The Cleveland Browns made so many moves this offseason that there are times when it is hard to remember them all. They still may have a big move for WR DeAndre Hopkins left but NFL free agency and the NFL draft brought some huge changes for the roster.
The bigger changes may have come prior to the start of the NFL offseason with the firings of DC Joe Woods and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. Replacing those two with Jim Schwartz and Bubba Ventrone are thought to be huge upgrades.
How big of upgrades is left to be determined. GM Andrew Berry seemed to change direction on defense to fit what Schwartz wanted while a few free agents were added, or retained, to specifically help on special teams.
According to Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report, the addition of Schwartz (along with the talent added for him) could be worth an extra four wins for the Browns:
2022 Record: 7-10 Projected 2023 Record: 11-6 Difference: +4
Yet the consistent issues found under previous defensive coordinator Joe Woods undermined any progress.
Jim Schwartz’s hire brings a proven defensive scheme coupled with a more aggressive approach.
Sobleski covered Cleveland’s team for years before focusing on the NFL draft and national coverage. It is likely that he, along with many fans, can remember a number of games that should have ended in the Browns favor had the defense not been an embarrassment.
A four-game improvement would not be credited to Schwartz alone. The return to form of QB Deshaun Watson is the key to the franchise's future but having a defense (and special teams) that is at a minimum competent should go a long way.
While the NFL Network list did not include Schwartz, we’d agree with Sobleski that his addition as the defensive coordinator should go a long way toward making sure the defense doesn’t lose the team games and, maybe, wins a game or two for the orange and brown.