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Lions Coach Jim Schwartz Demanding Players Show Respect for the Country

I’m a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, but I have nothing but respect for any athlete or coach who understands what it means to respect the country and show that respect properly. Major kudos to Detroit Lions’ new head coach Jim Schwartz: Jim Schwartz building from the ground up

Doing it my way

And more, as his new team has discovered the past nine months. Schwartz, a 43-year-old son of a Baltimore policeman, quotes freely from Shakespeare and “Pulp Fiction.” He’s an avid chess player who listens to Judas Priest. But this is no cult of personality: Schwartz’s full-team address in March at the start of offseason workouts was the first sign changes would be wholesale.

“He had a looong list,” running back Kevin Smith said. “He laid down the law. He’s very clear on how he wants this program to be run.”

That even includes the pregame national anthem, as fans will soon notice at Ford Field. It’s not by accident the players are lining up shoulder-to-shoulder on the white sideline boundary. The Monday after the first exhibition, that performance was reviewed right along with the actual game.

“He actually filmed it,” said cornerback Eric King, a free-agent acquisition who followed Schwartz to Detroit from Tennessee. “And it’s a pretty serious thing to him, as far as the respect that he wants the team to have for the country and just to be united as a team.

“He showed us how it should be and everybody took note. Helmets in your right hand or on the bench. Hand across your chest or arms straight. Just little things like that. It’s all about becoming a winning organization, and that’s how you do it: You take care of the little things.”


September 10, 2009 , 10:40AM - Posted by | NFL, Patriotism

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