Rams Vs. Lions: Jim Schwartz Is Not Sleeping On Jeff Fisher's Team

ALLEN PARK MI - AUGUST 05: Head coach Jim Schwartz looks on during training camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on August 5 2010 in Allen Park Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions each experienced different seasons in 2011. Head coach Jim Schwartz took his team to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The Rams finished the season with two wins, firing their coach and general manager after it was all said and done. Despite the two divergent paths, Schwartz is not taking the Rams for granted ahead of this week's season opener at Ford Field in Detroit.

"You can look at this team a lot of different ways," Schwartz said. "You can look at their record last year. You can look at their stats from last year. I like to look at the fact that they beat New Orleans last year, a team that we lost to twice, and if that doesn't get your attention and see what their players can do, then you're certainly not being realistic."

Expectations for the Lions are high this season. They have a roster loaded with talent, including one of the league's few 5,000-yard passers in quarterback Matthew Stafford, and a fearsome defensive line headlined by Ndamukong Suh, the second player picked after Sam Bradford in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Those expectations are far from Schwartz' mind this week.

"We can't worry about our expectations for this year, what we need to worry about is our expectations for today, our expectations for the Rams this week," he said. "It sounds cliché, but our team does a good job of staying in that moment."

The Rams offense can be easily overlooked after its trouble scoring points last season. The Lions are not making that mistake.

"Well, Steven Jackson is still one of the best running backs in the NFL," Schwartz said. "It starts with him for sure. Sam Bradford, he had some injury concerns last year, but he's an exciting young quarterback. They get (WR Danny) Amendola back. They drafted some other wide receivers. They have a lot of offensive firepower."

The defense caught the coach's attention as well.

"I really like what [Robert] Quinn has done in the preseason," Schwartz said. "I think he's got three sacks in limited time in the preseason. [Chris] Long had a great year last year. They can rush the passer. [James] Laurinaitis has been a really good middle linebacker for them. (CB) Cortland Finnegan, who I know very well, very good corner and they drafted well at corner.

"They've put some pretty good pieces together and they're going to be a very good team this year."

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker