During Jim Schwartz’s time as the head coach of the Detroit Lions, there were always shades of combativeness and arrogance to his personality and coaching style. The traits that helped him get to be a head coach in the National Football League are the same ones that allowed his relationship with the front office to deteriorate. He could never admit he was wrong, and often times during his five years as the Lions’ head coach it seemed as if he didn’t know how to use (or develop) the talent he was given. Outside of the star players, who flourished under Schwartz?
I’m not blaming Jim Schwartz alone for the fizzling relationship between the front office and coaching staff. After all, it takes two sides to build up and tear down a relationship. Mayhew has made his own mistakes. This offseason he admitted to, even if he didn’t mean to, a disconnect between the front office and coaching staff, specifically when talking about the now infamous Mike Thomas trade:
So that was on me for not, I think on the front end, making sure I had an understanding of what he was going to do in our offense. Was he going to be a slot guy? Was he going to be an outside guy? What his role was, really. And rather than do that, because he was so versatile, I saw him in the backfield, I saw him in the slot, I saw him outside, I saw him special teams, I figured we would find something he could do. And we just never found anything for him.
I can’t act like I know the ins-and-outs of a front office environment, but if I owned an NFL team you better believe I’d want my general manager and coaching staff to discuss how a player would be used before we acquired him. In a league where every little detail, every minute aspect can be the difference between winning and losing, the Lions must get the relationship right this time around.
Quotes courtesy of mlve.com