The Cleveland Browns officially announced and introduced Jim Schwartz as the team’s new defensive coordinator today. Schwartz’s press conference was a long winding road of stories about his previous time in Cleveland and things that he has learned along the way.
When questions finally turned to the present and future, Schwartz wasn’t fully committed to too many things but shared enough about his philosophies and thoughts on a couple of topics. He made it clear he expects to get even more out of DE Myles Garrett and talked about his history with great defensive lines.
While we think many Browns fans will love the stories, baseball analogies and, as we shared previously, his spunk, Schwartz’s thoughts on size at linebacker will not endear him to many fans.
While fans yearn and beg for the return of a big thumper at linebacker, Schwartz noted that he doesn’t think size matters at the position. The player he referenced in his comments, Tennessee Titans LB David Long Jr. (pictured above), weighs “215 pounds” according to Schwartz but is a great player. When Long came into the league, Long measured at 5’11” and 227 pounds.
Interestingly, Long is set to hit free agency this offseason.
While Cleveland obviously needs to improve on the defensive line, especially at defensive tackle, it will be interesting how Schwartz’s comments play out at the linebacker position. If the line in front of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and whoever returns among the free agents like Anthony Walker Jr. and Sione Takitaki, will the linebacker play also improve?
Sometimes words and actions don’t match up. Maybe Schwartz was throwing up smoke screens for the team’s real goal at linebacker but, watching the press conference live, it seemed that he was just speaking his truths. If true, don’t expect the team to prioritize a bigger player over a smaller player just because of size.