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Schwartz: Critics of Lions’ D don’t know what they’re talking about

Jim Schwartz

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz reacts on the sideline against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half of an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


Lions coach Jim Schwartz says he has no plans to change the alignment he uses on Detroit’s defensive line. And he says people who attribute the Lions’ rough season to that alignment are ignorant.

Schwartz told reporters today that he will not consider shifting from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense, and that he will continue to use the Wide 9 to give his defensive ends a leg up on rushing to the outside, and he doesn’t believe that makes the Lions any different from any other team.

“We didn’t have enough sacks this year,” Schwartz said, via “To be able to blame that on the Wide 9, the people that say that really don’t know what they’re talking about. Every team in league, when it’s third down, lines up exactly the way we do it. It puts guys in the best position to rush the passer.”

Schwartz said the Lions have the right personnel for the defense he runs, and he sees no reason to change.

“You always have a philosophy and the philosophy is behind your player acquisitions,” Schwartz said. “You always have a plan for every player. You don’t just pull names out of a hat and say, ‘Hey, this is where you’re going to fit him.’ . . . We predominately play a Wide 9, but we play other fronts. I think it depends on the personnel, how we go through our OTAs, everything. We’re always working to look at and tweak. You never say never, but that’s our base front.”

The Lions’ defense took a step backward in 2012, but Schwartz isn’t going to blame the scheme for that. The blame, apparently, lies with the players.