The Detroit Lions will not retain Jim Schwartz as head coach, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The former Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator was let go on Monday after five seasons as head coach.
Schwartz took the Lions to the playoffs in 2011, but was let go after Detroit dropped six of its final seven games to close this season.
Schwartz, of course, wanted to return to Detroit in 2014. “I know what this business is,” Schwartz said Sunday. “We can’t worry about decisions we don’t make. You try your best week in and week out. If you do that then you can accept any decision that is made.
“But I certainly would like to be back. I think we have unfinished business here.”
The NFC North will never be more winnable than it was this season. Minnesota backslid to 5-10-1, and both Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler spent significant time on the injured list while the Lions stayed relatively healthy.
Detroit led the division at 6-3 following a 21-19 win over Chicago on November 10, but then stumbled to the finish line. The Lions were not able to close out tight games down the stretch, losing 18-16 to Baltimore in Week 15, 23-20 in overtime to the New York Giants in Week 16 and 14-13 to Minnesota on Sunday. The Lions finished 7-9, while Green Bay won the division at 8-7-1.
Schwartz went 29-51 in five seasons as the Lions' head coach. The Detroit News notes the Lions are 11-30 in the second halves of those five seasons.
Schwartz is the sixth NFL head coach to be let go this season, and 14th over the past two seasons. The (ever-growing) list of NFL head coaching vacancies: Houston, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Washington.