Scwhartz: Free agency 'incomplete,' other thoughts
Lions coach Jim Schwartz just finished a podium session with reporters. He acknowledged the team looks a lot different than it did before the start of free agency, but said there is still more left to do.
The one thing I wanted to work on to begin with was the offensive line and the defensive line, Schwartz said. We were able to make a couple acquisitions there that have a chance to contribute right away. I think if your offensive line and your defensive line are strong you'll be consistent from week to week in the National Football League. That was an effort.
Obviously, if you look at some of the guys we acquired and/or signed, the defensive-back position was going to be key for us, not just in acquiring players that are going to start but in acquiring players that are going to be role players and acquiring players that are going to compete. The more competition we can create as a coaching staff the better the players will perform in training camp. The better training camp we have, the better we'll be going into the season.
Massive defensive tackle Grady Jackson was signed to bolster the front and should start immediately next to Cory Redding. The Lions also signed cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Eric King and traded for Anthony Henry.
Schwartz said Henry, who was slated to move to safety had he remained in Dallas, will play cornerback for the Lions.
The way I left it with him is the ball's in his court and whether he stays at corner or not won't be up to me at all, it'll be up to him, Schwartz said. He's a guy that's close to 33 years old, has a lot of experience in the NFL. The thing I like about him is that if we do choose to end up moving him to safety he has that skill set that he can make that move.
Other topics Schwartz addressed Tuesday:
On whether the Lions pursued Albert Haynesworth, who played under Schwartz in Tennessee and eventually signed a $100-million deal with Washington: We looked real hard at it, obviously. Every chance you get to improve our team you're going to have to look at. But it was obvious pretty early on in that process that his money was going to be significant and probably where we are as a team it was more important for us to get more players rather than just one.
On why the Lions weren't more aggressive in trading for Matt Cassel, who went to Kansas City for the 34th overall pick (the Lions own pick 33): I'm not going to say whether we were or weren't (aggressive). There's a lot of different definitions of aggressive.
Schwartz said he probably won't attend Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford's pro-day workout next week, but will take part in the private workout Stafford has for the Lions. It's one thing to sit in a dinner for a couple hours and get a good feel for a guy as a person, his personality, Schwartz said. It's another thing to actually spend three, four hours grinding tape and having him talk through, this is what we were doing on this play, this is what I was coached on this play, this is what I was seeing. So that stuff is down the road.
It's a strong possibility the Lions will have private workouts with other potential No. 1 choices, including USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry and offensive linemen Jason Smith (Baylor) and Eugene Monroe (Virginia), Schwartz said.
Schwartz said Curry is versatile enough to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, outside linebacker in a 4-3 or middle linebacker in a 4-3. That's his strength is you could play him in a lot of different positions, Schwartz said.
Labels: Aaron Curry, Albert Haynesworth, Anthony Henry, Cory Redding, Detroit Lions, Eugene Monroe, Grady Jackson, Jason Smith, Jim Schwartz, Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, Matt Stafford, Phillip Buchanon