It's Lions Week, which is always a drag because their coaches going back to Steve Mariucci love themselves some early conference calls. Two of us braved the rush-hour traffic (how do you 9-to-5ers who work downtown do it?). I'll be using more of what he said later, but here's the highlight of the call:
As we all know, the Vikings traded the 30th pick in the draft to Detroit. The Lions used it on Cal running back Jahvid Best, who now has five touchdowns in two games and is coming off a game in which he became the first rookie in NFL history to have three touchdowns and at least 75 yards rushing and 150 receiving.
Asked to respond to Brad Childress' comments that the Vikings, who also had a need at running back, passed on Cal running back Jahvid Best because he was a concussion risk, Schwartz said:
"[Best] had one major concussion. I think a lot of people looked at that. And there's always concern anytime a player has an issue like that. But all our reports and and everything else led us to believe that he had put that behind him and was no more susceptible than any other player.
"I think part of that was after he had his concussion, he didn't play in the bowl game. I think looking back on it, I think it was probably more [Cal] holding him out because they knew he was coming out [in the draft] and not wanting to get him hurt. I think a lot of teams held that against him, the fact that six weeks later he didn't play in a game.
"We were comfortable with where he was. Running backs take hits. It's a fact of life in the NFL. They deal with injuries and things like that all the time. We liked what Jahvid brought to the table and we thought he fit very well with what we wanted to do offensively."