During today’s Detroit Lions press conference discussing the firing of Jim Schwartz, Tom Lewand expressed his belief that the Lions opening was one of the most, if not the most, attractive openings in the league:
I think this will be one of the most if not the single most attractive coaching opportunities in the National Football League. That starts with our ownership. I think it also continues with the talented people we have in this organization.
It is the type of comment that would have drawn some eye rolls in the past but Schwartz wasn’t the victim of circumstance, whether it be a change in organizational philosophy or an incompetent personnel department. Simply put, he was fired because the Lions’ potential on paper didn’t translate to production on the field – particularly in producing wins. Lewand said the organization has already received phone call from interested parties, suggesting the job is indeed in demand.
If there is one potential road block in the idea that the Lions current state represents a dream job for a coach able to produce an immediate winner it is with Matthew Stafford. The Lions doubled-down on their investment in him over the offseason by signing him to a contract extension. If the Lions are to realize their potential, Stafford has to be part of the solution. Therein lies the conundrum for coaching candidates, as pointed out by MMQB’s Greg Bedard.
Detroit’s the best opening only if you believe Stafford has the makeup (certainly has the talent) to be a champion. If not, it’s a dead end.
— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) December 31, 2013
Should Bill O’Brien end up as the Houston Texans’ next coach as reports indicate, he will have his pick of quarterbacks to mold and develop – whether it be someone already on the roster or a rookie via the number on overall pick. That important decision has already been made for whomever succeeds Jim Schwartz. His fate will be tied to Matthew Stafford.
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