The Cleveland Browns hired their next head coach on Sunday and it wasn’t Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
The fledgling AFC North franchise brought on Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their leading man, replacing the failed experiment that was Freddie Kitchens after one disastrous season.
Cleveland was the only NFL franchise that still had a head-coaching vacancy after a wild week that saw Matt Rhule go to the Carolina Panthers, Mike McCarthy head to the Dallas Cowboys, and the Giants pick Joe Judge.
That means, for now, that Schwartz will remain with the Eagles after interviewing for the Browns’ job.
Schwartz has been one of the better defensive coordinators in the NFL since joining the Eagles in 2016 as his units ranked in the top-13 in total yards allowed in three of his four years.
That included a monstrous 2017 that saw the Eagles rank fourth in total defense and first in rushing defense leading to their first-ever Super Bowl title.
The 2019 season was one of the more difficult campaigns for Schwartz and the Eagles. Despite overcoming an onslaught of injuries to win the division with a 9-7 record, they were bounced from the first round of the playoffs by the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite being one of the most injured units in the league, Schwartz’s defense still ranked 10th overall in 2019 to go with the NFL’s third-best rushing defense. A severely shorthanded secondary saw the Eagles rank 19th in passing yards allowed and 21st in aerial touchdowns given up.
The prospective return of Schwartz, however, does ensure some continuity heading into 2020 as the Eagles look for a third divisional title in four years.
But Philadelphia’s staff still did not get out of the woods entirely when it came to getting poached by the Browns.
Per multiple reports on Sunday afternoon, Eagles vice president of football operations, Andrew Berry, is headed to Cleveland to take over as general manager.
The 31-year-old came to the Eagles from the Browns earlier in the 2019 season and is considered one of the top up-and-coming front-office members around the league.
It is the second-straight season the Eagles lose a prominent figure in their front office after Joe Douglas became the GM of the New York Jets last offseason.