Mike McCarthy takes high road with comments by Jim Schwartz

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz argues a call against his team in a game at Lambeau Field in October 2010. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz took some shots earlier this spring by making fun of Packers head coach Mike McCarthy for taking his team skeet shooting instead of hitting the field for practice.

Many coaches across the league take days off to offer various activities for their players to bond and get away from the football field. It’s nothing new.

However, Schwartz, who many feel suffers from the small man syndrome and uses big words to prop up their stature, sounded off by mocking McCarthy’s strategy.

But McCarthy wasn’t about to make fun of Schwartz, though he no doubt was rolling his eyes behind the scenes when he first heard about the comments.

Here’s what Schwartz had to say at the time:

“We had no sporting clays today or no amusement parks or water parks. Work day of minicamp,” Schwartz said following the Lions’ final practice of minicamp last month. “We take a lot of pride in the fact that we play for a blue-collar town and we try to reflect that kind of work ethic, and we have very few opportunities to practice this off-season. . . . Every one was crucial and couldn’t afford to waste any.”

So, today McCarthy appeared on Green and Gold Today on ESPNMilwaukee radio, and had this to say:

“Their approach is really tailored to the way they go about their business, starting with their head coach,” McCarthy said. “I don’t know what the problem with skeet shooting is; I thought that was probably one of the best events we’ve ever had here. “Just the interaction with the policemen and the players was excellent. You were literally handed a gun, pulled the trigger and handed it back to the police officer. That part of it was in place for the safety,” McCarthy said. “But it was really a neat day. We’ve tried some different things, and by far it was our best group dynamic/team building event that we had. I actually got a chuckle out of hearing someone else worried about us taking our team skeet shooting.”

Instead of firing back something that was sarcastic, McCarthy simply explained the benefits of utilizing tactics like this with his team.

Clearly McCarthy wasn’t about to give the Lions any bulletin board material. He could have gone off about the character issues from which Schwartz’s team appear to suffer. He didn’t. He kept the ball in his court and took the high road.

That’s why I like McCarthy – He’s a smart guy.

His team reflects that attitude and the reason why they are coming off a 15-win season and a Super Bowl championship the past two seasons.

Schwartz can only wish he could match those accomplishments.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Jim Schwartz Lambeau Field Mike McCarthy

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