Jim Schwartz

Latest On Browns’ Coaching Search

Part 1 of the final leg of Browns interviews took place Wednesday, with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz sitting down with team brass. Despite being a late entry into this process, Schwartz continues to gain steam.

The former Lions head coach is a legitimate candidate to land this job, per Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta, who is running this search, already has a good relationship with Schwartz, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (video link).

Kevin Stefanski is up next, with that interview set to take place Thursday in Minneapolis. Stefanski impressed during two interviews for this job last year, but Rapoport notes that while John Dorsey ran the search that ended with Freddie Kitchens, owner Jimmy Haslam also nixed a potential Stefanski-Browns union. While DePodesta now has greater say in how the Browns proceed here, Haslam certainly still will make the call.

Josh McDaniels‘ interview remains on for Friday. The longtime Patriots OC has interviewed with his hometown team twice before. Although McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration for the Browns job in 2014 and backed out of a Colts agreement four years later, Rapoport adds that the 43-year-old assistant “definitely wants” this job. However, he may no longer be the favorite.

The Browns have interviewed several others in this search, which is slated to be an eight-interview process. But at this point it would be a bit of a surprise if one of these final three did not end up with the job. The team is aiming to have a coach by Saturday. Here is where the Browns’ process stands as of Wednesday night, courtesy of PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Notes: Schwartz, WRs, Groh, Staff

In a rookie receiver class that included big seasons from A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and others, the Eagles did not get much from second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The Stanford prospect caught 10 passes for 169 yards, even as the team losing each of its starters created consistent opportunities. The Eagles bypassed Metcalf for Arcega-Whiteside, but Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes the team placed a higher grade on the eventual Seahawks starter. But Metcalf having failed an Eagles physical meant the team did not want to use a second-round pick on him, McLane adds. Metcalf amassed 900 regular-season receiving yards and posted 160 in Seattle’s win over Philadelphia in Round 1. Regardless, the Eagles will likely be linked to first-round wideouts this year. The Eagles are “all over” this year’s wideout and cornerback classes, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

Here is the latest from Philadelphia:

  • The Eagles restructured Alshon Jeffery‘s deal to create 2019 cap space, guaranteeing the veteran receiver’s $9.9MM 2020 salary. It would cost the Eagles more than $26MM to release the soon-to-be 30-year-old target, but McLane notes offset language is included in Jeffery’s deal. It is unclear, however, how much the Eagles would save if another team signed Jeffery after a release. Howie Roseman has done well in recent years to create roster-improvement avenues for the Eagles. But with Jeffery and 33-year-old DeSean Jackson‘s money nearly fully guaranteed, the veteran GM may need to get creative to improve Philly’s wideout situation.
  • Roseman appeared to hint at the Eagles’ window closing with their current nucleus, and McLane expects the team to cut ties with some regulars to infuse the roster with younger talent (Twitter link). Roseman projects the Eagles to hold 10 draft picks in April, meaning three compensatory selections, and held off dealing two first-round picks for Jalen Ramsey because of Carson Wentz‘s contract requiring more rookie-deal salaries on the roster (Twitter links via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo and SI.com’s Albert Breer). Roseman has been aggressive on acquiring veterans for draft picks in recent years; the Eagles may change up that strategy in 2020. They currently have 11 starters under contract who are over 30 or will be by year’s end.
  • Jim Schwartz interviewed for the Browns’ HC job on Wednesday, but the Eagles would like him to stay. Doug Pederson would like him to return for a fifth season as Philly’s DC, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Pederson was clear on the statuses of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wideouts coach Carson Walch, indicating (via ESPN.com’s Tim McManus, on Twitter) both will be back next season. Pederson, however, added all of the Eagles’ staffers remain under evaluation. Despite Schwartz’s interview with Cleveland and Pederson’s declarative statement on Groh and Wach, McLane sees the DC as being more likely to be back than the offensive staffers (Twitter link). It was obviously a rough year for Eagles wide receivers. And Groh’s offense — likely as a result of the frequent starter unavailability — ranked 14th in DVOA in his second season at the helm.

Latest On Browns’ HC Search

The Browns are no longer competing with any team for coaching candidates, with the Panthers and Giants having made their choices. However, neither hired a coach the Browns were considering. Both were linked to Josh McDaniels, who remains set to interview with the Browns on Friday.

But with Jim Schwartz entering the derby and Kevin Stefanski remaining a Browns target, McDaniels’ status as frontrunner may be slipping. The Patriots offensive coordinator may not have the edge Schwartz or Stefanski, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link).

