The Philadelphia Eagles introduced Doug Peterson as the team’s new head coach on Tuesday. During his introductory press conference, Peterson named former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz as Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator for the 2016 season.
This is an interesting development, since the Eagles are scheduled to visit the Lions next fall.
The NFL hasn’t released a date for this Eagles-Lions showdown yet, but all of Detroit should have the day of Schwartz’ return marked on the calendar as soon as that information is made available. His last visit to Ford Field was in Week 5 of the 2014 season, when he was defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. He helped guide Buffalo to a 17-14 win in that game, and the Bills players carried him off the field on their shoulders.
Schwartz, 49, took over as Lions head coch after the infamous 0-16 season of 2008. They only won two games in his first season, but he guided them to the playoffs by his third year in command. Detroit lost its only playoff appearance under Schwartz and started to decline after that. He was fired after five seasons with the team, finishing with a regular-season record of 29-51.
In his lone season as the Bills’ defensive coordinator, Schwartz’ presided over the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense — a unit that led the league with 54 sacks. When Rex Ryan replaced Doug Marrone as Buffalo’s head coach in 2015, Schwartz was not retained as defensive coordinator. Instead of finding another coaching job, he took a consulting position with the NFL’s officiating department.
The Lions may or may not be in better hands under Jim Caldwell, who is returning for his third season as head coach in 2016. If the downward trend continues and fans have to watch Schwartz leave Ford Field victorious again, they’ll start to wonder if the team made the right decision in firing him after the 2013 season.