Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – One day after completing their collapse, the Detroit Lions have fired head coach Jim Schwartz, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and much of the offensive staff.
The Lions looked headed to the playoffs with a 6-3 mark but lost six of their last seven games to finish with a 7-9 mark, missing the postseason for the 13th time in 14 years.
Over the last two seasons, the Lions have gone 2-14 in the second half of the season. Last year, the Lions went 4-12 and dropped their final eight games with a splintered locker room.
The 47-year-old Schwartz ended his tenure in Detroit with a 29-51 record in the regular season and a 0-1 mark in the postseason.
Schwartz took over a 0-16 squad in 2009 and turned it into a playoff team in just three years. But since that playoff loss in New Orleans in 2011, Schwartz is just 11-21.
He has two years and reportedly more than $12 million remaining on a contract extension he signed in June of 2012.
“I’ve only played for one head coach in the NFL, coach Schwartz, and I felt like we had a great locker room. It’s not always what everyone hears on the outside. It was a joy to play for him. It was fun,” Lions starting quarterback Matthew Stafford said.
Among those qualified for the job are San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, Stanford coach David Shaw and former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.
The new coach will inherit a solid team with 18 of 22 starters under contract for next year, including receiver Calvin Johnson, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Stafford, who has thrown for more than 4,600 yards each of the last three years.