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Jeff Fisher: Former Lions HC Jim Schwartz deserves another chance

The Lions had a record of 29-51 in five seasons under Jim Schwartz, making the playoffs once. AP Photo/Jim Mone

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher believes his former defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, will be a head coach in the NFL again.

Schwartz, who is consulting with the NFL and its officials this season, was the head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009 to 2013 and then was the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2014. He stepped away from coaching for the 2015 season to work with the league.

"Jim is deserving of another opportunity, you really just have to wait and see what happens," Fisher said. "That year in Buffalo with that defense, that was a pretty impressive job that he did and so I’ve stayed in touch with Jim, we’re good friends.

"I can speak from experience as far as how important it is after coaching so long that if you get an opportunity to take a year off, take it. He’s done that, recharged and is ready to go. We’ll just wait and see what happens."

Schwartz took over the Lions after the team’s 0-16 season in 2008 after being the defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans from 2001-2008. His first draft pick as a head coach was quarterback Matthew Stafford and he got the Lions to the playoffs in 2011. That was Schwartz’s only winning season in Detroit and he finished with a record of 29-51 and one loss in the playoffs, to New Orleans.

He also had some highly publicized incidents during his time as the Lions’ head coach, including shouting at fans during his final home game in the 2013 season against the New York Giants and a contentious handshake with Jim Harbaugh in 2011.

Fisher said he believes Schwartz represented the Lions well, though, during his time in Detroit.

"He was a victim, like many coaches are, of wins and losses, and that was a tremendous turnaround that he was involved with and so this is an emotional game, things happen and y’all don’t have all the information and all the background behind with respect to things that do happen," Fisher said. "We’ve learned from our experiences and Jim is certainly, I thought Jim did a nice job.

"... I came up on my year off and came to camp and watched the program for a couple days, and he really had a good thing going. But wins and losses, they determine people’s fate.'

It is unclear what NFL jobs will open up following the season, as there are only two interim coaches in the league right now -- Miami’s Dan Campbell and Tennessee's Mike Mularkey.