Detroit’s blue-collar values resonate with Schwartz

The Lions received some outside help in their bid to hire Jim Schwartz as their head coach.

During his introductory press conference Friday at Ford Field, Schwartz said that a former college teammate highlighted Detroit’s blue-collar values in trying to convince the coach to take over the Lions, who went 0-16 this season and haven’t posted a winning campaign since 2000.

“One of my college teammates at Georgetown lives in the metropolitan Detroit area, and he sent me a message that said, ‘Hey, I’m hearing your name a bunch (in connection to the Lions job). I’m not sure if it’s true, but I wanted you to know that you’ll love living here. It’s a great place to raise your family,'” said Schwartz, who left his job as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator. “That meant a lot to me.

“He also sent a little attachment, and he said, ‘If you want to find out about Detroit, read this article.’ He attached Mitch Albom’s article from (Sports Illustrated) from a week or so ago. As I read it, he left a little note, and he said, ‘There’s nobody from Detroit that reads that article that doesn’t get a tear in their eye.’ I’ve had some tears in my eyes, but growing up in Baltimore as one of nine kids and my dad was a policeman and most of my friend’s dads were union workers, steel workers, blue-collar guys, and I couldn’t help but identify with that. …

“I’m a blue-collar kid, and I’m glad to be here in Detroit, and hopefully, we’ll put a team on the field that Detroit will be proud of. You’ll be proud of the way we play.”

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