<
>

Schwartz has Lions on upswing

INDIANAPOLIS -- Beginning with the selection of quarterback Joey Harrington (No. 3) in the 2001 NFL draft, the Detroit Lions have picked in the top 10 eight of the previous nine years.

However, Lions coach Jim Schwartz believes he has the organization headed in the right direction. Although Detroit finished 6-10 and will draft at No. 13, Schwartz's team won their final four games and defeated the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.

Plus, the Lions lost two games to the Bears by a combined nine points, and would have beaten the NFC North Champions in Week 1 if not for the controversial Calvin Johnson no-catch call in the end zone.

So how close is Detroit to closing the gap and catching the Bears and Packers?

"We're not trying to close a gap, it's not our objective," Schwartz said Thursday at the NFL Combine. "Our objective is to build a team and keep improving. When we do that, then we'll be successful against those teams. We [can] talk a little bit about where we were against them this season. I don't know if there's still a whole lot of gap that still needs to be closed. I mean, we obviously need to come out ahead in those games, instead of near misses. But it's obviously a big difference from where we've been in the past."