Lions coach Jim Schwartz has been no stranger to voicing his opinions over his career.
But his comments on Movin’ the Chains on Sirius XM with Pat Kirwin and former Bears quarterback Jim Miller might have surprised and pleased some Bears fans.
Schwartz praised the Bears' offense and first year coach Marc Trestman for their ability to be balanced on offense, which he believes will provide a tremendous challenge for the Lions’ defense.
He also said he’s noticed how the offense has changed since the two teams last played in October, specifically mentioning the Bears’ personnel packages.
“They were using some two tight end stuff earlier and they're using a lot more three wide receiver now,” he said on Movin’ the Chains. “They're employing Eben Britton, one of their offensive lineman as an extra tight end. That's been a big boost for them.”
Schwartz then talked about how impressed he was with the quarterback play, whether it was Jay Cutler or Josh McCown.
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“No matter what quarterback plays, we have a lot of respect for their ability to move the ball and score points,” he said. “I don’t care what stats you look at, if you’re an offensive coach or coordinator, it’s all about scoring points, and they’ve done it.”
One of the key battles in Sunday’s game Schwartz will be watching is Bears’ rookie guard Kyle Long against Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Schwartz said even though he’s inexperienced, Long has been able to use his physicality and strength to help his transition to the NFL. If the Lions want to put a strangle hold on the NFC North, Suh will have to wreak havoc on the rookie again.
“That’s a big matchup in this game,” he said. “We didn’t play especially well on defense when we played the Bears the first time. But we covered it up by getting four turnovers. We got to play a lot better on defense to shut these guys out and get us a win at Soldier Field.”