Cleveland Browns Anthony Schwartz on the hot seat this year

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cleveland Browns
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Anthony Schwartz
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

How the Browns screwed up with Anthony Schwartz early on

The Browns read the Pro Day report and saw the glittering 4.26 second 40-yard dash time. Okay, that's really nice! Now did, you read the part where Schwartz was only on 50% football scholarship, and 50% track and field?

That means he simply didn't develop as much in college as his peers. With apologies to noted American sports philosopher Allen Iverson, practice does matter. Schwartz honed his speed better than his peers but didn't have the time to devote to the game of football.

Schwartz played three years of major college ball, but only had 117 catches for 1,433 career yards. That's about one and a half seasons' worth. When drafted, he was only 20 years old and was one of the younger players in the draft. Translation: green, green, green. He should have stayed in college one more year. There's no way he could have been ready for the NFL in 2021.

But about that time, Kevin Stefanski watched A Star is Born, and figured Schwartz was the next Lady Gaga. He and the coaching staff decided to give him major reps immediately, letting him see the field for 53% of the offensive snaps in the first game versus Kansas City.

He got off to a great start with three catches in his first game but then got shut out in four straight games. They should have seen that coming. He was the greenest rookie in the league and they set him up for failure by trying to play him like a starter immediately. Instead, he should have learned a few routes really well and had maybe ten snaps per game.

2023 is really more like his second season in the NFL. 2022 was more like a rookie season. No matter who has been at fault in the past, the coaches need to see some improvement in the present.