This week the Lions meet the Washington Redskins (a team they beat last year) in a significant game which will go a long way in buttressing Schwartz’s credibility, or lack of credibility as a legitimate Head Football Coach.
Over the last several weeks, Schwartz has sounded a lot like despised former General Manager, Matt Millen.
Millen, if recent history has not rotted the grey matter between one’s ears, was the quintessential "excuse- maker" who took the Art of the Excuse to new and stunning heights as the Lion’s CEO.
Every year Millen would step before the microphone following another dismal season and parrot the expected script of how from year-to-year the Lion’s were improving their talent. Of course, the improvement Millen asserted was in rhetorical bombast only. It was never discernible on the field as measured in the win column. The most games Millen ever won under his stewardship in seven plus years as the head honcho was six messily games. Any high school student would be holding their guts in uncontrollable laughter, if sold a bill of goods about “improvement” under similar results.
Schwartz has resurrected the same rhetorical standards, but has not delivered on the field. In several post game Press Conferences, Schwartz has played the “we are improved from last year” card which he repeats after every defeat. It is almost becoming pathetic to listen to the man.
The Washington game will go a long way in proving if Schwartz is right in his assessment, or just stringing us to the end of the season while hoping for the best and the shot at another draft. Any truly objective Lion observer has heard this sing-along before, and it has become astonishingly convincing for corralling the gullible that are ubiquitous in this town.
The surprising thing is that local talk radio callers discussing the Lion’s don’t put up with the expected script; it appears to only be accepted as dogma on the Bleacher Forum for the vast majority of contributors. It certainly leaves one questioning the partisan nature of the forum as a legitimate objective standard bearer for authentic sports journalism.
The Washington game is an event Schwartz cannot lose for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is a home game for Detroit. If Detroit fails to protect their own Crib against a team that won only 4 games last year, it will become less likely that the rhetoric is believable. Secondly, if the Lion’s fall to Washington, it is very likely that the Lion’s might only duplicate last year’s win total of 2 games, or could conceivably regress to one win for the season but this is especially true given that Cleveland, TB, and Miami is on the rise. The only fluff team left for the Lion’s is Buffalo on their home turf, but given the Lion’s have not won an away game in the last two years, it leaves me pondering the inevitable.
If Schwartz cannot exceed last year’s win total of two games he deserves to lost his job.
Improvement can mean different things to different people, but it is more than making popular draft choices, free agent signings, and using marketing schema's to disseminate propaganda. Improvement also includes the intangibles of coaching which includes motivation to overcome obstacles whether they are injuries, bad calls, or the inevitable road game while keeping one’s eyes, ears, and nose closed. If you cannot win half of your road games in a season (and the Lion’s have proven they cannot win any), you cannot “improve” in the NFL, PERIOD!
When I was in the Marines on a Recon Team, we had a saying, “You can talk-the-talk, can you walk- the- walk?” Anyone who served in the Special Forces, knows of what I speak.
Schwartz ought to man up, and stop making excuses, and start proving he can win some frigging games