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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lions show dedication to defensive line with hire

Schwartz added old friend Jim Washburn
to the defensive staff on Monday.

      In 2009, when Jim Schwartz and Martin Mayhew were hired in Detroit, the two professed their beliefs in building through trenches, particularly along the defensive line.

      Ndamukong Suh was drafted with the second overall selection in 2010. Nick Fairley was drafted in the first round in 2011. They traded for Corey Williams and signed Kyle Vanden Bosch and Lawrence Jackson through free agency.

      In 2009, the Lions mustered a measly 29 sacks on the season. In the next two seasons, these numbers would skyrocket posting 44 sacks (6th in the league) in 2010 and 41 sacks (9th in the league).

      The 2012 defensive line for the Lions, well, they weren't nearly as spectacular.

      In comes Jim Washburn a 14 year veteran of the NFL. On Monday, the Lions announced  they had signed Washburn but that his role had not yet been assigned.

      Schwartz spoke to the media after his senior bowl practice on the addition of Washburn. 

"The more eyes on those guys the better," Schwartz said Wednesday, the Lions website reported. "That can help with technique, it can help with scheme, it can help with game plan, it can help with game day. There's a lot of positives there. He's very familiar with our scheme, he's had a lot of production. I think it will be a benefit for us."

      Between 1999-2010, Schwartz and Washburn implemented the wide-9 in Tennessee and watched it spread throughout the league. He identified the main reason for the hire was the familiarity with each other and the scheme.

      "We're very happy with Kris, but a chance to be able to get a coach that I've worked with, that everybody on our defensive staff has some relationship with ... there's a lot of relationships there that we respect what he's done," Schwartz said. "I think he can bring something to our defense and can add to it."

      Washburn too emphasized the comrodory with the staff as the main reason he chose Detroit. He referred to Kris Kocurek, the Lions defensive line coach, as his "other son", adding "The chance to walk out on to the field with your son everyday, that's pretty special. It's a big deal."

      Washburn's real son, Jeremiah, is also on Detroit's coaching staff, coaching the team's offensive line.

      The Lions continue to add to their strength along the defensive line but now must add playmakers throughout the back seven to completely overhaul a mediocre defense.

1 comment:

  1. Schwartz spoke to the media compare the odds after his senior bowl practice on the addition of Washburn.