Lions’ Schwartz won’t talk contract, but he’ll defend Suh

INDIANAPOLIS — It can be argued that leading the Lions back to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade warrants a contract extension for Jim Schwartz.

The coach is entering the final year of his deal, and he probably doesn’t want to go from Lion to lame duck next season. And while it might be weighing on Schwartz’s mind, he made it clear he won’t be talking about it when I invaded a scrum of Lions beat reporters Thursday at Radio Row.

“The next time I talk about my contract will be the first time, or maybe I should say the next time I talk my contract will be never,” Schwartz said. “It has nothing to do with where we are the success of the team, it has nothing to do with what we do on a daily basis.”

Schwartz also shot down recent comments by NFL Network analyst and former All-Pro DT Warren Sapp, who said offseason shoulder surgery was the reason Ndamukong Suh failed to produce at the level of his rookie season.

“Warren Sapp’s a great player,” he said. “I think he had 12 sacks his first two years. Ndamukong has 14 in his first two years. Is it a snapshot, is it a career, is it one game, if you don’t have a sack, all of a sudden, it’s, ‘Whatever?’

“We were near the top five in the league in interceptions, top five in turnovers. Our defensive ends had 27 sacks. You can’t have 27 sacks unless you’re rushing well inside. You don’t get interceptions unless you’re rushing well up the middle.”

Good counterpoint, though we wonder what Schwartz thinks about Deacon Jonescriticism of Suh on Thursday?

— Dan Hanzus

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