Is Jim Schwartz Still a Candidate for Browns Job?
The Philadelphia Eagles already parted ways with two coaches this week, now, former offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch, but it doesn't look like they'll lose their defensive coordinator, unless Doug Pederson decides to cut ties with him.
On Wednesday, Jim Schwartz interviewed to be the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Now that doesn't appear to be the case, with the Browns leaning towards an offensive mind to pair up with Baker Mayfield.
They seem to be looking at New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski being the top-two choices per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Schwartz staying in Philadelphia for his fifth season would allow the Eagles defense the type of continuity to continuing being one of the top units in the league during his tenure. Schwartz has received some criticism for the Eagles "sticks" defensive look on third-and-long situations, and their perceived propensity over giving up big plays in the secondary.
That perception isn't exactly accurate.
In 2019, the Eagles were fifth best defense in the league on third down, giving up just 4.6 conversions per game on average, and allowing teams to convert just 35 percent of the time.
"Jim has done an outstanding job with our defense, obviously, and the improvement that we saw throughout the course of this season," Eagles head coach said on Wednesday.
"I'm excited for him and his opportunity and wish him the best."
In fact over the past three season they have been a Top 10 defense in that category, ranking:
In his 4 years as coordinator when you combine the regular season and the playoffs, Schwartz's defense gives up 16.1 points per game at home, which is the fewest in NFL and 20.4 points per game overall with is fifth fewest in the league. During his time in Philly, his defenses have allowed over 30 points just eight times since 2016, a total of 70 games.
If Schwartz were to leave Philadelphia for Cleveland, there aren't many attractive options to bring in to be the new head of the defense. One name that just became available is former Rams coordinator Wade Phillips, who was let go after the Rams finished with the 17th ranked defense. The Eagles were 15th in total defense, and didn't trade for Jalen Ramsey or have Aaron Donald, like the Rams did.
Some other names include former Carolina, Denver and Chicago head coach John Fox, Vikings DC George Edwards, Cowboys DC Kris Richard and current defensive special assistant, Matt Burke.
Like Schwartz or not, he does a good job with the talent he has, given the injuries the Eagles have had to overcome during his time. If any average coordinator were given the injuries the Eagles have had to deal with, it could be ugly for the defense.
The Eagles won a Super Bowl with Schwartz leading the defense, and sure they gave up a ton of yards and points in the big game, but it was his defense that helped lead the team to victory over Atlanta in the Divisional Round, giving up just 10 points, and his defense that gave up just seven points in the Conference Championship game.
Does Schwartz frustrate you sometimes? Sure.
However, he is widely considered one of the best in the league, and would be a tremendous loss for the Eagles to have to replace, especially with no clear candidate waiting in the wings.