Jim Schwartz coaching strategy highlights the best in players at Browns OTAs
By John Suchan
Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has begun a new coaching strategy at these OTAs. He was sporting the jersey of linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk who wears No. 51.
When Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was questioned about his defensive coordinator wearing the jersey, he explained that it was part of a tactic where Schwartz wants to showcase and promote hard work from players that he sees are giving maximum effort. Schwartz has used this tactic over his career, one that has been marked by success.
It’s a nice strategy and gives the players props, and that’s all useful in trying to get the most out of each of them.
Will the new strategy help make the Browns play any better this season? That’s hard to say at this point four months out from the beginning of the regular season but it does show that the coach is committed to building a defense that is accountable and wants to play for one another. Giving shoutouts is always a booster to anyone and the fact that the coach does this shows why he's also been successful at his job.
One player whose jersey Schwartz won't be sporting during OTAs is the symbolic leader of the Cleveland defense, Myles Garrett who has been absent. While these practices are voluntary, the fact that Schwartz is implementing a new defense, it would be nice to see Garrett here in uniform. There are other veterans like Nick Chubb, Joel Bitonio, and David Njoku, who are not at camp this week either (but they're also not learning a new system).
However, Garrett's absence has been noted more publically and hasn’t been sitting well with some fans and sports writers.
Having accountability is important in this business. Garrett has been a very vocal member of the defense including in the parting of former Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods. Hopefully, Schwartz will be able to sport a Garrett jersey when returns to mandatory training camp in a few weeks. We chatted about Garrett's absence this week on our Fanatical Elfz Show. Listen below.
For now, we should focus on Schwartz and what jersey he’ll be wearing next during the rest of these OTAs. When you have a leader like Schwartz trying to get the best out of his players by using some of these coaching strategies, it gives out a good vibe of what could be a great year ahead for the Browns.
Cleveland has spent this offseason bringing in several defensive players like Za'Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson, Rodney McLeod, Juan Thornhill, and Ogba Okoronkwo to give Schwartz some solid veteran experience.
Working all these players and the rest of the defensive unit into a cohesive unit is going to take time. However, Schwartz is forming confidence in his players as we've shown with his wearing different player jerseys and that is a great step in the right direction.
Let's hope that Garrett, when he returns later this summer will be on the same page as the rest of his teammates and play to win the game. If he does, then Schwartz can wear the No. 95 a lot on "Victory Mondays" this season.