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Detroit Lions willing to trade 'Wide-9' defense for wins


The Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles received a lot of press in 2011 for their use of the "Wide-9" defense that lines defensive ends outside of the tight end's shoulders.

The attention disappeared as the two teams were a combined 8-24 and ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks. The Eagles wound up firing their coaching staff.

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The Lions are willing to dump the formation brought to Detroit by coach Jim Schwartz.

"We evaluate every Monday after every single game," Schwartz told the team's website. "Adjustments we need to make, things we need to do better, things that work, things that didn't work.

"You also do that on a yearly basis. Part of it is also tied into personnel that you have and you want your schemes to match your personnel. You have a general philosophy, but there's some flexibility within that philosophy."

The Lions decided to keep Schwartz and his assistants, but there's a sense of urgency in Detroit. A foundation was laid and the team made the playoffs in 2011. Things fell apart in 2012.

Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew better be willing to make significant changes, where warranted, to remain in Detroit long-term.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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