Can Jim Schwartz help Browns cornerbacks be even better?

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns / Nick Cammett/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns corners could end up being one of the best groups in the NFL by the end of 2023. With new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz bringing a defensive scheme that better suits the skillset this room brings to the table.

The question is, is it fact or fiction? Based on Schwartz's previous stints as defensive coordinator, along with looking at what this cornerback room does best, should give us some insight into 2023.

So what does coach Schwartz bring to the Browns' defense? We have all heard that he is the mastermind of the "wide-nine" defensive front and great at creating mismatches up front. Well, that alone makes the secondary better, right?

More havoc up front and pressure on quarterbacks can only help Cleveland's corners. But when it comes to the coach's defense, there's more that will help elevate the cornerback room.

A big part of his system is versatility and match-up based, which means he is using the player's strengths to offset the offensive player's weaknesses. It sounds simple, but as we have seen before, not every defensive coordinator is as versatile in their thinking. 

Not only is versatility key, Schwartz like to get his corners up at the line, in the receiver's face. He has also traditionally used a lot of Cover-1. Cover-1 means that one safety is playing the middle of the field while the rest of the players are in man coverage underneath. While Schwartz will also use Cover-3, which is more of a zone, he does prefer to let his corners man up more often

Last year the Brown's Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, and rookie sensation Martin Emerson combined to rank second in EPA/play and allowed the lowest QBR in the NFL in man coverage.

In zone defense, they ranked 24th in EPA/play. The difference is mind-blowing and makes you wonder why this defense did not utilize its corners to the best of their ability. Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski clearly thought the same as he moved on from Joe Woods to Schwartz.

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We all know what Denzel Ward brings when playing to his strengths. Newsome and Emerson have had some bright moments and look like they could be nearly as good in the right scheme. Jim Schwartz brings that scheme to Cleveland, and all we want is for this defense to take a big step in 2023.