By Eric Thomas, 97.1 The Ticket
There’s no nadir to the Lions 2012 season. The latest was the loss to the Cardinals. The drum beat to fire Jim Schwartz turned to organized cannon fire in the past few days, yet I still think it’s misplaced. As the losses have mounted and the odds of losing out the season have increased, it becomes harder to hold that position. I still say it’s early to fire him and I’m not saying that out of some dug-in sports opinion.
Lions nation has a lot of frauds in it, the proverbial Monday morning quarterbacks. No one was calling for Schwartz to be fired before the season began. If he had been, there would have been a near riot. So stop telling me that you knew all along. You’re making it up and you know it.
What I can no longer argue with is the lack of confidence that the Lions are going in the right direction. I’ve written in the space that I have confidence that Schwartz can turn it around. I don’t have that same confidence anymore. The Lions have been in a vertical dive for much of the season and nothing has impeded it. As a Lions fan I’m not an expert, but I think a good coach can put out that fire. It seems like there would be something, some semblance of a sliver of hope. There would be a silver lining somewhere among the mounds of peet moss and fertilizer that has been the Lions 2012 season.
There hasn’t been anything to feel good about, no hope for 2013. Remember in the end of 2010 when you could see the team coming together? Remember the progress? Remember the flicker of hope at the end of the long dark tunnel? Remember how they beat the Packers? This year has nothing. The season has been a chasm with an accelerated gravitational pull. Any optimism or enthusiasm or hope was crushed to molecules and swept away.
I am not calling for Schwartz to be fired, but have you ever seen a coach keep his job after a year where he didn’t accomplish anything? There has been zero improvement in all positions. Every single position on the field has gotten worse. When its one or two players its on them, when its the entire team its on Schwartz. His signature accomplishment was losing the Thanksgiving Day game. His latest was to put a flat team on the field Sunday against the Cardinals. I ask you, because I don’t know, what has he done well this season? Give me one reason from this season that Schwartz should stay. One. I actually want an answer on this because I can’t think of one.
Even good teams have bad years. But the Lions have exposed themselves this year as a deeply flawed team. They returned to the assigned seat of embarrassment with light speed after soaring to ten wins a year ago, flying too close to the sun with wings of wax. Lions fans want a pelt for punishment, and its hard for me to argue. We pay to see this team and offer our unwavering support. That support was taken for granted this year.
Light the fire under Schwartz. Save some of that fuel for Martin Mayhew because he absolutely deserves it, but in Detroit we know better. You have to literally lose every game before some movement is made at the general manager position. Save your strength.