Jim Schwartz Interview With Cleveland Browns Bad News For Eagles

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Cleveland Browns are undergoing yet another change trying to get leadership that works well with Baker Mayfield and his incredible ability to drag his teammates and his fans in the media.

One of their candidates in their search for a new head coach is Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that Schwartz’s interview with the Browns will happen on Wednesday.

While many fans might rejoice to that news, and many already have, the Eagles are likely to be worse off without him.

Ask yourself a few questions about this potential change.

If they go the internal route, would you want Cory Undlin elevated to defensive coordinator?

Would you want Wade Phillips to take over and implement a 3-4 system on a team flush with defensive ends and weak at linebacker?

Objectively, Schwartz’s four seasons have allowed points on the 11th, 2nd, 23rd and 9th lowest percentage of drives. The 23rd ranked season is, of course, the one that Schwartz played multiple games with all his corners freshly signed off the streets.

At the same time, Phillips, in his three seasons with the Rams, 8th, 22nd and 8th in the same category. That was with players like Aaron Donald, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler, Jalen Ramsey and Ndamukong Suh.

While the quality of the defensive lineman could certainly be the same or perhaps even in the Eagles favor, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone arguing that the talent Phillips has had at linebacker and corner are not better than what Jim Schwartz has worked with in his tenure in Philadelphia with nearly the same results in that category.

Schwartz has had the Eagles defense giving up just 1.821 points per drive over his four year tenure, good for 9th in the league over that stretch, again with half a season of corners off the street mixed in there. Phillips had the more talented secondary and linebacking corps in Los Angeles averaging 1.88 in his three seasons.

For those interested, removing the 2018 season with the street corners, Schwartz has had the Eagles defense giving up just 1.805 points per drive – good for seventh lowest over those three seasons.

All this is meant to say is that no matter how frustrating Schwartz’s defense can be to watch, there are very few defenses that have performed better than the Eagles unit has under the defensive coordinator. His defenses keep points low, and that’s more meaningful than any other statistic for a defense.

Beside Phillips, there really aren’t any defensive geniuses out there and the Eagles would likely sign someone who has never served as a defensive coordinator before – and the Eagles have shown a propensity to promote within at that level.

Schwartz is an ideal coordinator – he’s someone who may not have had a ton of success as a head coach, but when focused on one side of the ball, he can create a top-ten unit.

His units aren’t typically the most dominant in the league and that makes him an option for less coaching positions, but his units are more than good enough to win games, especially with a head coach who is skilled on the opposite side of the field and can create a top unit there. It is a situation that creates success and stability.

If the Browns seriously consider Schwartz, the Eagles are in big trouble.