Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Schwartz and Stafford
In 2005, Jim Haslett was in his last stint with the Saints, failed to bring New Orleans to the playoffs in four consecutive seasons and eventually led them to a 3-13 record, solidifying a last-place finish in the NFC South. Aaron Brooks started 13 of those games, threw four more interceptions (17) than he did touchdowns (13) and only completed 55.7 percent of his passes.
Fast forward a year later, when Haslett was replaced with Cowboys assistant coach Sean Payton and Brooks was let go for free agent Drew Brees. The team had found a coach who knew how to win and a franchise quarterback and the duo lead the Saints to an NFC Championship, where they came one game short of a Super Bowl berth.
In 2008, the Detroit Lions posted the worst record of all time, going winless for the entire season. The 0-16 squad was coached by Rod Marinelli and led on the field by a misfit gang of quarterbacks (Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky and Daunte Culpepper all starting at least four games). Marinelli was canned, as Titans defensive coordinator Jim Scwartz took over as head coach and quarterback Matthew Stafford was drafted first overall out of Georgia the following season.
Now, the Lions weren't led to an NFC Championship or even the playoffs after their arrival, but the franchise has seemingly found its answers at both head coach and quarterback.
Jim Schwartz continues to win more games with every passing year, and though Stafford has sat out for most of his professional career, he's showed moments of genius (five TDs in Cleveland his rookie season). If he can stay healthy, there's no doubting this pair of football minds won't lead this young, talented Detroit squad to a championship down the road.