Schwartz spent 10 seasons under Fisher as a defensive assistant, linebackers coach and then defensive coordinator in Tennessee from 1999-2008 before he got the Lions head coaching job in 2009.
"I think it's meaningful for him," Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who played for both Fisher and Schwartz in Tennessee, said Monday.
"He'll never express it to us as far as him wanting to win. Coach Schwartz is a good coach in a lot of the same ways as coach Fisher. It's the same kind of program, so to speak, and it should be good. I'm looking forward to it."
In a conference call with local Detroit media members on Wednesday, Fisher said he knew the moment he hired Schwartz away from Baltimore in 1999 to be a defensive assistant with the Titans that he was going to be successful. He felt the same way when he promoted him twice, even if some members of the Titans front office weren't as convinced in Schwartz's ability.
"Jim is very, very talented and I knew from day one when he walked in the door that he was going to be successful," Fisher said. "You know, I promoted him twice and both times met resistance in the organization, but I knew that Jim was going to be successful."
If it wasn't for Fisher pushing Schwartz through those first two promotions in Tennessee, there is no telling where he might be.
Schwartz hasn't forgotten that, either.
"I've been very fortunate in this business to have some really good teachers. It started with Bill Belichick and continued with Jeff Fisher and I owe where I am to both of those guys," Schwartz said Wednesday.
"The person that sees the most are the people that you work with every day. Sometimes people from outside or that aren't involved on a day-to-day basis don't see what goes on in the huddle, or at halftime, or at midnight and everything else.
"I'm very thankful for the opportunities I was given in my career. I was very, very lucky to have people that gave me that opportunity and also very fortunate to have people that have set such a good example along the way."
Schwartz's days in Tennessee helped mold a coaching style that's been characterized as consistent and meticulous, in both the film room and on the practice field, by current and former players. Schwartz coached teams preparing for any possible situation and scenario they could encounter over a 60-minute contest or a 16-game season. Schwartz learned firsthand about situational coaching from Fisher, who's seen them all over a 17-year head-coaching career.
Fisher has been to a Super Bowl, he had the best record in the league in 2001, he went through a salary cap purge, and had to rebuild with a young team and a young quarterback. Through it all, Fisher stuck with the plan and that's seemed to rub off the most on Schwartz.
When Schwartz came to Detroit in 2009, the Lions were coming off an 0-16 season and were gutting a roster and starting a rookie quarterback. The results on the field weren't there in his first or second seasons with the Lions – eight wins total – but in just his third year the team was back in the playoffs for the first time in 12 years and was a 10-game winner.
"He has an incredible amount of experience. He doesn't panic," Schwartz told the St. Louis media in a conference call Wednesday of his mentor. "He just never panics. One year, we started 1-4 and it looked about as bad as it can look. That year, we ended up in the AFC championship game. And the reason we did is because at 1-4, Jeff didn't panic and change schemes or bench starters or fire coordinators or do anything else that people call for.
"What he did is, he had a good plan and he stuck with it. The players recognize that confidence that he had in his plan. He's always been able to persevere and been able to get a team through very tough times. I think that will serve St. Louis very, very well. I think St. Louis is really, really lucky to have him."
Schwartz expressed the significance of Sunday a little better on Wednesday.
"It will be an honor to coach against him," he said.