Though Lions coach Jim Schwartz hasn't been one of the obvious coaches who are in danger of losing his job this next week -- especially after last season, when he led the team to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that the ownership group actually is thinking about making a change.
Reportedly, the Ford family has been disturbed about the culture that has grown in Schwartz's locker room and could use that disappointment as a reason to fire him after his fourth season on the job.
The reason the Fords might be upset? Listen to what Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch had to say this week.
"I think discipline is the biggest issue, that kind of selfishness. It hurts the team," Tulloch told the NFL Network's Albert Breer. "We've had guys hurt the team through their actions, and it lingered. We had [cornerback] Aaron Berry here. We were really counting on him. He gets dismissed, and now you need someone to fill in.
"And I think we've had changes in the secondary 13 times in 16 weeks because of that. It's hard to get chemistry, when guys are hurting the team like that and you feel like you can't count on them. I try to put my finger on whether there's a bigger problem, but I get lost trying to pinpoint what it is. We need more accountability. Hopefully, we can weed that out this offseason."
As Tulloch points out, the problems began in the offseason, when Mikel Leshoure was arrested twice on marijuana possession charges, Johnny Culbreath was arrested on a marijuana charge, Nick Fairly was arrested on two separate occasions (once for marijuana and once on DUI suspicion), and Berry was arrested twice on a DUI charge and then on simple assault charges.
It'd be hard to blame that lack of regard for the team and the law solely on Schwartz. Of course, Schwartz also is probably the easiest person to blame in this situation.
"I think if you look at Schwartz, he's in his fourth year here, he's taken it from 0-16 to playoffs …" Tulloch told Breer. "The problem here has to do with players and learning how to handle success. It's one thing to get there, but just because it's the same team doesn't mean you'll get there again. It's up to us as leaders to enforce things.
"Coach puts us in good position, in a position to win. The only thing I could say, the players need to be more accountable and disciplined."
We're guessing that Schwartz won't be fired. But if the Fords are intent on trying to change the culture, it's easier to get rid of Schwartz than two of the more important players on the team in Leshoure and Fairley.
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