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.”