Despite the extreme disappointment the Detroit Lions were this season, head coach Jim Schwartz has been quick to defend his coaching staffs schemes and alignments this off-season. A team stocked with great defensive lineman used a Wide 9 scheme to give the defensive ends a leg up when rushing the quarterback.
The unfortunate thing though, is that the Lions sack total went down this season. So one has to wonder. Is the problem the scheme or the players?
If you ask Schwartz, it certainly isn’t the scheme.
“We didn’t have enough sacks this year,” Schwartz said, via MLive.com. “To be able to blame that on the Wide 9, the people that say that really don’t know what they’re talking about. Every team in league, when it’s third down, lines up exactly the way we do it. It puts guys in the best position to rush the passer.”
“You always have a philosophy and the philosophy is behind your player acquisitions,” Schwartz said. “You always have a plan for every player. You don’t just pull names out of a hat and say, ‘Hey, this is where you’re going to fit him.’ . . . We predominately play a Wide 9, but we play other fronts. I think it depends on the personnel, how we go through our OTAs, everything. We’re always working to look at and tweak. You never say never, but that’s our base front.”
I respect Schwartz sticking to his schemes and not wanting to have huge change, but it honestly at the least needs to be discussed. For a team to go from 10 wins in the previous year, to only 4 in the next, something obviously wasn’t right.
At the very least it can’t hurt to consider a slight change in philosophies.