The Browns on Wednesday named Jim Schwartz, who's coached some of the top defenses in the NFL in the last two decades, as their next defensive coordinator.
Schwartz comes to Cleveland after spending the last two seasons as a senior defensive assistant with the Titans. He has previously been a defensive coordinator with the Titans, Bills and Eagles and managed to build top 10 defensive groups with each of those teams during his tenures.
"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," head coach Kevin 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 was the first of four candidates interviewed for the opening.
Schwartz has spent 12 total years with the Titans, beginning as a defensive assistant in 1999 when the Titans advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV. He was a linebackers coach in 2000 and defensive coordinator from 2001-08. During his eight years as a defensive coordinator, the Titans defense contained several Pro Bowl players, including Keith Bulluck, Kevin Carter, Cortland Finnegan, Albert Haynesworth, Chris Hope, Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch. The Titans ranked in the top 7 in the league in total defense in 2007 and 2008 under Schwartz and also made it to the AFC Championship game in 2002.
In his first year back with the Titans in 2021, Tennessee finished second in the NFL in rush defense and allowed just 84.6 yards per game.
Schwartz became a head coach for the first time in 2009 when he was hired by the Lions a year after Detroit went 0-16. The Lions steadily improved in their first three seasons under Schwartz and went 10-6 in 2011, which resulted in their first playoff appearance since 1999. Their defense also led the NFL and set a franchise record with seven return touchdowns (five interceptions and two fumbles).
Schwartz was given his second stint as a defensive coordinator with the Bills in 2014. That season, Buffalo ranked fourth in the league with 312.2 yards allowed per game and led the league with 54 sacks. Three Bills players set career-highs in sacks that season in Mario Williams (14.5), Marcell Dareus (10.0) and Jerry Hughes (10.0). Williams, Dareus and Kyle Williams were each named Pro Bowlers that season.
From 2016-20, Schwartz was the defensive coordinator for the Eagles and helped pilot their defense to their win in Super Bowl LII in 2018 over Tom Brady and the Patriots. Philadelphia's defense finished fourth in the league that season in yards allowed per game (306.5) and points allowed per game (18.4). They also led the NFL in red zone defense in 2019.
Schwartz has coached multiple interior defensive linemen to Pro Bowls and first-team All-Pro selections during his stints as a defensive coordinator and head coach, including Dareus, Fletcher Cox, Ndamukong Suh and Haynesworth.
Schwartz, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, began his NFL career as a personnel scout for the Browns from 1993-95. He also was an outside linebackers coach for the Ravens from 1996-98.