Photo: Matthew Emmons / USA Today Sports
It’s crazy to think new Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz hasn’t coached in Cleveland in 30 years since he was a personnel scout under Bill Belichick from 1993 to when the team moved to Baltimore in 1995 and yet knows so much about the history of the Browns as he detailed during his introductory press conference.
A change was necessary for the Browns defense, and Schwartz feels like a breathe of fresh air. The Browns newest defensive coordinator said he’s going to hold the best players MOST accountable. Over the last two seasons, there's been countless leaks and stories of players calling out other players and the coaching staff, but nobody has seemed to take accountability. Undisciplined, directionless, and swaggerless are some words I’d use to describe Joe Woods' defense since Woods became the DC in 2020.
While Schwartz and Woods run the same 4-3 base defensive scheme, each scheme has different nuances to their specific defense. For the former head coach of the Detroit Lions, his calling card is pass rush.
"A devastating pass rush goes a long way. You can create turnovers off of pass rush. If you can rush with four, it allows your blitz game to be much more effective because you start blitzing on your terms as opposed to on the offenses' terms,” Schwartz said during his opening presser.
All-Pro Myles Garrett will be the best pass rusher he’s had at his disposal. Schwartz is going to get Garrett more one on ones. Cleveland needs to beef up their defensive tackle room and find a new running mate to put alongside Garrett, as Jadeveon Clowney surely ended his tenure in Cleveland by throwing shade towards No. 95.
The Philadelphia Eagles won a Super Bowl with Schwartz at the helm of the defense. During his tenure in Philadelphia, Schwartz played man coverage the majority of the time, a direct contrast to Woods the last three seasons.
By all accounts, Woods did not put his players in the best position to succeed, leading the Browns to hand him the pink slip.
Learning, listening and empowering will go a long way for Schwartz to be successful in The Land. Cleveland has dealt with a lot of revolving doors and a lot of honeymoon phases, but hopefully this marriage between Kevin Stefanski and Schwartz last awhile, as it seems Schwartz is strictly focused on bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Cleveland.
As Schwartz said to end his press conference, "I won a Super Bowl in Philly and seen the parade, but I know there's only one city that can beat that parade, and I'm here now."