The Detroit Lions slumped to last place in the NFC North this past season and a lousy 4-12 record after the dropped their final eight games.
But coach Jim Schwartz doesn’t want to say his club is rebuilding now a full season removed from a playoff appearance.
“I wouldn’t call it rebuilding,” Schwartz said, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “There’s been a lot of other words used for it: 'reloading,' whatever you want to call it. But when you say 'rebuilding,' it sounds like you’re starting from the ground up.”
The Lions believe they have core players to build around. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are talented players. But the Lions have struggled running the football, have some issues on the offensive line and their back seven on defense is poor.
“We’ve got some strengths on our team that we can build around,” Schwartz said. “It’s not so much a rebuild.”
There is no question the pressure will be on Schwartz as well as general manager Martin Mayhew in 2013. If the Lions bottom out again, it ought to be time for change in Motown.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune