Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes while in town for his second interview with the Lions. A few highlights of his media session:
His impressions of the Lions talent level: Obviously some holes in the roster, no different though than probably half the teams in the NFL at this time of the year that are evaluating the roster saying we have these top five needs on offense, these top five needs on defense. I think the thing that's important are things that Martin (Mayhew) and Tom (Lewand) and I have talked about as far as having a plan and sticking with that plan and building the team from the inside out. I think continuity would be very important.
On his background as a defensive coordinator: I'm a defensive guy, but I think if you ask around the NFL, most defensive coaches, particularly that have been around it for a while have a good feeling for offense because we know what's hard to defend, we know how it affects the defense. It's a total team game. I think defensive coaches, I think if you're good on defense you'll be consistent from week to week.
What he likes about the Lions job: You're not going to find a more passionate fan base in the NFL than Detroit. You talk about ownership and a commitment to winning, I think that's important. Without those two things, I don't think it's an attractive opportunity. I think Detroit offers both of those.
On what his preference would be with the No. 1 pick: I think the important thing is finding the right person. I don't think you tie yourself into positions. Obviously there's a lot of needs. I think obviously the most important position on the team is quarterback. It's probably time to find a replacement for Bobby Layne.
On if he'd run the defense or hire a coordinator: I think a head coach's role is to manage the game. I think the head coach's role is to make sure everybody's on the same page and to coach the coaches from Monday to Saturday night or Sunday morning, and then to manage the game. I know from my perspective I work about 100 hours a week and my focus is totally the opponents offense, where (Titans coach Jeff) Fisher works the same number of hours but his focus is offense, defense, special teams, media relations, different things. He's always deferred to the defensive staff because of our expertise. I think I'd follow the same model.