Jim Schwartz: Lions won't fire special teams coach


Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson is not a guy known for being fiery or making flamboyant statements. That's why his comments following Detroit's 20-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings are so striking.

"We're garbage right now, and we're killing our team," Hanson said about the special teams units, via the Detroit Free Press. "I think big things need to change. There's no excuse for us giving up touchdowns and not covering."

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The Lions are the first team ever recorded to give up both punt return and kickoff return touchdowns in back-to-back games. But big changes won't include a new coach.

"No, that's not a consideration," head coach Jim Schwartz said. "If we were getting out-schemed, if were making continual mistakes; there are physical plays that we have to make, and we're professional athletes. We have to make them."

The Vikings essentially said it was about coaching, not the Lions' players. Percy Harvin said they ran the exact same return that worked against the Lions last week.

"It was a great call by Coach (Mike Priefer)," Harvin said, via the St. Paul Pioneer. "They (the Lions) overplayed it. The blockers did a great job, and I did the easy part. It was slow motion. That hole opened up, and you probably could have walked through there."

"They covered like they did last week," Priefer said. "We pinned one guy in and pushed the other guy out."

Every year, special teams seems to cost a team a playoff spot. Although their defense has been erratic and their offense sloppy, the Lions could easily be 3-1. Instead, they are no longer the cool, young team in the NFC North.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.