In his first two seasons as head coach of the Detroit Lions, Jim Schwartz's offseason began around the start of the New Year. There were no playoff games to prepare for, so the Lions' focus turned to scouting for the NFL Draft rather quickly.
This year, Schwartz's offseason began a bit later than usual since the Lions did make the playoffs. As a result, he is a bit behind in terms of scouting. Although I'm sure he would rather be getting ready for the Super Bowl, he realizes the importance of being down at the Senior Bowl this week to get an up-close look at players who could potentially be picked by the Lions come April.
"It's obviously important to watch college players," Schwartz said. "You can watch them on film and tell a lot about them on film, but as coaches, we don't get the opportunity to visit college campuses in the fall where the scouts can see a guy practice. They can get a different perspective on those guys.
"Being able to come to the Senior Bowl and being able not only to see them play, but practice, is important."
Martin Mayhew echoed Schwartz's thoughts and also stressed the importance of seeing players in person to make sure they pass the "eye test."