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Schwartz denies yelling at booing fans; won't term season 'failure'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Jim Schwartz claims he wasn't yelling at fans on Sunday.
Jim Schwartz claims he wasn't yelling at fans on Sunday. (USATSI)

On Sunday after the Lions melted down in spectacular fashion to force overtime in their eventual season-ending, 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants, Jim Schwartz was spotted yelling at fans.

At least it looked like Schwartz was yelling at the fans. When the Lions took knees to go to overtime, the fans unleashed the boo birds. Schwartz turned to the crowd and appeared to yell "what the [bleep] are you booing?"

After the game, Schwartz was asked about his yelling ways and claimed that he "wasn't addressing the crowd."

"I wasn't addressing the crowd, I was just trying to get our team fired up," Schwartz said. "I think the psyche of the team at that point, we needed to have that spark. We needed to feel like we're going out here and overtime and we're going to go win it. That's the only thing I was doing there."

Hmmm. Judge for yourself.

Schwartz did admit that he was "disappointed" in the crowd, but reiterated that he was simply trying to keep his team "fired up" with his sideline shouting.

"I was disappointed to hear boos," Schwartz said. “We're getting ready to go to overtime. Our crowd has been good for us but I thought our team needed a lift right there. We didn't need to feel bad at that point. We were going into overtime at that point and I was just trying to get the team ready. It's tough; players are getting booed and you want to keep them fired up."

Despite the fact that the Lions loss to the Giants eliminated Detriot from playoff contention, Schwartz refused to call the season a failure, "We didn't make the playoffs and it's obviously anybody's goal when they go in, so we didn't achieve that goal," Schwartz said on Monday, via ESPN.com. "But I don't know if I'd be as strong as to call it a failure. That was the word you used. I don't know if I'd be as strong to call it that.

Schwartz has bigger problems now, namely saving his job. He wouldn't address the possibility of getting canned following the game ...

"Speculation isn't my job," Schwartz said. "Coaching is enough of a job for me."

But it's a little awkward that the Lions apparently kept questions about his job security out of the team-distributed transcript.
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