I think Schwartz got Lionized. When the Lions Front Office said we need a culture changing coach in here, I couldn't have agreed with them more. This thought has been rolling around in my mind for awhile now, the one statement that will become the epitaph of Schwartz's career in Detroit -
"We were one play away."
Wrong Jim, you weren't just "one" play away. You were a dozen plays away in every single game, even the games you won. The talent on the team was obvious, and just as obviously mismanaged and held unaccountable. The turnover margins were never acceptable, the penalties were never truly addressed, long story short - You blew it.
The sad part is, I really think he bought it, and even worse, he sold many fans on the "one play away" theory too. This team should have been imposing their will and stepping on the throats of every team they faced this year. That never happened. Even the most dominant of victories we had under Schwartz was filled with flaws, correctable flaws that should have been fixed through coaching long ago.
Far too often, even in victory, this team was playing from behind. I never saw this team play a game hard, from start to finish, the whole 60 minutes, this year. That is criminal.
Another thing that stood out, quote wise, was after the Week 16 loss to the Giants. He said he thought the team came out flat in the first half. I agreed completely, and the same thought kept running through my mind, "Your season and the playoffs are on the line, and you couldn't get your team fired up to play the first half?". Case, point, match.
This is the true culture change that needs to occur. Our next coach needs to be one who is not just happy to eek out a victory, or pat his guys on the back when they throw three interceptions, but manage to win by a point. We need a coach that can field a team that plays hard for 60 minutes, and motivate them to play that way week in and week out.