Jim Schwartz: I wouldn't call Lions' season a failure


Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz can't seem to get out of his own way.

His team has lost five of its past six games to fall out of playoff contention. His quarterback has regressed to the point that one prominent scribe wondered if a benching is in order.

Schwartz was even forced to defend himself against allegations that he was yelling at his own fans late in Sunday's debacle.

In the face of all of that disappointment, Schwartz bristled at the notion that this season would be considered a failure.

"We didn't make the playoffs, and I think that's obviously anybody's goal, so we didn't achieve that goal," Schwartz said Monday. "But I don't know if I'd be as strong as to call it failure ... I could get philosophical. When I hear failure, I hear 'abject failure,' nothing goes right. That's the connotation I get from it, maybe you feel different. But I don't feel that about our team."

We're not going to volley semantics with Schwartz. His team failed to reach the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

Perhaps more importantly, his coaching staff has failed to develop Matthew Stafford into a consistent, fundamentally sound franchise quarterback, and his talented defense is infamous for its mental hiccups.

With his job in serious jeopardy, Schwartz has taken solace in the Lions' progress under his watch.

"I know where we were when I took over," Schwartz said, "and I know where we are now."

It's a fair point. Schwartz hasn't sent the franchise down the rabbit hole to the extent of predecessors Rod Marinelli and Marty Mornhinweg, but he's failed to maximize his talent and late-season divisional leverage nonetheless.

If the organization has reached the point where the latter doesn't meet expectations, that's a sign of the tangible progress made under Schwartz's watch.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" broke down every Week 16 game.