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Aside from the known injury to Calvin Johnson’s knee, apparently he is suffering from an ankle injury as well, and has been for the past couple weeks. Well, that would explain why his production numbers have been slashed by nearly fifty percent. Jim Schwartz was asked about the multiple injuries and the severity of those to which he stated that he didn’t believe that it would require any surgery to recover from them. This has led to some speculation starting early this morning about Megatron being “shut down” for their Week 17 match-up against the Minnesota Vikings.
There really is no reason for Calvin to go out and play and risk any further injury, as the game is rather meaningless now, following the loss to the New York Giants in overtime on Sunday evening. Aside from a moral victory, the Detroit Lions have absolutely nothing to gain, unless the Jim Schwartz saga will get one final look before anything is set in stone.
Which brings me to my next point.
Jim Schwartz, you’re a likable guy. You’re a players coach, the locker room likes you, but you have had five years, and quite a talented team most of the time, and only have one winning season to show for it. With rumors swirling about a “playoffs or bust” scenario for Schwartz, it seems like it is almost inevitable that there will at least be a new head coach in the Motor City. While that could be good, it could also spell out more trouble for Detroit, as Nate Burleson noted in his locker room interview after Sunday’s tough loss. “I’ve seen things get blown up from the inside, and the next few years are not what they [the organization or the fans] want.” That is true, however, it’s very tough to see the positive spin on that if you’re a fan of a team who is arguably one of the most talented teams in the league; who are also one of the most undisciplined teams in the league. That stuff falls on the coaching, plain and simple. Jim Schwartz talks about accountability after every loss at the postgame press conferences; talking about it and following through with it are two different things.
The Lions are undisciplined because they aren’t coached with the thought of “if I do this, I will be in the dog house,” rather than a “it doesn’t matter” attitude. These are just the issues on the defensive side of the ball. The offense has similar discipline problems, but they are also the victims of bad play calling by offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Passing the ball on third and short situations, are the most notable calls from these past two weeks.
While it is easy to call for the coach and his staff’s heads, we also have to look at both sides of the fence. Firing Jim Schwartz will sting a little bit as he is still has more than $12 million left on his contract. While Linehan has questionable and predictable calls at times, his “pass happy” offense is perfect for Calvin Johnson to play in and make sure they are taking advantage of having the best receiver in the game. How would that affect Megatron to have a new coordinator come in, especially at this point in his career? A player of Calvin Johnson’s caliber only comes along every once-in-a-while and certainly needs to be a focal point of any teams offense.
The grass always seems greener on the other side, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. The question is, do we give it another shot to see if we can get that “one play” that everyone in the Lions locker room keeps talking about, or do we start all over?
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