The Cleveland Browns went with the Super Bowl winning veteran defensive coordinator in hiring Jim Schwartz this week to lead the team’s D
After several interviews, the Cleveland Browns found their new defensive coordinator in Jim Schwartz — an experienced, veteran former head coach, and coordinator in the NFL. He will be replacing Joe Woods, who was fired the day after the regular season ended against Pittsburgh Steelers
Schwartz has a wealth of defensive knowledge and has been an excellent coach for years. He has successfully found and developed players on the defensive end of the ball, especially along the defensive line where players such as Albert Haynesworth and Fletcher Cox became Pro Bowlers.
The Browns interviewed several candidates, including Brian Flores, and most recently Sean Desai. As of Monday, some were reporting that Desai was the leading candidate. However, it was announced Tuesday that Schwartz won the job.
Flores was a hot candidate as well but he’s also being considered for head coaching jobs across the NFL. In the end, Cleveland went with an even more experienced coach.
Schwartz actually started with the Cleveland Browns almost 30 years ago when he was on Bill Belichick‘s staff from 1993-1995 before the team moved to Baltimore the following season. Later he became the head coach of the Detroit Lions and guided them to a playoff appearance back in 2011. The Lions haven’t been to the playoffs very often before that or since. Unfortunately, Schwartz didn’t have much success after that and was let go in 2013.
He’s moved around quite a bit since, most recently with the Tennessee Titans in an assistant role. He had been the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator back in 2017-18 when he helped them win the Super Bowl.
Schwartz primarily has coached the 4-3 alignment similar to what the Browns already have been using. As shared earlier, he has done a good job in identifying defensive linemen and making that part of the team stronger which the Browns certainly need help with.
Now what the team does to strengthen the defense will be the next step. Will Cleveland go look at free agency, a trade, or do they try to draft a player to bolster that poor defensive line?
A free agent like Daron Payne of the Washington Commanders has become a popular name amongst Browns fans this offseason. In addition, let’s not forget about Fletcher Cox, who played for Schwartz. The long-time veteran is still producing with the Eagles and could be a less expensive option for the Browns in this free-agency period coming up in March.
In the end, it’s a good hire by head coach, Kevin Stefanski, as he will have another experienced coach plus a Super Bowl winner helping him along the way,
Cleveland has a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball already with stars like Myles Garrett, who again had another career season as he prepares for year No.7. They also have a talented secondary with players like Denzel Ward and young players like Martin Emerson and Grant Delpit coming into their own. The Browns are very committed to improving their defense, considering their regression in the last couple of seasons since their playoff run in 2020.
Schwartz will now have his opportunity to mold this defense into his own and from his years of experience and that seems like a very good move by the Browns as they strive to get back to the postseason.