Jim Schwartz hasn’t said much since he was fired by the Lions on Dec. 30, after five seasons as the head coach.
He did speak out to defend Ndamukong Suh after allegations were made by FOX analyst Heath Evans.
Now he has told Nashville radio station 104.7 that he does not blame Matthew Stafford for the team’s late-season collapse.
“Yeah, you know, we were 2-6 over the last half of last season, and when you’re 2-6 nobody is feeling good about their performance, whether you’re the head coach, the quarterback or a defensive lineman,” Schwartz said, via ESPN.com and ProFootballTalk.com.
“But it’s a team game and I wouldn’t pin it on Matt Stafford. Matt’s an outstanding quarterback. He led us to the playoffs. Just about every record in the Lions offense, total offense and passing offense was set by Matt Stafford in the last three years. He’s going to lead that team to many great things in the future. Everybody has some rough spots here and there, and it’s up to the rest of the team to pick you up,’’ Schwartz told the radio station.
Stafford was the first overall draft pick in Schwartz’s first draft with the Lions.
The quarterback, who turned 26 last week, is entering his sixth season, his first with a new coaching staff under Jim Caldwell. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who worked with Drew Brees for the past five seasons, and quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter, who worked with Denver's Peyton Manning, will try work with Stafford.
Schwartz has moved on. He’s been hired as the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator.