Last Thursday night at the NFL Honors Awards in Las Vegas Nevada, Jim Schwartz won the Assistant Coach of the Year Award. He was one of four Cleveland Browns winning awards that night, each award was well deserved including his.
Schwartz was hired as the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator in February of 2023. He was charged with turning around a defense that underperformed in the 2022 season. He took a mediocre defense in 2022 to top in NFL in 2023. He was able to elevate three players to Pro Bowl seasons.
DE Myles Garett, CB Denzel Ward, and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah were named to the NFL Pro Bowl representing the AFC. They were a total of seven Browns Pro Bowler in 2023. Three of them were on defense. Some people argued that the Browns defense did not play as well on the road last season. The simple points allowed on the road stat is misleading.
In four of the eight road games the Browns offense gave up opposing points to turnovers or put the defense in an extremely short field for the opposing offense. In Pittsburgh turnovers attributed to 14 points for the Steelers, At Baltimore a muffed punt and a pick six attributed to 14 Ravens points. In Denver turnovers led to double digit Broncos points. And In Los Angels two fourth quarter turnovers gave the Rams 16 points. The Browns defense was the best in the NFL last year.
The Jim Schwartz led Browns defense was the best at yards allowed. They averaged giving up only 270.2 yards a game. Schwartz was once a head coach of the Detroit Lions and his career started with the Cleveland Browns in the early 90’s as an intern. It is only fitting that he won this award. The only trophy that will be more fitting is a Lombardi Trophy!