Kevin Stefanski believes Jim Schwartz will get the best out of Browns defense

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – The Browns defense doesn’t lack for talent, yet they struggled to consistently produce positive results the last two years.

That was the driving force behind Kevin Stefanski’s decision to make a change at defensive coordinator following a disappointing 7-10 season.

Wednesday, Stefanski and the Browns made the hire of Jim Schwartz official, a day after tabbing him as Joe Woods’ successor.

“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,” Stefanski said. “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 will be introduced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Schwartz, a former personnel scout for the Browns from 1993-1995, returns to where it all began for him to take on his fourth job as a defensive coordinator.

Schwartz was the Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator between 2001-2008, Buffalo’s in 2014 and Philadelphia’s from 2016-2020 where he helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl.

Schwartz entered the NFL coaching ranks with the move to Baltimore in 1996 as the Ravens outside linebackers coach. Aside from his stint in Detroit, Schwartz has spent his NFL career working on the defensive side of the football.

Schwartz also spent five years as head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-2013 where he inherited an 0-16 team and led them to the playoffs in his third season with a 10-6 finish in 2011.

Browns executive vice president of football operations and general manager Andrew Berry got to see Schwartz at work in 2019 when Berry worked in Philadelphia.

This past season, defensive players bemoaned frequent communication breakdowns and confusion that led to big plays, and ultimately losses.

A lack of discipline and meaningful accountability also held the Browns back in 2022, something Stefanski is confident won’t be an issue under Schwartz, who brings with him a fiery personality and will command respect from his players.

Schwartz has a history of turning defensive units around in rapid fashion.

In Philadelphia, the Eagles ranked 30th in yards and 28th in points prior to his arrival. They improved to 13th and 12th respectively in his first year and fourth in both during his second season.

With the Bills, Schwartz helped Buffalo end the 2014 season ranked fourth in the NFL in points and yards allowed per game while ranking third in takeaways.

Stefanski and the Browns are counting on similar results in Cleveland this fall.

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