What They’re Saying About Jim Schwartz

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

Jim Schwartz. (USA Today Sports)

We wrote at length this morning about Jim Schwartz and the origin of his schemes, but there’s plenty of other good reading material on the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator. Here’s a sampling of some of that.

Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks profiled Schwartz’s life away from coaching last year, which included a job with the NFL and family time.

Schwartz’s first fall away from coaching in 20 years has been far from football-free. Besides taking in weekly NFL action on television, he has attended numerous high school and college games, including his son’s 9th-grade games and practices in Nashville, and has made a tour of sorts designed to pick the brains of coaches across a spectrum of sports, including Vanderbilt men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings, who has become a good friend.

But Schwartz has also kept his hand in the NFL by serving as a coaching consultant to the league’s officiating department, spending almost two full days a week at the NFL’s office in New York, where he attempts to offer an unbiased coaching view of the calls game officials do and don’t make, as well as the review work and decision making of the NFL’s officiating supervisors.

Sam Donnellon of the Daily News wrote about the pause that refreshed the Eagles’ defensive coordinator.

“I think a lot of times in life you don’t want to keep re-living experiences,’’ he said. “The only way you get better is to go do something new, something different. That was different for me. I drove my kids to school for the first time since they’ve been born. I was able to see all my kids games … In Buffalo and my last couple of years in Detroit, I think I saw one game a year of my son playing football. I was able to see every single one. You can’t buy that. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.

“I talked to some coaches who had done that before. They all told me the same thing: What do you do at halftime when you play a game? You change your shirt because you’re all sweaty, you get a drink and get refreshed, and you make some adjustments for the second half.

Schwartz was waiting for the right opportunity — not just any — to re-enter the coaching field, the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston explained a year ago.

It has to be the right fit because Schwartz is his own man. The Belichick influence of confidence is obvious, and Schwartz won’t back down from anyone. It was no surprise to see him chase after former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh several years ago because he thought Harbaugh slighted him during the postgame handshake.

When several Bills defensive players carried him off the field on their shoulders after a win last season, it was vintage Schwartz.

So when the Bills hired Ryan, there was no way Ryan and Schwartz were going to mesh. Their personalities are too strong, their philosophies so different.

Schwartz sat down for a 10-minute video interview with the Eagles’ website, covering the Philadelphia media, his defense, and more.

I’ve worked in some blue collar towns. I worked in Cleveland; I worked in Buffalo; I worked in Detroit. I grew up in Baltimore, like I said. There’s something about the passion in those cities that’s fun. It’s fun for coaches. I always told our players when we came here to Philly: there’s no more fun place to play; there’s no more fun place to win.

I didn’t always win them all, but you had to relish and embrace the atmosphere of the stadium. It was what the NFL Was all about. It was fun for us. If you shied away from it, you weren’t going to be successful. You had to embrace it and I hope to do the same thing here.

Which Eagles will benefit from a scheme change under Schwartz? Paul Domowitch of the Daily News names four defenders.

Like Cox, he was drafted to play in a 4-3, only to find himself without a position when Kelly and Davis arrived. He wasn’t big enough or strong enough to be a four-technique end, and he wasn’t fast enough to be an outside linebacker.

But he registered 16 1/2 sacks and 36 hurries in a little more than 1,100 snaps over the last three seasons.

Curry can be an every-down end in a 4-3. He can be a good every-down end. His value to the Eagles shot up when Pederson hired Schwartz as his defensive coordinator.

When Schwartz was in Tennessee, he developed a bit of a reputation as a “Moneyball” coach, Judy Battista wrote in a 2008 New York Time story.

Schwartz, now the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans, had an economics degree from Georgetown University, an abiding fascination with statistics and a preference for watching game film over television. That made him a kindred spirit with his first N.F.L. boss, Bill Belichick. But when Schwartz told Belichick his findings from an early N.F.L. research project almost 15 years ago, Belichick said he did not believe him.

“Fumbles are a random occurrence,” Schwartz said he told Belichick. “Being able to get interceptions or not throw interceptions has a high correlation with good teams. But over the course of a year, good teams don’t fumble any more or less than bad teams. Bill didn’t agree. He said, ‘No, good teams don’t fumble the ball.’ But actually, they fumble just as often as bad teams.”