Jim Schwartz: How Good Is He?

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Aug 10, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz during the first half of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills brought in Jim Schwartz, former head coach of the Detroit Lions, to help resurrect a flailing run defense when Mike Pettine decided to move forward after being the DC for one year to the head coaching position n Cleveland. 

Jim Schwartz is known as a good defensive coach, but how good is he? Schwartz started his career in coaching with the Baltimore Ravens as their LBs coach in 1996 until 1999.  From there he moved to the Tennessee Titans and was a defensive assistant during 1999.  In 2000, He took over the LBs coaching duties for the Titans.  In 2001, He was named the defensive coordinator for the Titans and would remain in that position until after the 2008 season.  In 2009, Schwartz was offered a head coaching job for the Detroit Lions and in 2014, we all know where he ended up.

Lets take a look at how Schwartz fared as both a coordinator and coach on the defensive side of the ball, mainly on the ground because that was one of the reasons the Bills brought him in.


2001 was Jim Schwartz’s first time as the head shot caller for the defense.  During that year, the Tennessee Titan allowed 24.4 points per game and was ranked 25th overall for that category.  Although not great on the points, Schwartz’s run defense was one of the best in the league ranking 5th overall allowing only 1431 yards with an average of 3.4 per carry and an average per game of 89.4.  His pass defenses were towards the bottom of the league ranking dead last in passing yards given up, 4084. In total yards the Titans were ranked 25th overall.

In 2002, with a year under his belt, Schwartz maintained that status and allowed 1424 yards for the season on the ground with a 3.8 average and 89.0 yards per game average and was ranked 2nd overall in the league.  His defense against the pass improved a bit and was ranked 25th overall allowing 500 less yards this year.  In total yards, the Titans were ranked 10th overall.

In 2003, Schwartz topped his previous year and only allowed 1295 yards for the season on the ground with a 3.8 allowed average and a 80.9 allowed yards per game.  He also ranked 1st overall in the league on rushing defense.  For passing he was back to the bottom of the league.  In total yards, the Titans were ranked 12th overall.

Schwartz;s three year stint near the top of the rushing defensive world came to an end in 2004.  His defense fell quite a bit and ranked 18th overall for the 2004 season and allowed 1917 yards for the season, with a 4.6 average per carry and a 119.8 average per game.  He fared better in the passing game from the year before ranking 26th overall allowing 3807 yards for the season.  The Titans were ranked 27th in total yards.

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