Detroit Lions

Lions Weekly Progress Report: Schwartz Loses His Cool with Titus Young

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 22:  Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz talks with NFL referee Walt Coleman during a disputed play during the game against the Houston Texans at Ford Field on November 22, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Texans defeated the Lions 34-31.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2012

It's clear that this disappointing season is even getting to Lions head coach Jim Schwartz.

According to the Free Press' Carlos Monarrez, when asked if Titus Young, who the team just placed on injured reserve, would need surgery, he said the following:

“Yeah, most likely,” Schwartz said. “Yes, unless he doesn’t show up for it.”

That should tell you all you need to know about Schwartz's general tolerance level for idiocy and stupidity from his players these days. While some may argue that such a remark was not befitting a coach and any punishment or frustration with Young should have been kept in house, I can only respond with this:

 

Don't get me wrong, I normally don't disagree with making sure things stay in house. On the other hand, this was a special case.

Let's assume for a minute we don't know all that has gone on between the Lions and Young. It's a fairly safe assumption because you don't normally go from happy citizen to a guy intentionally lining up in the wrong spot in a formation for no reason.

Something else was going on, and it's fair to assume Schwartz and the organization kept things quiet and tried to get Young on board in less public ways.

However, since the initial suspension after the Packers game on November 19th where he played badly on purpose, some of the locker room's true feelings came out.

No offense to the Lions, but when someone in this locker-room calls a guy out for acting like an idiot, as center Dominic Raiola did when Young was suspended, you know it's serious.

Even more telling, unlike last time when he was suspended for his fight with safety Louis Delmas, nobody rose to his defense. Normally you get one guy who says, "Well, I respect Dom, but he's way off here."

There wasn't a whisper of that.

When all else fails for coaches, sometimes you need to go public. Even if it's just in a meager passive-aggressive way like Schwartz did.

Of course, this does't help the overall perception that 1) this team is out of control, and 2) Schwartz cannot handle them. That it got to this point with Young and that Schwartz seems to have only one way to deal with it isn't good.

I've said it before on this blog that Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew have to take a long, hard look at how they treat their players, the tools Schwartz has to control them and how those players are chosen to be Lions in the first place.

It's clear that at least some of these events—and some of these players—have, indeed, become distractions.

If the Lions want to bounce back from this bad season, changes will have to be made and in more than just schemes, formations or roster depth.

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.

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