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Black and Blue all over: Scarce info

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

Detroit coach Jim Schwartz has taken a hard-line approach to reporting injuries, and like many coaches he limits information to the minimum required by the NFL. Schwartz will reveal the affected body part on the Wednesday of game week and players’ official status on Friday, but otherwise he has declined to confirm details, citing competitive advantage.

I’ve never understood how that approach actually impacts wins and losses. And in cases like the Lions, you have to wonder if there’s an adverse affect in terms of fan interest: Don’t most fans want to know who is playing Sunday? After all, that is the bottom line in seeking injury information.

That said, Schwartz told reporters Monday that he believes he routinely gained advantages as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator when opposing coaches revealed too much of their injury status. Here’s what Schwartz said, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com:

"Here's my philosophy on stuff like that. As a defensive coordinator for the last eight years, I would click on every coach's press conference on Monday and I'd sit there with my notepad and start my game plan. I'd be watching film and I'd be catching information. I don't know how many times I caught things like, 'We got the MRI back and it was clear and he'll be ready to go this week,' or, 'It doesn't look good for him, he'll be out this week.' It happened a lot of times, and that gave me an advantage, that helped me through the week. We'll report our injuries and we'll be upfront with everything the league requires, but we're not into giving a competitive advantage to other people. That's where it is."

Schwartz shares this philosophy with many coaches, so I’m not coming down on him. And there’s nothing stopping enterprising reporters from finding out details through other means. But if you want to know why official information will be scare this week on the status of tailback Kevin Smith (shoulder), that should explain it.

Continuing around the NFC North: