Jim Schwartz Insists Detroit Lions Haven’t Given Up: “This Team Comes to Play Every Single Week”

December 5, 2012 – 7:45 am by Brad Gagnon

The Detroit Lions improved so drastically in 2011 and are so young that everyone expected another step in the right direction in 2012. That hasn’t been the case at all, as the Lions dropped to 4-8 Sunday with another tough, close loss at home. As a result, head coach Jim Schwartz is pissed at his team’s offense and defense for another performance in which they couldn’t make game-clinching plays.

Jim Schwartz joined Karsch and Anderson on WXYT in Detroit to discuss the Lions’ tough loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the team’s problems on both sides of the ball, what happened at the end against Indy and the importance of every play as a factor for a team that plays a lot of close games. He also touched on Titus Young’s situation and stated emphatically that his team hasn’t given up.

On his frustration after Sunday’s heart-breaking loss to the Colts:

“I came in the office right after the game, because you can’t sleep until you’ve seen the game tape and see exactly what happened. And when you watch it and you see what happens, you start to put a plan together to correct some of those mistakes.”

On blowing a late two-score lead to Indianapolis:

“We had done some really good things on defense. We had seven three-and-outs on defense, had three interceptions, had three sacks and had really played well in spots. But when it came crunch time, we didn’t respond well. We gave up a touchdown when we were up two scores — just unacceptable — and then in a two-minute drive. I know a lot of fans get frustrated with prevent defense but there’s a reason that you play zone defense and play over the top and give them short completions. That’s because the one thing that can get them back in the game quickly is that long pass. And that’s what happened to us. Before the last drive, with about two minutes to play, we gave up that long touchdown, and that set the stage for what happened at the end.”

On not putting the ball in Matthew Stafford’s hands and trying to get to Calvin Johnson on their final offensive possession:

“We had done that on the series before. We had thrown a pass to Calvin. It was incomplete but we got pass interference called on the play. And then had another pass down the sideline to Calvin that we just weren’t able to hook up on. In that situation, your only chance is to be right. When you’re making that decision, if the opponent still has timeouts left, I think we’re probably looking at a different call there. But with no timeouts left [for the Colts], the chance to burn 40 more seconds, and then we were right around midfield, a chance to — if we don’t get the first down on the run — to let the clock run and then pin them down deep and make them go 90 yards or so to have to get a touchdown. We didn’t get any of those things done. We didn’t get the first down with the run play and then we had a poor punt and then we gave up a big play that gave the Colts chances at the end zone.”

On the defense failing to put the game away:

“We had a bunch of chances on defense to seal the game. We had a ball in the end zone that we dropped for an interception, I think, two plays before the end of the game. A ball in the series before that that we dropped. And also we had a fourth-down play that we let the quarterback scramble, then ended up getting a penalty on him. So it was a disappointing way to finish the day, particularly on defense. They had done some really good things.”

On being in every game they play:

“We’ve been right on the edge of winning and losing every week. We’ve only had one game that we won in a convincing fashion, that was down in Jacksonville. And on the other side of it we really haven’t had any game that we’ve been out of. I think all but one of our losses has been one score. … So we’re obviously in every single game. Not every team is in that position.”

On the importance of every play:

“You could easily look at us and say, ‘Hey, we’re five plays away from being 9-3 right now.’ But you could also look at us and say, ‘Hey we’re three plays away from being 1-11.’ So it just goes to show you how important every single play is in the NFL. And for you to win, you have to be consistent in all areas. And it is a team. Everybody’s going to deal with injury situations. Everybody’s going to deal with other areas that you need to work on in the course of the season. And it’s very rare that a team just runs the table and has blowouts in just about every game. … It’s very difficult to make your margins wide and have an easy time in every single game.”

On what’s wrong with Titus Young:

“That’s on the player, it’s on the individual. … We do have good role models on this team; we have good coaches on this team. … But the player needs to take some personal responsibility also. It’s everybody’s job to handle their own business and be professional.”

On the notion that Lions players are mailing it in:

“From an effort standpoint, absolutely not. From a performance standpoint, it was no letup. We didn’t play well, but there was no letup. I don’t think it’s letup when you drop an interception. I think it’s, you just need to perform when it’s a critical situation, and in those situations we’re one play away from sealing that game. … But this team comes to play every single week. I think that’s evident.”

Listen to Jim Schwartz on WXYT here

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