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Tim Twentyman: How quickly things changed for head coach Jim Schwartz

Posted Dec 31, 2012

It's a strange dichotomy to where Jim Schwartz and his Detroit Lions stood at this point last season, just 12 months removed from guiding the Lions to their first playoff appearance in 12 years.

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz stood in front of the media after Sunday's 26-24 loss to the Bears - his team's 12th of the season and eighth straight - and answered question after question about his future.

Does he expect to be back next season?

Does he expect the opportunity to get this team back to its winning ways?

It's a strange dichotomy to where Schwartz and his Lions stood at this point last season, just 12 months removed from guiding the Lions to their first playoff appearance in 12 years.

At that time, Schwartz could do no wrong. It's a finicky business - coaching in the NFL.

How quickly things can change.

"The thing I'm most concerned about is getting this team back to where we all want it to be," Schwartz said in response to questions about his job.

"When the story of the season is written, it's going to say 4-12 and nobody's happy with that - players, coaches, front office, ownership, everybody. Everybody's in the same boat with that.

"I'll say this, I'm not proud at all of our record. There are things that we can do better."

Actually a lot of things after a second-half collapse following so many high expectations for this season.

ESPN's Chris Mortenson fueled the talk of Schwartz's job security earlier in the day when he cited "league sources" as saying the Ford Family is unhappy with a tattered team culture that has existed under Jim Schwartz.

Mortenson reported that his job would be under review, despite Schwartz's signing of a reported three-year extension through 2015 this offseason.

"I'm not proud of our record and we're very determined to get it right," Schwartz reiterated when pressed about his future.

He declined to comment on any specific conversations he's had with Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford or vice chairman Bill Ford.

"I wouldn't discuss any private conversations for whatever purpose they served and I've always been that way," Schwartz said.

The simple reality after a 4-12 season, though, is that everything should be on the table after such a season. No one within the organization is immune to review.

The coaches didn't get enough out of their players to win games, and that ultimately falls on the head coach.

"I think he does a great job," defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said of Schwartz. "I mean, I think at some point it's on the players themselves to be responsible and to put the team first.

"I think a lot of that just falls on the individual players."

Schwartz said a lot of the season's hardships stemmed from too many turnovers and not enough continuity due to injuries.

He talked about the revolving door in the secondary and at defensive tackle and how the team was somewhat blindsided when running back Jahvid Best was ruled ineligible to return to the playing field.

There were a lot of things that went wrong with this season and injuries did play a factor, but the important thing now is how it will be fixed.

In the end, it's as simple as that.

Jim Schwartz stood behind that podium Sunday and said he's the coach to fix the problem.

"Like I said, I'm only concerned with getting this team back," he said. "That's the only think that I can be concerned with."

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