Notebook: Jim Schwartz would embrace coaching the Senior Bowl

Posted Jan 2, 2013

Also, wide receiver Nate Burleson wants to finish his career in Detroit

New Years Day is the mecca for college football fans. So many bowl games. So much future NFL talent on display.

It's just another chance for NFL talent evaluators to get a look at some of this year's top draft picks.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said he'd jump at the chance to get an even closer look at some of the incoming talent by coaching the Senior Bowl at the end of this month.

"I think we're fifth in line. If it would happen, we would embrace it and we would relish that opportunity," Schwartz said Monday.

"I think there is some insight involved in getting to know those guys over a course of the week and it can confirm some of our scouts' evaluations that have already worked very long and hard into getting guys evaluated this fall season.

"It can also maybe give us a different perspective on some other guys. Maybe we get a little bit more time with some other guys."

Schwartz and his staff coached the 2010 Senior Bowl and one of the players that caught their eye from that experience in Mobile, Ala. was running back Joique Bell.

"He was a local guy and we knew him enough from here and worked him out and all those different things because he was a local kid, but we also had him for a whole week down there," Schwartz said.

"And even though he started his career Buffalo and then he was with New Orleans, he was a guy we always sort of had in the back of our mind and our experience with him that week helped get him here. He knew our coaching staff and we knew a little bit about him, not just what we saw on film as an NFL player."

The NFL teams with the worst records get a chance to coach the two Senior Bowl squads. Philadelphia and Kansas City, two of the four teams that have a worse record than the Lions, fired their head coaches Monday.

One of the last things players do before they break for the offseason is have their exit meetings with coaches or front office personnel.

Veteran receiver Nate Burleson said his meeting with Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew couldn't have gone better.

"He talked about my value to the team and being missed on and off the field," said Burleson, who missed the team's final 10 games after breaking his leg on Monday Night Football at Chicago Oct. 22.

"I told him I want to retire here. He said he feels the same way. The city loves me and the team loves me so we'll figure it out. I think it takes both sides to make that happen."

Burleson, 31, has a base salary of $4.5 million in 2013, but implied that he'd be willing to re-work his deal to give the Lions some cap relief. He did the same thing last offseason.

"If anybody knows me, it's more about football than it is anything else," he said. "Without saying too much, I'm willing to work it out because I love this team, and I feel like this is my best chance to win a Super Bowl before I shut it down in a few years."

Burleson said even after 4-12 he thinks this team can win a Super Bowl soon.

"I feel like all the scary teams that we faced weren't the big bad monster anymore," he said. "When every team you face in the Boogie Man, then you kind of have to get a reality check. Nobody is scaring us like that."

The Lions desperately missed Burleson when he was out. In seven games this season, he had 27 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns.