PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Don’t expect Jim Schwartz to get sentimental this weekend in Detroit. There will also be no hard feelings from the former head coach of the Lions.
Schwartz coached in Detroit for five seasons before being fired in 2013. The defensive coordinator will be back in Detroit this weekend as the Eagles do battle with the Lions. Schwartz has no ill will towards his former employers and wishes them well when they are not lined up against his new team.
“I think you guys would be surprised how much I root for the Lions,” said Schwartz. “As long as it’s not in direct conflict with the Eagles, I want those guys to win every week. I’ve got too much blood and sweat in that building, and there’s a lot of guys there that mean an awful lot to me.”
This will not be Schwartz’s first game back in Detroit since being fired by the Lions. Schwartz was the defensive coordinator in Buffalo in 2014 when the Bills beat the Lions. Schwartz was carried off the field by his players after that victory, but insists his previous return will make this year’s trip less personal.
“I’ve been there and done that,” Schwartz said. “When I was in Buffalo, we were able to get a win there. I visit there a lot of times in the off-season. I don’t have very many friends, but my wife has a lot of friends. I certainly enjoyed my time there.”
Sunday will also be a homecoming for Linebacker Stephen Tolloch. The former Lion played in Detroit for five seasons before coming to Philadelphia. Like Schwartz, Tulloch has fond memories of his time in the Motor City.
“I gave five good years there in Detroit,” said Tulloch. “Not just to the team, but to the city of Detroit and the community and my foundation. To be able to get back there and show my appreciation to the fans and the people of Detroit….Detroit’s my second home.”
Detroit is no longer the home of Calvin Johnson. The longtime wide receiver retired in the off-season, and Schwartz has no complaints seeing the former star on a TV show rather than a football field.
“I’ve become a big fan of Dancing With the Stars,” Schwartz said. “Honestly, I’ve never watched it but hey, I’ll go back. I root for his success. If there’s a number you’re supposed to call in, I’ll call in, because the guys deserves anything good that happens to him.”