The #Colts plan to interview #Titans senior defensive assistant Jim Schwartz for their vacant defensive coordinator job, sources say. The former #Lions HC and long-time respected DC is a strong candidate in Indy, which also interviewed Joe Cullen and Chris Harris for the job.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 30, 2022
The 55 year old Schwartz has 28 years of NFL experience, including 14 such years as an NFL defensive coordinator and four years as a league head coach.
He previously served as the Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator (2016-20)—where he coordinated alongside Colts head coach Frank Reich on the Eagles’ Super Bowl winning 2017 team, so there’s obviously a coaching connection there.
Schwartz also served as the Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator (2014); Detroit Lions head coach (2009-13); Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator (2001-08), linebackers coach (2000), and defensive assistant (1999); Baltimore Ravens outside linebackers coach (1996-98); and Cleveland Browns personnel scout (1993-95) professionally.
Schwartz’s prior defensive schemes are notorious for the ‘Wide 9’, 4-3 defensive alignment, which places his defensive ends well outside the opposing team’s offensive tackles to generate a strong pass rush. In terms of defensive scheme priority, rushing the passer is everything, often deploying a lot of man coverage along the outside—while his run defenses still routinely hold their own.
During his last five seasons with the Eagles, Schwartz’s defenses ranked as follows in overall DVOA: 2016 (4th), 2017 (5th), 2018 (15th), 2019 (12th) and 2020 (15th).
Defensively, the biggest concern for the Colts is developing a consistent outside pass rush to complement star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner’s interior pressure, which theoretically, Schwartz’s defensive scheme could provide a potential boost.
Schwartz joins the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Joe Cullen and Washington Football Team’s Chris Harris as external candidates the Colts have or will reportedly interview for their defensive coordinator opening—with more interviewees presumably still on the horizon.