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Lions' players react to Jim Schwartz firing

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Reactions from players following the news of Jim Schwartz being relieved of his coaching duties

The Detroit Lions relieved head coach Jim Schwartz of his duties Monday morning after a five-year record of 29-51.

Schwartz informed the team during a team meeting at noon. Some players were "shocked" by the news, while others placed some of the blame on themselves.

Here’s some of the reaction from the players to the firing of their head coach.

MATTHEW STAFFORD

"He’s done a lot of good things for this team and this organization, so it’s tough. I’ve only played for one head coach in the NFL, coach Schwartz, and I felt like we had a great locker room. It’s not always what everyone hears on the outside. It was a joy to play for him. It was fun."

JASON JONES

"It’s definitely something we weren’t expecting going into the team meeting. He handled it well and he gave us good words of encouragement and told us to keep our heads up and be positive and just let the process play out.

"Schwartz is a great coach. He has a great mind. Detailed coach. It’s just unfortunate this league is judged by how many wins you get. That’s just how it goes sometimes."

ASHLEE PALMER

"It’s a hurting feeling, to be honest. It’s all I’ve known since I’ve been here. I made a career here with him. He’s the guy who brought me in. It’s too bad we couldn’t finish together.

"He just wanted to walk out with his head high. He let us know that they fired him. He said there’d be plenty of times for us to talk one-on-one. We’ve come a long way with him.

"You could hear a pin drop in there. We’ve come a long way."

GLOVER QUIN

"It was a very heart-felt message he gave us. You never want to see something like this happen, and obviously we didn’t do enough to prevent it. Now it's just waiting around to see what happens.

"This is my first year here. I didn’t fully feel like it would happen, but I don’t make those decisions, and it happened.

"We were 6-3 and in a good spot. For some reason, whatever it was, we couldn’t find ways to get wins down the stretch. (When) you don’t win in this league, that’s what happens."

JASON FOX

"Kind of at a loss for words. None of us want to see that happen. All of us respect coach Schwartz a ton. We didn’t have the best year as far as wins and losses go. In my mind he’ll always be a great coach. I loved my four years with him. It’s really unfortunate that it happened."

COREY HILLIARD

"Very somber. We all love Jim and respect him. I think he did a good job when he was here. I don’t agree with the decision. It is the business.

"It’s ultimately the players’ game. We’re the ones out there playing. It’s really on us.

"I never witnessed somebody coming in a meeting room and saying. 'I just got fired five minutes ago.' You could tell he had that look in his eye. He was disappointed."

NATE BURLESON

"He got a little choked up, which is fitting. He’s emotionally tied into this organization. It was tough to deal with. I don’t know what my future is. We’ll see.

"Schwartz brought me in. He likes me as a player and as a leader. Vice versa, I like him as a leader and a coach. Who knows what's going to happen. It’s been fun throughout my career. It’s been fun here. If I come back, great. It gives me a chance to retire in a Lions uniform. If I don’t, I’m going to kiss and hug everybody I love and make sure I have ties in this city that can last a lifetime."

JOSEPH FAURIA

"I thought he was a great coach, a great head coach for my first year. He got a bad rap for mistakes us players did. He had total control of the locker room. It wasn’t like we were boycotting practice."

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