The Detroit Lions have reached an agreement in principle with Jim Schwartz to become their next head coach.
Schwartz, the Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator for the past eight seasons, has agreed in principle to a four-year contract, sources told ESPN.
The Lions will hold an introductory news conference for Schwartz on Friday.
“After an extensive search that included several highly qualified coaches, we are thrilled that Jim Schwartz will become our team’s head coach,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement Thursday. “Martin [Mayhew, Lions general manager] and I believe that Jim’s qualifications and vision will lead this organization on the field toward our goal of becoming a championship football team.”
On Tuesday, after a second interview with the Lions, Schwartz said the chance to coach the NFL’s first 0-16 team motivated him to embrace the opportunity if it came his way.
“I don’t shy away from a challenge,” he said earlier this week.
The Lions fired Rod Marinelli after his team made history. Schwartz just finished his 10th season with the Titans. Before being hired at Tennessee, Schwartz spent three years on the Baltimore Ravens’ staff. He also was a college and pro scout for the Cleveland Browns and that experience might be valuable in Detroit.
The Lions have the No. 1 pick in April, along with first- and third-round picks from the Dallas Cowboys, and need to find players to spark a turnaround.
Among other things, the Lions will be counting on Schwartz to come up with ways to improve a defense that ranked last in the league and gave up 517 points — threatening the NFL record for points allowed (533) in a season set by the 1981 Baltimore Colts.
Tags: Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans