USA TODAY Sports
According to Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, some flexibility does exist with the team's defensive scheme depending on the personnel.
One of the big criticisms of Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is the "Wide 9" defense he uses. The scheme in general has a lot of critics, and the fact that he continues to employ it for the Lions has been pointed to as a reason why the team has struggled so much defensively at times. There is certainly a lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball, but perhaps a different scheme would put the players the Lions do have in a better position to succeed.
With Schwartz and the entire defensive staff set to return next season, it doesn't exactly seem like a scheme change is coming to the Lions defense. This belief is simply based on the lack of openness to change that has seemingly been displayed in the past. However, with so many defensive players set to hit free agency, perhaps a change in personnel could result in a change in scheme, at least that's what Schwartz hinted at in comments highlighted by the Lions' official site on Wednesday.
"We evaluate every Monday after every single game. Adjustments we need to make, things we need to do better, things that work, things that didn’t work," Schwartz said.
"You also do that on a yearly basis. Part of it is also tied into personnel that you have and you want your schemes to match your personnel. You have a general philosophy, but there’s some flexibility within that philosophy."
I'm skeptical that there is enough flexibility to actually see a scheme change. I do wish it would happen, though. I feel like the Lions would be better suited to move away from the "Wide 9," and I'd rather see it happen before the season than have a situation arise where a change is simply out of desperation like in Philadelphia in 2012.