Sep 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz stands on the sideline during the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
Here we go again. The players may change, the coaches may change and the logo on the helmet has changed, but the Detroit Lions penchant for making you feel like a sucker for wasting three hours of your Sunday while you pull out what’s left of your hair screaming at the TV remains as strong as it ever has. There is no way around the fact the the Lions were the better team and controlled most of the first three quarters then as if on cue remembered that they’re, all together now, the SAME OLD LIONS.
It was like finding out your winning lottery ticket was a fake all along. We were sold a bill of goods in believing that Head Coach Jim Schwartz was going to be the man that restored the roar to this snake bitten franchise and give it some dignity. I’m not seeing it. Is it too early to think the Lions blew it again in hiring of Schwartz as their leader? You can hear the snickers from the broadcasters on the national football shows. Rolling their eyes when they see that the Lions blew another lead. In fact Tony Dungy, a Michigan native who knows his history, may have uttered the Lions new slogan when he said “SOL” yesterday describing the loss to the Cardinals.
When the Lions hired Schwartz, I sure didn’t think year five was going to look like this. There were so many things that bug me about the game yesterday that one would only expect to find in the first year of a rebuilding project. If he’s a defensive guru then how do you explain the fact that his crown jewel on defense, the front four, managed to eek out only one miserable sack when the Rams were able to get to Carson Palmer four times the week before, and that was a coverage sack at that. If Willie Young knows that a hand to the face is going to be called for a penalty then why was he doing it for ten yards? Didn’t Bill Bentley learn that you have to turn your head in junior high school?
The biggest problem is as plain as a zit on the forehead: the utter lack of control of these players. They had more penalties, eigth, than they did first downs, four, in the second half. They had 83 yards in penalties in the half compared to only 90 yards on offense. That’s crazy stupid in the wrong way. They say the team is a reflection of it’s coach so the picture in the mirror can’t be too pretty these days.
We can talk about the way too conservative play calling and dropped balls some other day. With Schwartz’s good will evaporating quickly, it becomes clearer and clearer every game that the players just aren’t listening to him. I thought it was a good thing last week when the players took it upon themselves to run gassers after practice as punishment for the penalties in the first game. I’m starting to look at this differently now. Are the players doing it because they know their coach is incapable of the discipline himself?
Even though they are 1-1 in the standings, they’re 0-2 in the not being able to controls themselves department. This problem may cost him his job because it’s keeping them from winning games plain and simple.