BEREA, Ohio — The Cleveland Browns are looking to turn their defense around in the 2023 season, and that started with hiring a new defensive coordinator. After interviewing several candidates, the Browns opted to move forward with Jim Schwartz, according to a league source.
Schwartz, a longtime defensive coordinator, most recently served as the Titans' senior defensive assistant, hired by the team in 2021. Before his role with the Titans, Schwartz worked as a defensive coordinator for the Titans from 2001 to 2008, the Bills in 2014 and the Eagles from 2016-20, winning a Super Bowl in 2017 with the Eagles.
The Browns and Schwartz have ties, as he worked as a personnel scout for the club from 1993-95. He has also spent time coaching defenses for the Ravens and was the head coach of the Lions from 2009-13.
Cleveland was searching for a new defensive coordinator after firing Joe Woods the day after the regular season concluded following three seasons with him at the helm. Woods' last two seasons were rocky, and the organization felt it in their best interest to part ways.
Schwartz interviewed for the position on Wednesday in Berea. The Browns went on to interview other candidates including Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores and Seahawks associate head coach and defensive assistant Sean Desai.
With Schwartz, his defensive approach is not all that different from Woods, allowing the Browns to have some consistency in the way their personnel is structured. He is, however, known for his ability to exploit mismatches and use the athleticism of his defensive lineman to beat opposing offensive linemen. He doesn't have a high blitz rate but with his ability to take advantage of his D-Line, the pressure from the front four is often enough to work while maintaining coverage across the field.
Ultimately, the Browns opted to reunite with Schwartz.
The deal has not been completed at this time, but if everything goes to plan, Schwartz should soon sign his contract and take over the defense and get to work on righting the ship for the 2023 season.
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