Every NFL team knows their opponents for the 2011 season. What they don't know just yet is when they will be playing each team. The schedule doesn't come out until April, so for now there is a "TBA" next to the date and time for each game.
Although you might not think that coaches care too much about when their games are, Jim Schwartz takes an interest in the Lions' schedule because he likes to know when he will get to go up against new head coaches.
"You always are. Anytime there's a coaching change, particularly when you're not 100 percent sure what it's going to look like,'' he said. "It's a lot easier when Dom Capers goes go Green Bay (as the defensive coordinator) because you've got a pretty good blueprint of what that's going to look like because his track record is so long. That's not as difficult as maybe a guy who is a first-time coordinator or a head coach coming in who is an offensive or defensive guy and also has a coordinator ... what's it going to look like? Is it going to look like the head coach did it or the coordinator or a little of both? Anytime the schedule comes out, the first thing you look for is the opener.''
As broken down by Tom Kowalski, the Lions have three games against new head coaches that were promoted from being interim coaches and two games against new head coaches that used to be coordinators. Based on what Schwartz had to say, it sounds like he is hoping to play one of those former coordinators in the opening game of the 2011 season.