Stefanski wowed Browns brass in his 2019 interview, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer adds. But then-GM John Dorsey promoted Freddie Kitchens instead. With Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta running this year’s search, the team appears to be seeking analytically geared coaches. Schwartz and Stefanski profile as embracing analytics, per Rapoport.

McDaniels, however, still has support in the Browns building, Cabot notes, adding that DePodesta and ex-Browns exec Andrew Berry (now with the Eagles) would be interested in a reunion. However, Cabot points to said reunion being most likely to commence with Stefanski as the head coach.

McDaniels’ interview will occur Friday — two days after Schwartz’s and one day after Stefanski’s. A northeast Ohio native, the 43-year-old McDaniels has interviewed with the Browns twice before. He met with the Browns during previous owner Randy Lerner‘s tenure in 2009, but the team hired Eric Mangini. McDaniels withdrew his name from consideration after interviewing in 2014, when current owner Jimmy Haslam was in charge. The Browns conducted a lengthy search in 2014; McDaniels was once believed to be the favorite during that process as well. The Browns want to make their hire by Saturday, so second interviews do not appear to be on tap.

Here is where the Browns’ process stands as of Tuesday night, courtesy of PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Browns’ Coaching Search

The game of head coaching musical chairs has left the Browns without a seat (er, head coach). After the Redskins, Cowboys, Panthers, and Giants got their men, the Browns are forging ahead with their own search. 

The Browns plan to interview Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz on Wednesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. After that, they’ll chat with Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on Thursday and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on Friday, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

Schwartz, who once served as the Lions’ head coach, has been the Eagles’ DC since 2016. His first NFL job came with the (original) Browns, where he served as a scout from 1993-95.

The Browns don’t necessarily have to rush to make a hire now that the league’s four other openings have been addressed. Still, Schefter hears that they want to make their choice by Saturday.

Ron RiveraMike McCarthyMatt Rhule, and Joe Judge are all off the table, but the Browns still have plenty of candidates in consideration. Here’s the rundown, courtesy of PFR’s Head Coaching Search Tracker:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Interview Jim Schwartz

Add another name to the Browns’ interview-request list. The team is seeking permission to meet with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. An interview is expected to occur this week, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The former Lions head coach has been the Eagles’ DC since 2016. Schwartz’s first NFL job, however, came with the Browns. Prior to the original Browns morphing into the Ravens, Schwartz worked as a scout from 1993-95.

Schwartz, 53, was involved in the 2018 interview cycle but not much in last year’s. The Giants interviewed Schwartz in 2018. In 2016, the Browns were interested in bringing Schwartz to Cleveland as their defensive coordinator under Hue Jackson. Schwartz ultimately wound up in Philadelphia, where he oversaw the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl champion defense.

Under Schwartz, the Eagles finished 12th in defensive DVOA. They ranked fourth, fifth and 15th from 2016-18, with the championship group ranking in the top 10 in both run- and pass-defense DVOA. This year’s Eagles were fourth in run-defense DVOA, a staple of their recent defenses under Schwartz.

Following Schwartz’s five-year tenure in Detroit, he spent the 2014 season as Buffalo’s DC under Doug Marrone. Schwartz inherited one of the worst situations in modern coaching history, taking over a Lions team that had gone 0-16 in 2008, and elevated the team to the playoffs in 2011. Overall, Schwartz went just 29-51 as Lions HC. He joins a lengthy list of candidates connected to the Browns. Josh McDaniels is believed to be the favorite and will interview this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Bell, Schwartz, Garrett,

Jets running back Le’Veon Bell was part of one of the team’s most active offseason is in recent history. However, Bell may be putting on a new uniform as soon as next season, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. Bell is in the midst of the worst statistical season of his career. Cimini details the various hurdles that will limit New York’s flexibility in finding a new option.

Bell’s guarantees will make it unpalatable for the Jets to simply release Bell and so Cimini suggests a trade following the Jadeveon Clowney model that allows the Jets to incur a smaller cap hit, while recouping some compensation for the 27-year old running back.

