Given the Detroit Lions' 4-11 record and their inconsistent nature on offense this season, there have been a lot of questions about whether or not offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will return next season. There has been some talk that he is on his way out, but that doesn't seem to be the case if you go off of what head coach Jim Schwartz said on Thursday. Schwartz was asked about Linehan and had nothing but praise for him. From MLive:
"I think he's done a great job," Schwartz said. "Again, particularly the ball security stuff (has been a problem). An offensive coordinator's job is to put guys in position to make plays. I think that over the course of the season, we've been in a good position to make plays. The fact that we've still been able to continue to get the ball to Calvin (Johnson).
"It's one thing when all those other guys were healthy, and you have a lot of other options. A lot of times people will say, 'Hey, you forget about Calvin a little bit when you have all those options.' Well, we really haven't. Defenses have known that, too, and they've taken an approach of trying to take him out of the game plan, but Scott's done a good job of creating ways to still get him the football. Matt (Stafford has) done a good job of delivering the football."
There's no doubt that Linehan has done a good job of getting Johnson the football in the last couple months. It was viewed as a problem early in the season, but Johnson's record season shows that it hasn't been an issue as of late. Of course, getting the ball to Johnson hasn't exactly resulted in many wins. A big part of this is because the Lions have struggled to turn yards into points. That has been the biggest gripe with Linehan, and while it isn't fair to pin it all on him, I don't know if I would say he's done a "great job." Nobody has done a great job this season considering the Lions are 4-11.
What happens with Linehan will really tell us a lot about what is going on behind the scenes. Schwartz is expected to be retained, and if it's up to him, Linehan will likely be back as well. No major shake-ups with the coaching staff are expected if Schwartz is responsible for making the call. That doesn't mean we should completely close the door on the possibility of changes being made, though. Ultimately, Martin Mayhew could step in and decide that the Lions need to make some changes, and perhaps that could result in more "tension" that has supposedly developed between him and Schwartz this season.
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