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Schwartz gets on-the-job training

Posted May 22, 2013

Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz is a student of the game and tries to learn as much as he can from left tackle Joe Thomas.

Cleveland Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is a student of the game of football.

When it comes to learning how to be an offensive lineman at the professional level, Schwartz has focused on improving his “foundation of technical skills” by studying his film and that of six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas.

“He’s a really good athlete,” Schwartz said of Thomas. “He’s really strong and all that stuff, but technique-wise, it’s the same every time. You know what you’re getting from him every time, and as a player, you should strive to be that way. You want to be the same every time. That’s the end goal.”

Schwartz started each of the Browns’ 16 regular-season games last year and, through his blocking, helped quarterback Brandon Weeden and running back Trent Richardson break or equal a combined eight franchise rookie records.

During the offseason, Schwartz spent time working on his craft with his older brother, Geoff, who plays offensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs.

“(It’s about) becoming stronger in general, becoming a better athlete, working on yourself,” Schwartz said. “Once OTAs roll around, it’s just finding that rhythm with your feet in pass-pro (pass protection), making sure your footwork’s down in the run game, good hand placement. It’s good to get back in the flow of it to make it seem like it hasn’t been that long.

“The beginning of (last) year wasn’t good, and it slowly got better. Now, it’s just not really reverting back to anything. This game coming up is Game 17. You don’t want to step down to where you were earlier. You want to just keep progressing with it.”

Part of the progression for Schwartz is “learning the new terminology and understanding the rhythm of the offense.”

Offensive line coaches George Warhop and Mike Sullivan are in charge of getting the Browns’ blockers on the same page within offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s scheme.

“It’s been great so far,” Schwartz said. “I think we’re looking good out there, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

“Coach Hop has been wildly successful wherever he’s been, and he was here last year. It was my first year, so it’s great to have the same guy for back-to-back years. Coach Sullivan has been a huge help. A couple of new things came from San Diego with Coach Turner, and he’s been able to help us out, and he’s another set of great eyes out there. He does a great job in the meeting room and on the field with us.”

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