Schwartz speak II
More from Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's press conference today. Schwartz was in town for his second interview with the Lions. He's been reported as the leading candidate to replace Rod Marinelli and is the first person to get a second interview. Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera is expected in town on Tuesday, according to an NFL.com report, and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier also could get second interviews.
On his defensive philosophy: The best way I can describe our defensive philosophy is multi-dimensional, do what it takes to win that week. ... This came from (Patriots coach) Bill Belichick my first years in the NFL, he always talked about making an opponent play left-handed. If a racquetball player has a good forehand, well make him hit his backhand. Our philosophy is sort of the same way. If it's a good run team, force him to throw the ball to win. If it's a good pass team, force him to run the ball to win. In order to do that you have to have multidimensional players. We'll do what our players do the best.
Disputing the reputation that he doesn't like to blitz: We blitzed quite a bit back in 2002-03. Our team was a little bit different. I think one of the most important things in coaching is putting your players in the right positions for a chance for them to be successful. Quite honestly, our front four could get pressure without blitzing (this year) which allowed us to do a lot more in the back end. If our front four wasn't as good, we would have probably blitzed more. I think the only person that wanted to see Albert Haynesworth dropping back on a zone dog or Kyle Vanden Bosch dropping back on a zone dog was the opposing quarterback. And we tried not to let that happen very often.
On whether he has a staff picked out if he gets the Lions job: I haven't been presumptuous enough to have a pocket staff, so to speak. There's some people I highly respect in the NFL, some people that time would be of the essence, but I'd rather not get into any more of that.
On how much his background as a scout he worked three years in the Browns' personnel department has helped him as a coach: Probably the most. I think any coach should probably start in scouting because a coach's focus is so short term. We're worried about winning the game on Sunday and experience in scouting, you learn the long-term picture, you learn how the team's built.
Describing his relationship with Patriots VP of player personnel Scott Pioli, who's a candidate to take over as GM in Kansas City and likely would have Schwartz on his short list of head-coaching candidates: Scott and I cut our teeth together in Cleveland. At the time we didn't realize it, but that was an all-star cast, guys working 100 hours a week, living in crappy apartments, making no money. But that made us all who we are in the NFL and back in '93 or '94, and we all have Bill Belichick to thank for that.
More on the importance of having a good quarterback: Quarterback is the trump card of all positions in the NFL. If you have a good quarterback you can cover up a lot of other areas on your team. If you don't have a great quarterback you have to be really good in a lot of other areas. If you ask anybody in the NFL, most important position, it's going to be quarterback.