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Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Jim Schwartz not focused on future

By Michael Rothstein
ESPN.com

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Jim Schwartz understands why the questions are asked, why his potential future as the head coach of the Detroit Lions is a fairly large question these days.

And just like he said after Detroit's 18-16 loss to Baltimore on Monday night that knocked the Lions from the lead in the NFC North and gave them their fourth loss in the past five games, he continued with the same mantra.

Focus on New York. Not anything about his future.

"I look at it like we're one game down with two to play," Schwartz said Tuesday. "I've been in worse situations and come out from them, from a team standpoint. That's where we are. As much as it sounds like I keep saying the same thing, but it's true. We can't let anything detract from that.

"We'd all feel a lot better today if that kick had gone wide right or that kick would have come up short. We would have played exactly the same."

Schwartz, though, wouldn't go much past that as far as speculation into his future. He is, including the playoffs, 29-50 in his first five seasons as Detroit's head coach. He has not won the NFC North and has finished third or worse in the division in three of his first four seasons.

He did inherit a team that was 0-16 in 2008 and turned them into a 10-6 team that made the playoffs in 2011. But the Lions fell back to 4-12 last season and have lost fourth-quarter leads in their last four losses this season.

When asked Tuesday whether or not he had spoken with anyone from the Ford family, the automotive magnates who also own the Lions, he unsurprisingly declined to comment, as is usually his custom.

He stressed that the Lions are not out of the playoff race yet. They are a game back of Chicago and Green Bay with two games remaining but need to win out and have both the Bears and Packers drop a game. He also recognized that his players would likely hear questions about his job security, but that he wasn't going to discuss it with them in meetings.

Schwartz took about a handful of questions about his future before cutting off the line of questioning.

"You know what, I understand you guys have a job to do and it's stuff that you guys want to talk about and stuff like that and that's fine," Schwartz said. "But I don't think it does any good for me or for our team to let that be the focus, for us to continue commenting on that. So I think I just respectfully decline to keep going in the same place with those.

"Our focus is on the Giants, that's the only thing we can control our preparation and we can control our performance this week and that's the only thing that we can control so that's what we need to concentrate on and that's what we'll do."