By Ashley Dunkak
NFL players take the bye week to escape and relax. Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz made it clear with Karsch and Anderson of 97.1 The Ticket that he will be staying focused on the job even though the Lions have the week off.
“No fun,” Schwartz said. “It’s still football. I get a chance to see my kids play youth league sports, but that’s about it.”
Even Halloween will not be too much of a getaway because people want to talk sports. For them it is fun, but for Schwartz it is business, which kind of defeats the purpose of not being at work.
“The only way I trick or treat is if I wear a mask,” Schwartz said. “People tend to spend more time wanting to talk about the Lions than they do enjoying the kids and doing all that stuff, so sometimes that can be a distraction. I’ll probably get a little bit of that in with the kids also.”
Heading into the bye, though, a team could not ask for a much better game to end the first half of the season. The Lions won a nail-biter on a daring play by quarterback Matthew Stafford, sending Detroit to the bye with a winning record. However, the Lions did commit four turnovers, so while the win gives confidence, the game should not inflate any egos.
Going forward, it appears the Lions will be sticking with the roster that has gotten them where they are. The trade deadline came and went Tuesday, and Detroit made no moves, despite speculation that they might deal little-used running back Mikel Leshoure, who rushed for 798 yards in 2012, to a team that needed him more.
Schwartz said there were discussions about trades but that nothing worked out.
“What happens is after you get out of the beginning part of the season, everybody starts dealing with injuries, so even if you had guys that were spare parts, those guys are being pressed into service for some teams,” Schwartz said. “That changes the way people look at it also that get ready for their last eight games of the season. It makes it difficult when you have some injury situations. Those spare parts don’t look as spare when you get middle of the season.”
After losing wide receiver Ryan Broyles to a season-ending ruptured Achilles and being short another wide receiver since Nate Burleson is still out with the broken arm he suffered in a car crash, the Lions would benefit from more depth at that position. Schwartz, though, expressed confidence in what the team already has. Practice squad player Jeremy Ross was promoted to help fill the gap, and Stafford got him the ball Sunday along with everyone else.
“Matt Stafford’s done a really good job of getting production out of a lot of other guys, whether it’s one play from Ogletree, or a play from Ross or a play from [running back] Joique Bell or [tight ends Joseph] Fauria or [Brandon] Pettigrew,” Schwartz said. “We’ve had targets of eight and nine different players, and I think that’s one of the things that’s allowed the Reggie Bushes and the Calvin Johnsons to remain effective.”