Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was carried off the field after the Bills beat the team he used to coach -- the Detroit Lions -- on Oct. 5.
Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was carried off the field after the Bills beat the Detroit Lions, 17-14, on Oct. 5.
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Bills linebacker Ty Powell told ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter Mike Rodak in the game's aftermath that getting carried off the field after a victory over the Lions -- the team Schwartz used to coach -- was actually one of Schwartz's dreams. Now, it has been fulfilled:
"Several Buffalo Bills players fulfilled a summer-long wish of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, carrying the former Detroit Lions coach across the field Sunday after Schwartz capped a come-from-behind win over the Lions with a late field goal.
"Linebacker Ty Powell, who recalled Schwartz's words from offseason practices, joined with linebacker Randell Johnson and other Bills defenders for the postgame celebration.
"'I remember back in OTAs, somehow he was talking about it in a meeting. He said,'When we go to Detroit, and we win, I want to be carried off the field,' I remembered that in the game,' Powell said. 'So I turned to Randell, I said, 'Hey, we're going to carry him off the field.''
"The Bills erased a 14-3 halftime Lions lead, holding Detroit scoreless in the second half and taking their first lead of the game on a 58-yard Dan Carpenter field goal with four seconds remaining.
"Schwartz, who was fired by the Lions last December after five seasons as their head coach, gave an emotional speech Saturday night in a defensive meeting as he made his first trip back to Detroit.
"'He had some tough times here. Obviously he was let go last year and he still has that chip on his shoulder,' defensive tackle Corbin Bryant said. 'He wanted us to take that chip and go out there and perform well and beat the Lions today and we had a chance to do that.'
"The speech was out of the ordinary for Schwartz.
"'It's very unusual,' Bryant said. 'He's all team first. But this one was personal for him.'
"Lions left guard Rob Sims said he saw Schwartz after the game and told him 'good job.' He also saw him being carried off the field.
"'I did see that. We lost the game. It didn't matter if they carried him off a throne,' Sims said. 'We still lost the game. It doesn't matter.'
"Publicly, Schwartz downplayed the return trip to his former home in a brief exchange with reporters Friday.
"'It's about the same as any week. I've been a visitor there before, so I know where the visitors' locker room is, in addition to the home locker room,' Schwartz said Friday. 'It is an important game for us. It's a road game, and we're coming off a two-game skid, and we need to be able to get it back.
"'Whether it's the Lions, whether it's any other team...everybody has connections in this league. Every coach has coached somewhere else. Everything else...it doesn't play into the game.'
"Schwartz and his Lions were booed during his final home game last season, a 23-20 loss to the New York Giants. On Friday, Schwartz said he wasn't concerned with how fans received him when he returned to Ford Field for the first time since that game.
"'It doesn't matter,' he said. 'It's about that game. That's certainly not important.'
"Schwartz went 29-51 in five seasons with the Lions."
The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci asked Schwartz about his sentiments going into the Week 5 showdown in Detroit:
"How does Schwartz expect to be greeted by the home crowd?
"'It doesn't matter,' he said. 'It's about the game. That's certainly not important.'
"What will be critical, however, is Schwartz devising the right scheme and calling the right signals to put his defense in position to at least hold up -- if not have the upper hand -- against an offense with a highly accomplished quarterback in Matthew Stafford and the game's best receiver in Calvin Johnson.
"By the way, Jim, how do you stop that incredible receiver you once had the pleasure of coaching? 'I don't know if anyone has figured out a plan for it,' he said.
"Despite the Bills' dramatic run-stuffing improvement, Schwartz isn't ready to take any bows. He describes the Bills as having a '2-2 defense' that will be taking on the Lions' '3-1 offense.'
"For all of that has been said and written this week about the Bills benching quarterback EJ Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton, Schwartz has kept his focus on what his unit has done (or not done) to contribute to those two losses.
"'We've just got to find a way to make one more third-down stop, to make one more red-zone stop, give up one less big play,' he said. 'The standard's high and we have to be able to live up to it.'
"Scwartz also downplayed how valuable his deeper knowledge of the Lions would be to the Bills in their overall preparation for the game."
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