I'll have more thoughts on the hiring of Jim Schwartz later today after I have a chance to listen to his introductory press conference, but I saw this story at Pro Football Talk this morning and it already makes me feel good about the man the Lions have hired to turn the team around.
Now that Jim Schwartz is the new coach of the Detroit Lions, he’ll have to lure assistant coaches to a franchise that has won one playoff game since Dwight D. Eisenhower was running the country.
At the top of his list on the offensive side of the ball, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN, are Broncos quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Schottenheimer and Bates are two of the most respected, brightest young offensive minds in football. Schottenheimer is a head-coach in the making and Bates is credited by Jay Cutler as helping him become a Pro Bowl quarterback. Now, there's no guarantee the Lions will be able to hire either (Schottenheimer may become the head coach for the New York Jets, and even if he doesn't, the Jets may hold on to him; And Bates not only signed a three-year extension with Denver just a few weeks ago, but he's already being courted by Oakland to run their offense) but the fact that those two are the leaders in the clubhouse for the Lions tells me a lot. It tells me that Schwartz understands that he needs to bring a new perspective to the Lions offense, and it shows me that he isn't afraid to bring in an offensive coordinator who can pretty much run the offense on his own, allowing Schwartz to concentrate on fixing the Lions porous defense.
There are not two better names to hire as offensive coordinator, and the mere fact that Schwartz is focusing on them means he's looking exactaly in the right places to fix the Lions.