tennesssee Titans. His exact role has not been announced but there don’t appear to be any intentions of Washburn replacing Kris Kocurek as the team’s defensive line coach.
The Washburn name should sound familiar not only because Jim has spent 14 years as a coach in the NFL, but because he becomes the second Washburn on the Lions’ coaching staff. Jeremiah, Jim’s son, was promoted to the position of offensive line coach last week.