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Jim Schwartz: Detroit Lions 'one play away' last season

On the heels of Nick Fairley's Super Bowl prediction, Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday he told his players at the end of the season they were oh so close to a winning season.

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"It's very important for our guys to know where we were as a team, and you can't ignore the fact that we lost 12 games last year," Schwartz told ESPN, via the Detroit Free Press. "You also can't ignore the fact that we were (within) one score in nine or 10 of those games. We were literally one play away from doubling our wins. We can easily flip that if we can make that one more play."

Let me throw a premature red flag on you, Coach Schwartz. I know you've been in Detroit for just five years, so your history might be a little skewed. When they weren't going 0-fer, the Detroit Lions have been "only one play away" for the entire Millennium, and despicable the past two-plus decades. The expression "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" is so common in Metro Detroit, most teenagers think it's the actual phrase.

But please, Coach, go on -- explain to us just how a team that shot itself in the foot so repeatedly en route to a 4-12 season will somehow learn where the holster is in one season.

"Maybe it means a Reggie Bush, maybe it means a healthy Louis Delmas on the field for us, maybe it means the addition of a Glover Quin or Nick Fairley being on the field more for us or Nate Burleson coming back from injured reserve. Any of those things can be the difference for us," Schwartz said.

"And I think, collectively, if we all have that in our minds and we know how close we are, then we can get it back pretty quickly."

Ahhhh, the sun peeked out and the smell of optimism is in the Detroit air. It must be May.

I'll stop now before I turn into Drew Sharp.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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