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Lions Schwartz pays little attention to Division personnel

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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INDIANAPOLIS – I’m often asked by fans about one-on-one matchups with opposing players and if the Packers will adjust for it. Such as: Will the Packers league-worst pass defense take specific measures to ensure Lions WR Calvin Johnson doesn’t have a repeat of the regular-season finale (11 catches, 244 yards, 1 touchdown)? Both Lions quarterback Matt Stafford and Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder have told me that playing in a division with Bears QB Jay Cutler and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers helps them prepare knowing they're facing exceptional talent at the same position nearly every week. So, I asked Lions coach Jim Schwartz if during their self-scout and while prioritizing needs if they look around the division and at the fact they have to face Rodgers and Cutler a combined four times during the regular season. (That was my example considering the Lions secondary has struggled mightily for several years.) “No,” Schwartz answered. “From a scheme standpoint you’re always looking at those kinds of things. But I think you can get a little too caught up in what other teams have. “What you need to worry about is yourself and how players fit your schemes rather than worry about how players match up against other players. Because you just never know in this league. What looks like the trend one year all of a sudden isn’t the next. Players change teams, get injured, there’s all kinds of things. “So, the approach that we’ve taken is we worry about ourselves, not so much as arms races with other teams.”

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