Why Lions Coach Jim Schwartz Absolutely Deserves to Be on Hot Seat

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2012

Oct 22, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz during the first quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

The Detroit Lions were embarrassed by the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, 13-7, in what has been a horrendous 2012 season, and head coach Jim Schwartz deserves all the blame. 

The Lions now sit at 2-4 overall with an 0-2 record in the NFC North, and there is little hope the Lions can get out of the basement of the division with the way teams like the Bears and Minnesota Vikings are playing, not to mention the Green Bay Packers

Schwartz is the problem in Detroit. Although he is beloved for "Restoring the Roar," his track record isn't all that impressive. He's improved the Lions each year through 2011. He won two games in 2009, six in 2010 and finally brought things to a head with 10 wins and the first Detroit postseason appearance in 11 years last season. 

This year has been a different story. Schwartz has allowed the Lions to regress into a cellar-dwelling NFC North squad that cannot keep up with elite offenses or effectively shut down opposing offenses. 

Without seriously highlighting the plethora of character issues that have summarized his time in Detroit, it's worth mentioning that his childish antics such as the now-infamous postgame handshake has had a negative effect on his roster. 

On the field, Schwartz has somehow allowed quarterback Matthew Stafford, a 5,000-yard and 40-plus-touchdown passer in 2011, to completely self-destruct and regress only a year later. Stafford stares down his receivers, doesn't go through progressions and has horrible mechanics such as footwork—and Schwartz has failed to address the issues through six games. 

Schwartz also has the best wide receiver in the NFL in the 6'5" Calvin Johnson—a receiver who is capable of posting over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns in a season. Johnson has hardly been involved in the offensive attack to this point. 

Defensively the Lions are struggling, which is a common theme for Schwartz's tenure in Detroit. The linebackers have played well, but other than that the unit is simply average. It is giving up over 27 points a game, and the offense simply does not have enough firepower to compensate. 

It also doesn't help that Schwartz is a horrible game manager. For instance, in Detroit's 44-41 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3, Schwartz made an idiotic decision that ultimately cost the Lions the game, as perfectly illustrated by Kareem Copeland of NFL.com:

The Detroit Lions trailed the Titans 44-41 in overtime Sunday and had driven to the Tennessee 7-yard line. They faced fourth-and-1 but had kicker Jason Hanson, the franchise scoring leader who was 4 for 4 on field-goal attempts, standing on the sideline...Backup quarterback Shaun Hill approached the line and seemed to be giving instructions to the offensive linemen when he hurried behind center Dominic Raiola and quick-snapped the football...Hill didn't get the ball cleanly, and he certainly didn't advance it. Ballgame.

Not only is the Schwartz tenure in Detroit known for horrific defenses and an immature locker room he has no control of, it has also been characterized by horrendous mismanagement during games. 

Schwartz inherited the laughingstock of the NFL and flipped it into a postseason appearance after only three years, but it is becoming very apparent that the extent of Schwartz's magic has been reached in Detroit.

His capabilities as a head coach aren't fit for the job the Lions need done now. He was the perfect man to jump-start the rebuilding process in Detroit, but instilling a proper culture and taking the franchise to the next level is simply something Schwartz isn't built for at this level.  

Schwartz is on the hot seat in Detroit, and will ultimately lose his job at the end of the season if things don't improve. He deserves every bit of criticism and praise that has been thrown his way to this point, but it's time for the Lions and Schwartz to part ways. 

The relationship between Schwartz and the Lions has run its course. Schwartz's seat is red-hot, and deservedly so. Until the Lions let him go, things won't progress positively in Detroit.