BEREA, Ohio (WJW) — The Cleveland Browns officially announced Jim Schwartz as the team’s new defensive coordinator, introducing him to the public during an afternoon press conference Wednesday.
Schwartz, of Baltimore, comes from the Tennessee Titans, where he spent two seasons as a defensive assistant, according to the team. He was also a defensive coordinator for that team, as well as the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. Schwartz also got his start as an unpaid intern for the Cleveland Browns right before the team was moved.
“What an honor it is to be back in Ohio,” Schwartz said during the press conference. “When the team left to Baltimore I went with them, we all knew it wasn’t goodbye, it was just ‘until we see you again.’ We want to coach where fans are passionate … I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to the fans here to get this right and to reward them.”
Schwartz was with the Titans for 12 years, starting as a defensive assistant in 1999, the season the team made it to the Super Bowl, according to the release. He was also defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2008, overseeing several Pro Bowl players. The team ranked in the top seven in the league for total defense.
“Jim Schwartz has been an outstanding coach in this league for a very long time, and we are thrilled that he is joining our staff to lead our defense as the defensive coordinator,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said in a news release Wednesday. “Jim has seen defensive success at each of his coaching stops because he knows how to get the best out of his players and will match scheme to suit strengths. Jim is a passionate leader who believes in teaching fundamentals. We’re excited about the vast experience he brings to our staff to meet the demands it takes to consistently defend the varying offenses in the AFC North and across the National Football League.”
Schwartz is also the former head coach of the Detroit Lions, improving the team’s record from 0-16 before he was hired in 2009 to 10-6 in 2011, taking them to the playoffs.
Schwartz was also defensive coordinator for the Eagles team that beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2018 Super Bowl.
Schwartz was the first of four candidates to be interviewed for the position. Others on the shortlist included the New England Patriots’ linebackers coach Jerod Mayo and Pittsburgh Steelers assistant Brian Flores, FOX 8 News reported.
Earlier this month, the Browns fired former defensive coordinator Joe Woods, after the team finished 7-10 on the season.
2:30 p.m. – Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski introduces the new coach.
– “We were NFL fans,” Schwartz said of his family, saying he started off as unpaid intern with the Browns organization. “I was young then. I got my PHD in football-ology learning from Bill Belichick and the Browns.”
-“If you had a sharp pencil and could keep your ears open and your mouth shut, you could learn a lot,” he remembered. “It was a great experience for a young coach. Every waking moment was about the club.”
-By the time he was done he said he was making $20,000 a year.
-Schwartz recalled working with now Alabama coach Nick Saban back then, saying he learned so much from him.
-The new coach regaled reporters with his “sandwich” story where he stole Belichick’s meat as a young intern.
-“I’ve been back quite a few times, but it’s changed a lot since then, obviously. Tonight, I just got here last night, and it’s a great facility, it makes it easy to do your work as a coach.”
-He described Browns GM Andrew Berry as “unflappable.” He also said he has a lot of respect for Stefanski, who worked his way up through the league as well.
-“I’ll keep an open mind,” Schwartz said of the new team and his approach to the next season.
-“There’s not a whole lot here that a good high school coach couldn’t come up with, but that’s not the secret sauce,” he said.
-“You learn from your failures, failure is a wicked teacher,” he said, remembering his first jobs and how he’s grown as a coach.
-“I’m a big fan of information, I’m going to take whatever we can get,” he admitted, talking about analytics being used in the game. “It’s an important took, but I do think it’s not paint by numbers, that’s never made a good artist. Sometimes it’s use some structure within you’re doing.”
-“What an honor it is to be both back in Ohio, when the team left to Baltimore I went with them, we all knew it wasn’t goodbye, it was just ‘until we see you again.’ We want to coach where fans are passionate. I’ve had some great stops with that, so you embrace that part of it … I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility to the fans here to get this right and to reward them,” he said.