By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Green Bay Packers tackle Josh Sitton slammed Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz on the radio Tuesday night, calling him a “d— ” and a “scumbag,” saying he would not want to play for Schwartz and adding that what Sitton describes as a cheap shot mentality on the team begins with Schwartz.
On Twitter, former Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson, a first-round pick out of USC in 2008, essentially concurred with Sitton’s negative assessment.
Jackson tweeted that he does not have a ton of respect for Schwartz, that Schwartz held different players to different standards, did what he wanted to do even when it was not best for the team and that he lied to Jackson’s face.
Jackson, who played all 16 games in both 2008 and 2009 with the Seattle Seahawks before spending three years with the Lions, had an offer from Detroit for 2013 but declined it.
After Jackson’s tweets made it onto Sports Illustrated’s website, he went on 97.1 The Ticket to discuss his remarks with Valenti and Foster.
As far as why he does not respect Schwartz, Jackson said that the coach has some great qualities but that there are also aspects of how Schwartz handles business that Jackson did not appreciate.
“There’s some people you respect immensely, and he’s not one of those people,” Jackson said.
What Jackson mentioned in one tweet was a lack of accountability for some players more than others. He expanded on that with an anecdote he got from former New England Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel.
“I feel like everybody needs to be held to the same level of accountability,” Jackson said. “Cassel spoke of the message that is sent when Bill Bellicheck laid into Tom Brady for making a poor decision … I didn’t necessarily see that same level of accountability for everyone.”
Another of Jackson’s issues with Schwartz stemmed from his statement that Schwartz lied to him. Jackson said he asked Schwartz if the coach thought he was soft. Evidently the coach danced around the question even though Jackson knew the coach’s true opinion, which Jackson said characterized him as “always in the training room.”
Jackson said he never missed practices or games except when he was not medically cleared to play. He said his maintenance of his body, keeping all parts in working order, was seen as a weakness.
“Doing things about the small things that are bothering me to help me perform, why is that considered soft?” Jackson said. “Doing those things should not fall into the category of being soft and always in the training room.”
In terms of whether Schwartz encourages players to target quarterbacks and take cheap shots, Jackson said no one was specifically encouraged to injure passers. He did intimate an understanding, though, that this is part of the game.
“Let’s not kid ourselves. Football is a violent sport,” Jackson said. “If you want to win a game, make the quarterback either leave the game or make it hard … As a football player, it’s just general stuff. You know the principles of the game.”
Speaking out against a head coach, of course, and providing insight into an organization could hurt Jackson’s career prospects. He said he did not care if the comments affect how he is perceived by teams across the league.
He said in one Tweet that Schwartz will “lie to your face.”
“If I am blackballed from the NFL for not abiding by the structure or business model of being politically correct or being afraid … then so be it,” Jackson said. “That wouldn’t bother me one way or the other … I started playing football because I loved the game … The best player does not always play. It’s the player that the coaches like the most.”