Matchup No. 1: Jim Schwartz vs. Lamar Jackson
Jim Schwartz was hired by the Browns not just because of his prowess as a defensive coordinator, but because he's a leader of men. The Browns had plenty of existing defensive talent already on their roster, but they needed someone who could get the most out of that talent and unlock their full potential. Check.
Three games into the Jim Schwartz experience and the returns have been phenomenal. The Browns are leading the league in almost every major defensive category and are setting historical landmarks along the way. This week Schwartz and his defense have a new challenge, disarm former MVP and constant pain in the Browns side, Lamar Jackson.
Jackson’s skillset provides a unique set of problems for opposing defenses. The Baltimore quarterback is the college equivalent of preparing to play Navy for a team in the Big 12. His style of play changes the rules of engagement and can cause a paralysis by analysis situation.
However, Schwartz, who has only faced Jackson once before as a defensive coordinator, remained steadfast in his approach to facing Jackson in his press conference this week. When asked how he was planning on dealing with Jackson, Schwartz replied, “We’re gonna try to take the fight to him”.
While it sounds like a bold strategy, it is just Schwartz being true to himself. This defense has done everything aggressively since Schwartz arrived in Cleveland. Schwartz calls his defense with an offensive minded approach, and he is not going to change that just because the other team has a quarterback with an unconventional play style.
Schwartz having an aggressive approach and mindset in this matchup should come as a surprise to no one. That is the Jim Schwartz way. All in, all the time.