The first rule about losing streaks ...
ALLEN PARK — It’s the 900-pound elephant in the room, anytime anyone from the Lions’ organization is speaking in public.
What about the losing streak?
Since the Lions have not won in the span of 19 games — a streak that dates back to Dec. 23, 2007, and predates not only 60 percent of the current Lion players, but nearly the entire coaching staff, as well — and just once in their last 26 regular-season contest, the question is entirely valid.
And, the closer the Lions get to the NFL record of 26, the more often it will be asked.
“That burden’s there. It’s there as an organization, it’s there as a city. But my emphasis is to try to keep that from the players. Some of them were here last year, and some of them still feel it. But it’s too much to ask them to try to correct what happened last year, this year. What they need to worry about is the Washington Redskins, that game, and that game only,” said first-year coach Jim Schwartz after Thursday’s workout at the team’s Allen Park practice facility.
Sunday’s game against the similarly-struggling Redskins (1-1), who are coming off a lackluster, 9-7 win over the Rams, and who are answering nagging questions of their own, will provide the Lions (0-2) their next chance to make the question moot.
“Honestly, maybe that’s something (the media) could stop talking about, maybe the fans would stop talking about, but from my standpoint — from a coaching standpoint — our message to the team is that we don’t talk about what happened last year, what happened the week before,” Schwartz said. “I don’t think the 53 guys on this team need to bear the burden for what happened last year. I think that’s going to weigh too heavy on them. There are a lot of teams that are 0-2. Everybody needs a win that’s 0-2. It’s hard to go 0-3, and there’s a lot of teams that feel that sense of urgency. Our guys feel that sense of urgency.”
Schwartz did, however, admit how much that first win would mean, recalling a similar situation with the Tennessee Titans in 2005. That year, the Titans started 0-5, then won at Washington right before the bye week.
“It was like we’d won two weeks in a row, because the positive vibe kept going, and we were able to turn it around, and end up finishing 8-8 that year,” Schwartz said. “It’s the same thing, you have zeroes in the win column, you need to get that out from under you. It changes a lot of attitudes, and makes the day a little bit easier to get through.”
Labels: Jim Schwartz