When Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke to reporters in Minneapolis on Monday night, he called Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz “one of the best guys I’ve worked with” while discussing Schwartz’s time on Belichick’s staff with the Browns in the 1990s.
Schwartz returned the favor when he took a podium later in the evening. Schwartz said he benefitted a tremendous amount from working in scouting with the Browns and said that the experience he gained has made him a better coach. He also said that he learned about “not being one-dimensional” from Belichick.
Those lessons and that relationship paid off in 1999 when Belichick recommended Schwartz to Titans coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Floyd Reese when they were looking for an addition to their coaching staff. Schwartz got the job, the Titans went to the Super Bowl and Schwartz’s career trajectory was on the upswing.
“I spent a lot of my career being in the right place in the wrong time and in the wrong place at the right time,” Schwartz said. “That was the first time I was really in the right place at the right time.”
Belichick said Monday that he wanted Schwartz on his staff in New England a couple of years later, but the Titans promoted him to defensive coordinator and sent him on his way to the opposite sideline from his first NFL boss in Super Bowl LII.