The Cleveland Browns found their new defensive coordinator after hiring Jim Schwartz, the team announced Wednesday.
Schwartz is a long-time defensive coach who spent the past two seasons as a defensive assistant for the Tennessee Titans following a five-year stint as the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator. He also was the head coach for the Detroit Lions for five seasons from 2009-13.
It’s a bit of a homecoming for Schwartz, who began his NFL career as a research assistant and personal scout for the Browns under Bill Belichick from 1993-95. Schwartz went on to coach with the Baltimore Ravens and Titans before taking the Lions’ head-coaching role. He spent a season as the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator in 2014 and a season as a consultant for the NFL’s officiating department in 2015 before he joined the Eagles’ staff in 2016.
Schwartz will be tasked with fixing a Browns defense that took a step back in 2022. Cleveland allowed the 22nd-most points per game this past season and the 14th-most yards per game a year after finishing 13th in points allowed and fifth in yards allowed.
The Browns have some solid defensive pieces like defensive end Myles Garrett, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and cornerback Denzel Ward, but will need to add more pieces with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney unlikely to return. Schwartz has done that in the past after he helped turn the Eagles into a top-4 defense that won a Super Bowl two years after he joined Doug Pederson’s staff.