The offseason started off very interesting for the Cleveland Browns and then stalled out very quickly. First, the team fired DC Joe Woods. They interviewed a quality set of candidates from around the league before hiring Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator.
With two teams still not decided on their head coaches, the rest of the coaching carousel has slowly spun with a few coordinators being hired but very little other change.
At this point, Cleveland would go into the season with Schwartz coordinating the defense but with Woods’ staff underneath him. In his introductory press conference, Schwartz noted that the defensive staff would be HC Kevin Stefanski’s and not specifically decided by Schwartz.
While there were rumors that Jeff Howard would be kept on, news came that he was interviewing with the Los Angeles Chargers. Friday, he was hired as their linebackers coach:
Chargers hiring Jeff Howard to coach LBs, per source. Former #Browns DB assistant also had an offer from Carolina. https://t.co/ItKBYxP52a— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) February 10, 2023
It is likely the Browns approved Howard’s interview.
Moving from defensive backs to linebackers is an interesting transition. He spent two seasons assisting with linebackers in Minnesota but has been primarily connected to DBs throughout his coaching career starting with Texas Tech in 2011, after a short stint coaching high school.
Once the Super Bowl is over and the head coaching vacancies are filled, expect Schwartz and Stefanski to finalize their coaching roster in advance of the NFL combine at the end of the month.