Jim Schwartz says the Detroit Lions aren't rebuilding, they're "reloading"

Posted Feb 7, 2013 lead writer Tim Twentyman says the Detroit Lions overestimated their talent level a year ago following a 2011 playoff appearance

It's easy to see where some of the holes in the Detroit Lions roster are after playing their way to a 4-12 record this season.

The secondary needs revamping, the pass rush was nearly non-existent and consistently running the football as a viable weapon continues to elude them.

Despite the disappointment of 4-12, though, Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz says the Lions aren't in "rebuilding" mode this offseason, but are rather "reloading".

Schwartz knows better than most what rebuilding is like after taking over a 0-16 roster in 2009.

Calvin JohnsonThe Lions do have some core pieces in place, namely quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Calvin Johnson and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.

Schwartz said the team was blindsided a bit by the injury to safety Louis Delmas early in training camp and the fact that running back Jahvid Best never received clearance to play.

Both Delmas and Best were supposed to be central pieces on their respective side of the ball.

"When you say rebuilding it sounds like you're starting from the ground up," said Schwartz.

"We have a quality quarterback. We have a pretty good wide receiver. We've got some good defensive tackles. We have some strengths on our team that we can build around. It's not so much a rebuild."

Schwartz is right. There are pieces in place and this roster is nothing like the one he inherited in 2009.

The task now in front of general manager Martin Mayhew and Schwartz is to find the right parts at the right price to compliment those core players.

The Lions overestimated some talent last year when they brought back 21 of 22 starters.

They need to get it right this time around if they're going to sufficiently "reload" to get them back in the playoffs.