He was introduced to the media on Monday and by Thursday afternoon the Detroit Lions announced the hiring of 42-year old Jim Schwartz as their new head coach.  Schwartz has spent the past eight seasons as defensive coordinator of the NFL's Tennessee Titans.  The Lions interviewed all NFL assistants.  Schwartz gives the Lions a defensive mind which this team desperately needs.  He needs immediately to evaluate his personnel besides hiring a staff.  He has a big job ahead as everyone knows.

     Schwartz needs to improve the Lions defense, in my judgment, first and foremost.  The Lions occasionally could move the ball and score last season.  But they could never stop anyone when the time came.  If he can get Jon Kitna back I'd use him as a serviceable quarterback for at least the coming season.  The Lions can win a number of games if they just make improvement on defense.  They have the top over all pick and I don't see a quarterback out there worth that lofty status.  And the Lions also have the Dallas Cowboys' first round pick plus the first pick in round two-- so that's three picks of the top 33 and I'd take all defensive players.

     John Smoltz told me today he wants to join the senior pro golf tour when he turns 50.  The 41-year old Smoltz is preparing to pitch as a starter this coming season for the Boston Red Sox.  Smoltz will play in Michael Jordan's tournament in the Bahamas on Monday.  He is a superb golfer and a huge MSU basketball fan.  John says the 1985 Diamond Classic title win for his Waverly Warriors with a walk off home run is still one of his top baseball thrills.  And he says he wants to coach high school basketball once he is done pitching for good.


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