Here’s some more from around the NFC East:

  • Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz may have the most power of any coordinator in the league, according to Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Schwartz has led one of the strongest defensive units in football over his tenure, but has insisted on maintaining a low profile. But, given the strength of the team’s success, the former Lions head coach may be in line for another opportunity at the helm of a franchise this offseason.
  • Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett held a meeting with the team’s players on Thursday where he took responsibility for some of the team’s recent shortcomings, according to Jane Slater of the NFL Network. Garrett has been on the hot seat for much of the season, although owner Jerry Jones has publicly remained confident in him, but has Dallas in the driver’s seat in the NFC East. According to Slater, the meeting was received well by the players and may be at least partially responsible for the team’s strong performance in their 35-27 victory in Detroit against the Lions.

NFC Notes: Schwartz, Matthews, Godwin, Panthers

This past offseason, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was often talked about as a potential target for teams with head coaching vacancies. He was floated as a candidate for several head coaching jobs, but didn’t get any of them.

Schwartz has seen his coaching career revitalized after a resurgent Eagles defense that he oversaw ended up winning the Super Bowl this past year. Schwartz was the head coach of the Lions from 2009 to 2013, and most people seem to think the recent success of the Eagles’ defense will land him another head coaching gig at some point.

In a recent article, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders how long the Eagles will be able to keep Schwartz, and opines that he’ll likely be gone sooner rather than later. McLane notes that Schwartz doesn’t seem particularly attached to the Eagles when he speaks to the press, and that he isn’t likely to be the type of coordinator that sticks around for many years. Schwartz isn’t really keeping it a secret that he wants to be a head coach again, and he’ll likely be moving on from the Eagles whenever the first opportunity presents itself.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Packers linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a broken nose during a charity softball game and had to be transported to the hospital (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). Matthews has already missed time during OTAs due to a knee injury, so the broken nose shouldn’t effect things too much.
  • Buccaneers second-year wide receiver Chris Godwin had an issue with his mouthguard last season that caused his breathing and stamina to suffer, reports Jenna Laine of ESPN (Twitter link). Laine notes that the issue has since been corrected and that she’s expecting “big things” from him in 2018. It’s significant because the Bucs have made it very clear they love Godwin, and the team could seek to get out of DeSean Jackson‘s contract after this year with Jackson having very little guaranteed money beyond this season.
  • Some NFL owners “dreamt” that the Panthers would sell for $3 billion, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Instead, the Panthers sold to Dave Tepper for $2.275 billion. Breer notes that if the Broncos, who have faced recent controversy surrounding their ownership, were to go up for sale it wouldn’t be “unrealistic” for them to get $3 billion. The value of NFL franchises continues to skyrocket, and the fact that some owners thought the Panthers might get $3 billion shows there’s no sign of the increase slowing down.

 

Coaching Rumors: Cardinals, McAdoo, Fins

The Cardinals interviewed two more head coach candidates today, but the search will continue into next week, according to Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports. The Cardinals have met with Steve Wilks and Keith Armstrong twice and will not need to interview current defensive coordinator James Bettcher another time because of his history with the organization. The team will also interview John DeFilippo and Brian Flores next week, per Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com (Twitter link).

In addition, Somer states that the team could look at giving Jim Schwartz a second interview, but Jurecki did not mention the Eagles defensive coordinator in his tweet. The search is mostly continuing because both the Eagles and Patriots will be playing in their respective conference championships, so depending on how the games shake out, Arizona could resolve their head coaching search by the end of next week.

Finally, Somers importantly notes that former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has recommended Bettcher and Armstrong among this pool of coaches the front office is considering.

Here are more a coaching notes from around the NFL:

  • In more Cardinals coaching staff news, now two former staffers have now left for new opportunities, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). In addition to former special teams coordinator Amos Jones moving onto the same position with the Browns, former wide receiver coach Darryl Drake has been hired by the Steelers.
  • Hue Jackson is adding an offensive coordinator to his staff and have interviewed former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo for the job. He interviewed with the Browns three days ago and apparently “It went fine”, a Browns source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Anderson adds that the source mentioned that they are “Just not going to rush into anything” after speaking to two candidates as of right now. Cleveland is also interviewing a high profile college coach in LSU’s RB coach Tommy Robinson for the same position on their staff, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • The Dolphins announced a slew of coaching moves today. The biggest apart from Dowell Loggains being brought on as offensive coordinator is former OC Clyde Christensen being reassigned as the team’s new director of football and player development. Shawn Jefferson was wide receivers coach, but will now be an assistant head coach working with the offense. They are also are promoting Ben Johnson to WR coach. He got experience with this group of players as an assistant WR coach last season.
  • The Bears have named Brock Olivo as the team’s new assistant special teams coach, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Olivo was the Broncos’ special teams coordinator last year and was with Matt Nagy on the Chiefs’ staff from 2014-16 as an assistant to special teams coordinator Dave Toub. He previously was a former running back for the Lions back in his playing days.
  • The Texans have promoted Anthony Midget to the team’s secondary coach, according to Mark Berman of Fox26 (Twitter link). Berman also notes that they have also hired Danny Barrett as the RB coach and Tracy Smith as an assistant special teams coach.

