The story of Jim Schwartz is an inspiring one. From his tenure with the Titans that resulted in their defense ranking #2 in the league in 2008 to his first Head Coaching role with the Detroit Lions that saw him take the defense from 32nd in points to a top-half group, Schwartz has enjoyed plenty of success in the NFL. But on the grandest stage of all, he will face off against the coach who gave him a chance to begin with, Bill Belichick.
Back in 1993, it was Belichick who gave Schwartz a shot in the NFL as an unpaid intern. He later climbed the ranks as a college scout during Belichick’s time with the Cleveland Browns. 25 years later, Schwartz has one of the most tenacious defenses in football and will face off against one of history’s most tenacious coaches.
“I owe a lot to Bill Belichick.” Schwartz told reporters on Tuesday. “He got my career started. The first three years of my NFL career were with him in Cleveland. That’s the last thing that we’ll be thinking about in preparation and that’s the last thing that any of these players — you think any of our players care that in 1993 I got hired as an unpaid intern? Do you really think that they think that’s going to — they are just going out and playing. We need to come up with a good plan. We need to execute. We need to keep in mind what we’re good at, keep in mind our matchups and all those different things. And if we do a good enough job at that, we’ll be able to come out with a victory.”
Earlier in the year, a fantastic series of short video surfaced from a seminar given by Jim Schwartz in which he alluded to how much he’s learned from Belichick and the legendary Bill Parcells.
If there’s one thing Jim Schwartz does better than most, it’s bring the pressure. The Eagles front four has become renowned for its ruthless nature and ability to hinder even the most poised of quarterbacks, despite blitzing on such a small percentage of plays. Schwartz spoke about one of his mindsets in this very feature.
“We started trying to rush five man blitz principles with four guys.” Schwartz said in the above clip. “There’s an adage that if Bill Belichick was up here he’d say ‘if you have a bad offensive line you want to rush five, because he wants one-on-ones. If the guys aren’t very good, don’t give them a chance to help each other. Get in that five down look or bring another guy and make those guys all defend one-on-one.”
Whether it was his tremendous work during a lone season in Buffalo, or creating the league’s best rushing defense this season with the Eagles, it’s clear Schwartz has taken plenty from his experience with ‘the hooded one’ in Cleveland.
“I think you have to put that challenge to playing the Patriots offense” Schwartz said ahead of next week’s matchup. “No player stands on his own. I mentioned Gronkowski, Cooks, Amendola’s been mentioned, [Patriots WR Chris] Hogan, [Patriots RB James] White, [Patriots RB Dion] Lewis. There are a million different guys in there. I’m sure somebody will slight me or say something because I slighted somebody, but you can’t just – the NFL in general, but particularly the Patriots, you can’t scheme for one player. If you do, then they have plenty of other players that can make plays. You have to do a good job against their entire offense, and you can’t really make it about one person.”
It appears as if the Eagles have a gameplan to overthrow the Pats and it simply involves trusting the process and sticking to their plan. Is Jim Schwartz ready to dethrone a dynasty? Along with the help of Doug Pederson, he just may be…
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