Jim Schwartz Is The Answer For Browns Defensive Woes

Jim Schwartz Is The Answer For Browns Defensive Woes

Mac Blank
1 year ago
3 min read
Tennessee Titans' Jim Schwartz looks on during practice

After a very frustrating year on defense for the Browns, head coach Kevin Stefanski decided to make the call and fire defensive coordinator Joe Woods. The firing was deserved after many blow leads, the run defense being a mess, and overall miscommunication on that side of the ball. 

General manager Andrew Berry and company have built themselves a very long list of candidates and began interviews this week. Among those names, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins and current Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores is reportedly the favorite to land the job.

While Flores would be an excellent hire for the team, Jim Schwartz is the best fit for this Cleveland Browns defense.

Looking at a glance, it’s easy to see why Flores would be both the favorite pick within the building and among the fans. His scheme is mostly based around bringing constant pressure and playing man coverage, something Joe Woods was heavily criticized for during his tenure. 

Not to mention his strong presence in the locker room and infectious energy on the field.  

Not only was Flores about to breathe life into a 2020 Miami Dolphins team that was supposed to be in rebuild mode, but his defense at the time was first in the league in turnovers. Again, complete opposite from what fans in Cleveland has seen the past three years with Wood’s defense never ranking higher than 18th in the league in that category. 

Of course it’s normal for teams to look for a coaching candidate that’s completely opposite from the last, just as someone looks for a polar opposite of their most recent ex.

Putting this situation under a microscope, its clear Jim Schwartz fits exactly what this defense needs. 

The two most glaring issues this past year with the Browns defense were poor run fits and nonexistent pressure to the opposing quarterback. 

The most impressive thing about Jim Schwartz resume is how consistently stout his teams run defense has been. Seven times in his coaching career has his defense been top five against the run, including this past year as Tennessee had their second best rush yards given up per game at 76.9 yards per game. 

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To put that in perspective, the Browns defense gave up over 150 rushing yards seven times last season. Being able to consistently be the best in the league against the run with multiple teams should be a green flag for this front office.

Another part of Jim Schwartz' scheme that should interest Cleveland is his use of the "Wide 9" technique in pass rush situations. This is where the defensive end or edge rusher lines up two whole gaps further outside than normal in a cocked angle. Normally, he would be outside shade of the tackle, but instead he lines up outside shade of the tight end or where the tight end would be. 

This gives the rusher and easier path to the quarterback as well as makes the offensive tackles task of pass blocking more difficult, as they now have to get deep in their pass set quicker than they would if they were facing a normal rush. Imagine making Myles Garrett’s job easier. 

With more pressure in an opposing quarterbacks face, the more likely the defense is to force a turnover. This is huge considering the Browns were bottom of the league in turnovers, sacks, and pressures. 

Overall, you can’t go wrong with either choice. Both are immense upgrades from a coaching standpoint and would improve the defense drastically. 

Luckily, the Browns have jumped on the opportunity to hire a defensive coordinator early, as some teams are still looking for their new head coach. Who will end up getting the job is still remained to be seen, but if it’s one of the two guys talked about above, the Browns defense is in good hands.   

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