Coaching Rumors: Flores, Giants, Bears

Although finalists have emerged in the Giants and Colts’ HC searches, the Cardinals may be taking a more methodical approach. And despite Brian Flores lacking the coordinator experience others in the mix for the Arizona job do, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets the Patriots’ linebackers coach is very much a live candidate for the job. The Cardinals have interviewed Flores, incumbent DC James Bettcher, Pats DC Matt Patricia, Eagles DC Jim Schwartz, Vikings OC Pat Shurmur, Panthers DC Steve Wilks, Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak and Falcons ST coordinator Keith Armstrong. This franchise has cast the widest net yet in this year’s coaching carousel, so determining frontrunner status is a bit more complicated here than it is in the three other searches. Patricia’s name has been linked as a finalist with the Lions and Giants, however.

Here’s the latest from the coaching ranks:

  • With four HC vacancies remaining and the Giants reportedly identifying three finalists — Patricia, Shurmur and Josh McDaniels — the franchise might need a sleeper candidate if the aforementioned trio each takes a job elsewhere, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes the thinking is Schwartz is that mystery choice. The Giants requested an interview with the former Lions coach, but the sides couldn’t get one scheduled.
  • Patricia doesn’t plan on letting it slip which way he’s leaning until after the Patriots‘ season concludes, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link). The Patriots returning to the Super Bowl could put the Giants and Lions to difficult decisions, if Patricia indeed does not decide until season’s end. Rapoport speculates the Lions as perhaps a slight favorite here. The Lions may be going all-in on Patricia, Florio writes, to the point it’s unclear whom Detroit would tab if Patricia chose the Giants.
  • Chris Tabor will return to the Bears as their special teams coordinator, the team announced. Tabor coached the Browns’ ST units for the past seven seasons but prior to that served as Chicago’s assistant ST coordinator from 2008-10. Tabor made it through four coaching regimes in Cleveland, remaining on staff through the Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski, Mike Pettine and Hue Jackson runs.
  • Brock Olivo‘s first crack as a special teams coordinator did not go well, with the Broncos firing him after one season. But the Browns interviewed Olivo for the ST job open after the team let Tabor leave, Mike Klis of 9News tweets.
  • The Bears will hire Kevin Gilbride Jr. to coach their tight ends. The 39-year-old son of the retired OC, Gilbride coached under his father from 2010-13 and stayed on as Giants tight ends coach the past four seasons.

Latest On The Giants’ HC Search

The Giants have interviewed six candidates for their vacant head coach position and could start to be moving more quickly on completing their search in the next week. Of the six coaches they’ve interviewed, it appears that Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and Patriots’ coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia are the favorites to land the position, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.

Pat Shurmur (vertical)

All three candidates have garnered interest from around football and should either the Patriots or Vikings be eliminated from the playoffs this weekend, Vacchiano thinks that the “Giants could have a new coach in place by next week”. If both teams take care of business at home in the Divisional Round, the process will likely extend another two weeks as the Giants management tries to figure out a way to get one last meeting with their top choice, whoever that may be.

Shurmur and McDaniels look like natural fits for the job as they have an offensive background and previous head coaching experience. The team has been rumored to want experience in whoever they hire and could also want someone who has the ability to get the most out of a young quarterback, should they choose to draft either Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen with the number two overall selection in April’s draft. However, Patricia clearly impressed in his initial interview enough to have the Giants move away from their original checklist.

In a wrinkle to Vacchiano’s story, there could be another sleeper candidate lurking behind the scenes, reports Tom Rock and Bob Glauber of Newsday. A source told the writers that should all three candidates land other positions with the likes of Arizona, Detroit and Indianapolis, the team has a backup plan. While no names were given for who that prospective fourth coach could be, Rock and Glauber speculated that defensive coordinators Steve Wilks and Jim Schwartz could be options as well as Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who was passed over for the Bears head coaching gig.

New York has officially interviewed McDaniels, Patricia, Shurmur, Wilks, Steve Spagnuolo and Eric Studesville. They could also eventually interview Schwartz, even though his previously scheduled interview has been put on hold.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.