Lions’ Jim Schwartz among NFL coaches on hot seat

ALLEN PARK, MICH. (AP) - Jim Schwartz stepped into perhaps the NFL’s worst job of all time, inheriting its first 0-16 team.

When the Detroit Lions gave him his first shot to be a head coach at any level in 2009, he talked about taking on and tackling challenges his entire life.

Then Schwartz helped the hapless franchise improve in each of his first three years. He led the Lions to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade in 2011.

The Lions, though, took a big step back last year by losing their last eight games to flop to a 4-12 finish. With the slide, Schwartz lost his status as a coach with stability and acknowledged getting a dose of humility.

“It was humbling for me personally,” Schwartz said Thursday, the day before leading his first training camp practice of the year. “I think it was humbling for the team.”

The coach, though, often pays the price for a team’s failures. So Schwartz needs better results and fewer life lessons if he wants to stay in Detroit.

And he’s hardly the only one in the league with his job on the line.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, Dallas’ Jason Garrett, Tennessee’s Mike Munchak , Oakland’s Dennis Allen and Carolina’s Ron Rivera also face a sense of urgency to win _ or else.

When pressed to address Schwartz’s job security _ or lack of it _ Lions vice chairman Bill Ford hasn’t given him much of a vote of confidence.

“I think Jim would be the first to admit that there have been times where he’s learned on the job,” Ford said.

Schwartz, with a 22-42 record in Detroit, has declined to provide details about the lessons, but accepted Ford’s assessment.

“If you’re building cars on the line down the street, you’re selling insurance, you’re coaching or you’re a player, you’re going to learn,” Schwartz said earlier this summer. “And, you’re going to be better the second time you experience something or go through something.”

Ryan, hired the same year as Schwartz, may not get a second chance to bounce back from a losing season. Unlike Schwartz, Ryan is working for a general manager who didn’t hire him. Ryan’s contract runs out after 2014.

The Jets were 6-10 last year under Ryan, following a .500 season that didn’t build upon an 11-win 2010 or a winning season in his debut with the franchise.

Jets owner Woody Johnson fired GM Mike Tannenbaum a day after last season and hired John Idzik. While Johnson does seem to be fond of Ryan, he’s not sold enough on him to extend his contract a second time.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • **FILE** In this April 23, 2013 photo, Cuba's former pitcher Conrado Marrero, the world's oldest living former major league baseball player, holds up a baseball with his signature at his home, two days before is 102nd birthday, as he holds an unlit cigar in his mouth in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

    Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday

  • Washington Wizards guard John Wall, left, and Bradley Beal celebrate the Wizards' 101-99 win as Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich walks off the court after missing two free throws during the overtime period of Game 2 in an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    HARRIS: D.C. not yet spellbound by Wizards, but they’re no illusion

  • Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III watches Baylor and Central Florida play during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

    Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race

  • Washington Wizards forward Nene, left, guards Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Chicago, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Early returns show projections of physical Wizards-Bulls series were correct

  • Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) celebrates after catching a 25 yard touchdown in the first quarter as the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles in Monday Night NFL football at FedExField, Landover, Md., Monday, September 9, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

    Dan Snyder: DeSean Jackson ‘really a good guy’

  • Celebrities In The News
  • ** FILE ** In this March 19, 2013, file photo, Justin Bieber performs during a concert at Bercy Arena in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

    Justin Bieber apologizes for Japan war shrine trip

  • FILE - This Jan. 8, 2014 file photo shows singer Chris Brown, right, arriving at the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington. After a brief postponement, singer Chris Brown's trial on an assault charge is scheduled to begin in Washington. Brown's trial had been set for Monday but was delayed while lawyers tried to work out whether his bodyguard will testify. It's unclear whether the trial will start Wednesday, as Brown's lawyers seem to want, or if further legal maneuvering will delay it.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

    Chris Brown assault trial delayed again

  • Justin Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial