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Black and Blue all over: Schwartz edition

1/16/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We'll bring you our morning links in two parts Friday to honor the completion of Detroit's 18-day search for a head coach. The Lions hired Tennessee defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Thursday and will introduce him Friday at Ford Field. Here is a sampling of reaction and news tidbits on the hiring:

Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press:

"And in the end, all you can usually say is, if you're going to be a good head coach, you better have good players. As a defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz had a monster in Tennessee named Albert Haynesworth, a defensive tackle headed for the Pro Bowl. He had two great defensive backs, Cortland Finnegan and Chris Hope, also Pro Bowlers. He inherits a team with very few good players, and he better pray the men who hired him -- Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew -- quickly develop a touch for good drafting -- something the Lions rarely shown -- or he's not going to have many more."

Michael Rosenberg of the Free Press:

"I wonder, though, if Schwartz understands what he is getting into. Obviously, he knows the Lions went 0-16. But if you want a head coaching job, you probably have to take over a losing team. That's just how the business works. And he knows the Lions have been lousy for half a century, but hey, most of those players are gone. You can't turn down the 2009 Lions because they stank 30 years ago. And Schwartz knows he interviewed with team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew, so he surely realizes he reports to them. But does he know why he interviewed with Lewand and Mayhew? Does he understand why they got their jobs? He ought to look into it. The process says so much about this organization and its chance for success."

Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News:

"Jim Schwartz will be introduced at Ford Field today as the new leader of the Lions, and some will brand it a safe, low-key choice. I'm calling it a solid, sound and smart pick, not just for what Schwartz brings -- defense, fundamentals, physical football -- but for what he doesn't bring. No gimmicks, no glibness, no goofiness, thank goodness."

Brian VanOchten of the Grand Rapids Press:

"The fact that Schwartz, who is qualified for this assignment, has agreed to subject himself to the monumental task of resurrecting the Lions is cause for optimism. It doesn't matter if he's the best candidate. At the moment, under these difficult circumstances, he seems like a bright, enthusiastic, young, defensive-minded leader who is the right choice for this job."

ESPN reports that Kansas City assistant Gunther Cunningham (defense) and Denver assistant Jeremy Bates (offense) are the leading candidates to be Schwartz's first coordinators.
Schwartz kept it basic during an interview Thursday night at the Detroit airport. "I'm glad to be in Detroit," he said.