Jim Schwartz Likely to Return After not Getting Browns Job

Ed Kracz

The new head coach of the Cleveland Browns isn’t Jim Schwartz, so it’s back to his job as the Eagles defensive coordinator for the fifth straight season.

That’s what Doug Pederson said, anyway, when he went on 94WIP Sports Radio’s Morning Show on Friday.

“Jim and I have a great working relationship,” said Pederson. “I was excited he had the opportunity to interview for a head coaching position. I think with what he’s done with our defense and really the job he’s done for the four years has been tremendous. … If he doesn’t get that job, he’s definitely my defensive coordinator moving forward.”

Of course, Pederson gave an equally glowing endorsement of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and receivers coach Carson Walch last Wednesday then, less than 24 hours later, fired them.

Pederson tried to clarify his remarks on WIP’s Morning Show, by saying his evaluations had not yet been completed when he told reporters on Wednesday that Groh and Walch would return.

Pederson began complementing his assistant coaches after the Eagles beat the New York Giants on the final day of the regular season to wrap up the NFC East title.

The Eagles coach did it again in the days leading up to the wildcard playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.

He was lobbying for their return.

Suddenly, we are to believe he reversed course in a 24-hour span, and after completing his evaluations, evidently even starting them and finishing them in that 24-hour window.

Nah, it was owner Jeffrey Lurie’s call with some help perhaps from general manager Howie Roseman. Meddling isn’t Lurie’s usual way of doing business, but in this case, he was probably right to move away from Groh and Walch.

Schwartz, though, probably can rest comfortably. He was Lurie’s guy from 2016 when he was announced as the defensive coordinator only one day after Pederson was announced as the head coach.

Pederson can insist all he wants that Lurie had nothing to do with the decision not to being back Groh and Walch, and he did, when he said on the WIP Morning Show, “By no means was there any influence there. Ultimately, it’s my decision through the whole evaluation process. Again, I have a bunch of conversations but ultimately it’s my decision.”

Pederson told the show’s host Angelo Cataldi that who gets hired as the next OC and WR coaches will be his decision.

“This is what I appreciate from Mr. Lurie and Howie they give me opportunity to control my own staff,” said Pederson. “Do they want to be a part of the process? They do. They want to meet these people, they want to have input, they want to have conversations but, ultimately, I have to feel comfortable with these gentlemen on my staff because we’re the ones who work together. We’re with each other the most. Ultimately it will be my decision.”

The Eagles have a strong inside candidate to become the next OC in Duce Staley, who is the assistant head coach/running backs coach.

Former Lions head coach Jim Caldwell is someone else that has been reported as a candidate.

As for the receivers coach, well, Pederson has had plenty of practice hiring those. This will be his fifth one in five years.

Pederson told the Morning Show that he will “take some time here” to make a hire.