Browns hire fiery Jim Schwartz to fix their busted defense


BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Jim Schwartz has always worn his passion on his sleeve, once famously chasing Jim Harbaugh with bad intentions following a game.

He’ll demand his Cleveland defense pursue the football with equal verve.

Schwartz, who has had three past stints in the NFL as defensive coordinator, was officially hired Wednesday to fix the Browns’ defense, which was mostly responsible for a disappointing 7-10 season.

The 56-year-old Schwartz brings a track record of toughness to Cleveland. The former Detroit head coach previously was a defensive coordinator with Tennessee, Buffalo and Philadelphia, winning a Super Bowl with the Eagles in 2017.

He spent the past two seasons as a senior defensive assistant with the Titans.

“He knows how to get the best out of his players and will match scheme to suit strengths,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said. “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.”

The Browns began their search for a new coordinator after Stefanski fired Joe Woods following the season finale in Pittsburgh. Schwartz was the first of four candidates to interview.

Cleveland also met with Steelers senior defensive assistant Brian Flores, Eagles passing game coordinator Dennard Wilson and Seahawks associate head coach Sean Desai.

Schwartz began his pro career as a scout with the Browns in the 1990s, when Bill Belichick was Cleveland’s coach and his staff included Nick Saban and Kirk Ferentz.

After making the switch to coaching, Schwartz spent 12 years with the Titans before taking over the Lions in 2009, one season after they went 0-16. He led them to the playoffs in his third season.

Following a game against San Francisco in 2011, Schwartz became upset with Harbaugh, who slapped the coach’s back after a quick postgame handshake. Schwartz went after Harbaugh as the teams poured into the tunnel off the field in Detroit.


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