Since 1972, no Detroit Lions head coach has left the team with a winning record. The historically bad franchise hit an all-time low in 2008 when head coach Rod Marinelli led the team to an 0-16 season, the worst record in NFL history.
After a season like that, questions began to swirl around the Detroit Lions about whether the team would be able to turn around the worst decade the NFL has ever seen, and if so, who would be the man to do it.
The questions were soon answered when General Manager Martin Mayhew announced that the new head coach of the Detroit Lions would be former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
In Tennessee, Schwartz built a reputation on his deep knowledge of defensive game play and on his ability to keep calm and collected in even the toughest situations. With an economics degree from Georgetown, Jim Schwartz was known in the NFL as a smart strategist who knew how the game should be played. He was a straight forward guy, and you knew exactly what you could expect from him. No gimmicks, just fundamental physical football.
This was exactly what the Detroit Lions needed.
Two years later, the Lions have the best record in football. Jim Schwartz turned out to be the right decision, but for different reasons than expected.
Instead of displaying the calm and collected side he showed on the sidelines in Tennessee, Schwartz immediately brought fire and passion to the Lions organization. Schwartz's behavior this season has led him to be described as a madman with his expletive-filled shouts at referees, jeers at opposing players and his electrifying fist pump that serves as an exclamation point after a Lions victory.
Despite his questionable antics, Jim Schwartz was exactly what the Detroit Lions needed. His perfect combination of youth and knowledge have been an inspiration to the team and its fans. His outrageous outbursts and fiery exclamations are simply the result of an unmatched desire to win. Schwartz's emotions only build his aggressive approach, which has led to such great success in Detroit so far this season.
Although the Detroit Lions have had an extraordinary start this season, Jim Schwartz is not yet satisfied. He knows his team is capable of much more than just a few wins this season. Schwartz has his eyes set on greatness and knows his team still has plenty to work on before they can reach this goal.
The Lions have the talent. They know how to win.
What they need to build their team into a great one is a leader who knows that his team is capable of winning every game, a head coach who will accept nothing short of perfection.
Based on what we have seen so far this season, Jim Schwartz is the right man for the job.
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