Browns DC Jim Schwartz has his players inspired and ready for Steelers on MNF
Speculating after week one of the NFL season is probably not the best approach to forming solid opinions but in the case of Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, it may be okay to say that he has helped create a new mentality on the defensive side of the ball for the Brown that hasn’t been seen in 30 years. That could spell huge success this season and beyond.
Cleveland’s defense was dominating against the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago when they won 24-3 and nearly registered a shutout. Schwartz’s defense completely shut down Cincinnati, only allowing them six first downs and 143 measly yards.
The NFL now is starting to take notice and the Browns are in multiple conversations across the sports world.
They will be under the lights of Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight, and they will have that next chance at solidifying their new reputation of having a stellar defense.
Schwartz spoke of his team’s mentality recently in interviews and talked a lot about finding that consistent effort every week.
Asked #Browns DC Jim Schwartz if he saw enough of the intangibles he's looking for (effort, passion) in Week 1.
"It's just a start…We want to carry over the effort and the toughness and the swag and badassery and all those things…our challenge is to do it again this week." pic.twitter.com/1596DAkHH6
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) September 15, 2023
The Browns defense has many talented players, including Myles Garrett, Za’Darius Smith, Dalvin Tomlinson, Denzel Ward, Martin Emerson and Rodney McLeod. There’s a good mix of veterans and youth right now. They also have more depth in the unit and Schwartz is using all these players and keeping them fresh.
He had Garrett all over the field in Week 1. Browns fans are used to seeing Garrett line up on the edge and try to bulldoze his way through a double team. Schwartz instead had Garrett sprinkled all over. He was playing the edge, lined up as a linebacker, or dropping in pass coverage. I look for a similar game plan against the Steelers. Pittsburgh played a horrible game a week ago and got hammered by the San Francisco 49ers 30-7. Cleveland could really slam the door on the Steelers with an inspired defense again.
I was asked recently by a Steeler analyst where the Browns weaknesses were on defense and I honestly couldn’t think of one. My guess is that this defense doesn’t think that they have a weakness either right now. The unit played with such passion and confidence in Week 1 that you just don’t see that type of effort slipping away. Winning helps a lot in this equation and if this Browns team can keep winning, that confidence will grow and be even harder to break.
Schwartz also talks about about taking it one week at a time. He said it was nice that the team won against the Bengals, but he felt they must carry over their efforts into the Monday night game against Pittsburgh if they wanna show consistency. Winning the week ahead is all that matters in the NFL and Schwartz understands that he’s teaching these guys to play collectively as a unit and in the end that can pay off big time as his team strives for a Super Bowl.