Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Lions' backdown
By Kevin Seifert
I would imagine some Detroit fans were upset Monday when a calmer coach Jim Schwartz declined to toss out a “sacrificial lamb” as an accountability message to players who absorbed a 48-3 loss at Baltimore. Here’s how Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press put it:
"Schwartz looks silly today. There is no getting around it. After his team lost, 48-3, in Baltimore on Sunday, he strongly implied that he would make roster changes, then he came back Monday and said, in effect, "Hey, never mind, our players might be bad but they're all we have." And when you are a head coach and you get into serious discussions about whether your team quit ... well, like I said, Schwartz looks silly."
The backdown didn’t bother John Niyo of the Detroit News, who wrote: “Frankly, we've seen enough publicity stunts from this team over the years.”
As we discussed Monday, the reality is there wasn’t much Schwartz could do with three games left in the season. His mistake was letting his emotions get the best of him immediately after Sunday’s game. While I appreciate Schwartz’s willingness to speak his mind, this was a lesson in the 24-hour rule for coaches. In short: Make no promises, announcements, decisions or predictions in the immediate aftermath of a game. Emotions are too high. It’s good theater for reporters, but that’s about it.
Continuing around the NFC North: