By Ashley Dunkak
Standing up at the podium, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz looked a little peeved at the inquiry about his hurling of his headset following the Lions’ streak-breaking win over the Washington Redskins.
Saying it surprises him what gets attention on the sideline, Schwartz did not laugh at the meant-to-be-funny remark on whether he found out if his headset still worked properly after being tossed.
As for his motivation, Schwartz seemed – again – annoyed at the question, but being worked up seemed to bring out one of the more candid responses he has given to a question in a while.
“Does there have to be something behind it?” Schwartz said. “If I stand there like this, I’d probably get criticized for being too detached and not being emotionally involved in the game. Guess what? I’m emotionally involved in the game.
“It’s a tough week,” Schwartz continued, his voice rising. “This is a tough game. It’s hard to win the National Football League. There were a lot of things that came up in that game. It’s well documented the issues we had with the printers – it wasn’t just offense; it was offense, defense, special teams – injuries in the game. There were a lot of things we needed to persevere through and things like that. It was the end of a tough week and it was a tough road win, and honestly I don’t make any apologies.”
Schwartz further explained that the pictures teams usually get throughout games, the ones that they study in order to constantly make adjustments, were not available the entire game. Schwartz said the Lions never found out what caused the problem but credited the coaches – defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan in particular – for identifying necessary changes nonetheless.
“We were flying blind offense, defense and special teams,” Schwartz said. “Gun’s up in the box, and he was working hard up there to try to figure out what adjustments we needed to make. Scott was on the sideline, working with the guys upstairs figuring out what adjustments we needed to make. Everybody had to really pull double duty and really get to the bottom.
“We’d talked about how they run not schemes that we hadn’t seen before but schemes that they had only sort of sprinkled in before, and they really went to for the most part in this game, starting with basically an all-out blitz on the first play of the game,” Schwartz elaborated. “Offensively, they did some of the same things. They had some wrinkles to their option game that they hadn’t really used before that we needed to make adjustments to, and I give credit to our coaches for being able to make those adjustments even without having those pictures, which are so critical during the game.”