NOTEBOOK: Schwartz on his job status; limited Megatron; Fauria and more

Posted Dec 22, 2013

After the team's fifth loss in their last six games, Jim Schwartz responded to questions about his job status after the game

The Lions’ 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants has ended their playoff hopes.

It’s also led to more speculation about head coach Jim Schwartz’ future with the team, an issue he was asked about in his post-game press conference.

"This is the truth, speculation is not my business," he said. "My business is coaching the team and trying to keep the team focused.

"I think that that’s a job enough without having to worry about the other stuff. Where we were, we can’t worry about where we were because it’s where you are in the present. We came up short today. We make no excuses for it."

Schwartz has two years remaining on an extension he signed after the 2011 season.

He was also asked how he would characterize the progress of the organization during his tenure with only one playoff appearance.

"You know, I don’t know," he said. "I have always said that I would wait until the season is over to characterize it. I don’t think I should change that right now.

"We have come a long way, but we are still not quite there, obviously. We are still a play away from turning these games around. Whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. Any more than that I think, just like I’ve always done, I think we’ll characterize it after the season."

The Lions are 29-50 under Schwartz. He did inherit a 0-16 team in 2009, however, so it’s worth noting that Schwartz’s record the last three seasons is 21-26.

"Yeah. Like I said, that’s not something that we are worried about," he said when asked if he expects to coach a sixth season.

"We are getting ready to come back and play next week. You guys can write what you want. Anyone can have an opinion on that, but our jobs are to go out and prepare players for practice and come up with a good plan and get to Sunday. That’s what we are going to do."


In most cases, a 75 percent or 50 percent Megatron is better than a lot of other receiving options in the NFL. But it finally seems a season-worth of pounding has finally caught up with Calvin Johnson.

Johnson was limited all afternoon with what Schwartz said were both knee and ankle injuries. Johnson had just three catches for 43 yards on four targets.

"Well, his absence obviously affects things, but Calvin is a tough guy," Schwartz said. "He tried to do whatever he could today. Calvin’s beat up.

"He’s been beat up pretty much the whole year, but he has gone out and has tried to do whatever he could this game. His knee and his ankle, his ankle was an issue last week and it was an issue all week this week. He tried to contribute what he could. It was very difficult for him. We tried to use him in the red zone and some third downs and things like that. He was nowhere near 100-percent."

It’s unclear if Sunday was the last time we’ll see Johnson on the field this year with next week’s game in Minnesota now somewhat meaningless. The Lions could choose to shut him down for the year.

Schwartz said nothing currently ailing Johnson would require surgery, though.


The Lions gave backup tight end Joseph Fauria a chance to prove he was more than just a red zone weapon with tight end Brandon Pettigrew out.

Fauria made a couple of terrific catches in traffic and held his own as a pass blocker in an extended role. He finished with three catches for 43 yards on seven targets.

Fauria and Stafford failed to connect on the Will Hill pick six late in the game, however. Stafford’s pass grazed off Fauria’s extended fingertips and right into Hill's hands. Fauria took responsibility for the play on Twitter after the game, but that pass looked difficult to corral for even his six-foot-seven frame.


Bill BentleyCB Bill Bentley (Photo: Gavin Smith)

Cornerback Bill Bentley and tight end Dorin Dickerson sufferend head injuries.

Bentley was down on the field for a few minutes after taking a shot from teammate Louis Delmas on a Jerrel Jernigan touchdown catch in the second quarter.

Dickerson finished the game, despite telling reporters in the locker room after the game he thought he suffered a concussion. Dickerson said he never reported the injury.


-- The Lions had seven penalties for 60 yards in the game, but none might have been more costly than the Dickerson holding call on the Lions first possession of overtime. It came after an 11-yard run by Joique Bell that got the Lions out to their own 39-yard line.

Instead, Detroit was backed up to their own 18 and threw two incompletions on second and third down to force a punt. The Lions never saw the ball again.