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5 things to know about Jim Schwartz

Schwartz arrives in Cleveland with decades of successful coaching experience


Head coach Kevin Stefanski has selected Jim Schwartz, a well-seasoned coaching veteran with ample defensive success on multiple teams, as the Browns' new defensive coordinator.

Here's five things to know about the newest coaching addition in Cleveland.

1. A Super Bowl pedigree

Schwartz has appeared in three Super Bowls over the course of his coaching career, which will enter its third decade this season. Arguably his best season as a defensive coordinator occurred six years ago when he commanded the Eagles to a Super Bowl win over Tom Brady and the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Schwartz's defense ranked fourth in the league that season in points allowed per game (18.4) and yards allowed per game (306.4). The Eagles also led the league in rush defense (79.2 yards allowed per game) that season, which was one of the biggest areas of improvement the Browns will look to address from last year.

Schwartz was also a defensive assistant for the Titans in 1999 when they appeared in Super Bowl XXXIV. Two years later, he became their defensive coordinator for the next eight seasons.

2. Pro career started in Cleveland

Schwartz's coaching career began in 1993 as a personnel assistant for Bill Belichick in a staff that included five other coaches who eventually became an NFL or college head coach. The group included Nick Saban, Kirk Ferentz, Al Groh and Eric Mangini. Ozzie Newsome, Mike Tannenbaum and Thomas Dimitrof were also on the staff and went on to become high-level NFL executives.

3. Head coaching experience

Schwartz was a head coach for five years with the Lions from 2009-13. He inherited the team one year after they went 0-16 and transformed them into a playoff team three years later in 2011 when the Lions went 10-6 and appeared in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The Lions defense improved from 32nd in the league in Schwartz's first season to 23rd in their playoff year in 2011 and 15th in his final season in Detroit in 2013.

4. Maximizing D-Line talent

Schwartz has coached four All-Pro defensive tackles in his career in Albert Haynesworth, Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus and Fletcher Cox. Each of those guys were already considered excellent interior players, and Schwartz found ways to maximize their strengths beyond just Pro Bowl honors. He's well-known at scheming defensive linemen to efficiently attack the QB, which helped the Bills lead the league with 54 sacks when Schwartz was their defensive coordinator in 2014. The Eagles also finished seventh in the league in sacks across Schwartz's five-year tenure as a defensive coordinator.

5. An All-Pro DT called him a 'mastermind'

One of Schwartz's All-Pro defensive tackles had high praise for how he used his skills after he switched to a different team.

That player was Haynesworth, who was a Pro Bowl and All-Pro talent in 2007 and 2008 under the direction of Schwartz. Both Schwartz and Haynesworth departed Tennessee after the 2008 season, with Schwartz taking his head coaching gig in Detroit and Haynesworth signing with the Redskins in free agency. Haynesworth, however, was never as effective in Washington as he was in Tennessee and lasted just three more seasons in the league. In 2015, Haynesworth wrote for The Players’ Tribune in a letter to his younger self that, "your defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is a mastermind. No matter how much I tell you this, you'll probably never realize it until your career is over, but it's true."