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Lions' Schwartz calls Morris' slogan 'Race to 10' foolish

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 01:03 AM

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PALM BEACH -

Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz was hired in 2009, the same year Raheem Morris replaced Jon Gruden at Tampa Bay, but they apparently never shared the same general team goals.

As Morris entered his second season on the Buccaneer sidelines, he talked about a "Race to 10'' wins as a rallying cry for a young club hungry to contend for an NFC playoff berth.

On Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings, Schwartz was asked how many victories the Lions will need to compete in the NFC North.

"I don't know if anybody here would say we just need nine,'' Schwartz said. "I don't know if anybody else plays that card game. I take that back. I have heard people talk about the 'Race to 10' and different foolishness. I think that's foolish. The whole idea is to win every game you play and try to get in (the playoffs).

"Once you're in, have some firepower that you can get through.''

Schwartz said he refuses to get caught up in a numbers game.

"We've seen the last couple of years that it makes no difference if you have 10 or 15," Schwartz said. "Green Bay had 15 last year — that didn't get them their ultimate prize. The year before, they made the playoffs in the last week of the season. They got hot and won the Super Bowl. If you go over to (Packers coach) Mike McCarthy's table, 2010 was a much better season than 2011, even though they went 15-1 last year. That's not the objective.

"The objective isn't to be good in the regular season. The objective is to get to the postseason. The easiest way to do that is to win your division. I don't think anybody goes into it with a preset idea of how many. We're going to try to win every one of them."

Almost a Jaguar

In 1998, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano interviewed with then-Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin for an assistant's job.

"I remember it very clearly,'' Schiano said Wednesday. "It was at the combine in his suite and we interviewed at like 9 o'clock at night. I can remember him sitting across from me with those steel-blue eyes just staring through me. I was excited about the opportunity to work for him.''

Schiano, who was 31 at the time, ended up being promoted by the Bears to secondary coach, but he left a lasting impression on Coughlin, who has guided the Giants to two Super Bowl wins in the past five seasons.

"I think Greg's a solid football coach,'' Coughlin said. "I interviewed him when he was very young and he was impressive. He's a tough guy with good organizational skills. He certainly has the outstanding work ethic, he's smart and he's a man of principles.''

 

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