Jim Schwartz earned his 2023 NFL Assistant Coach of the Year Award by implementing changes.
His Cleveland Browns defense became an attacking, aggressive unit at all three levels.
Their pass rush made things easier on the secondary, while the secondary bailed out the pass rush when needed.
And the linebackers came into their own, wreaking havoc all over the field.
But former Browns safety Tashaun Gipson, now playing for the San Francisco 49ers, told FanDuel’s Blaiden Kirk how one change makes all the difference.
The Browns culture has officially changed and the rest of the league sees it
🔥4 awards won tonight at NFL Honors🔥
Former Browns’ & current 49ers’ safety Tashaun Gipson gives his thoughts: pic.twitter.com/3OF7pnp9g4
— Blaiden Kirk (@blaiden) February 9, 2024
Gipson points to the confidence level in the Browns’ locker room, a swagger they didn’t have for too long.
And the former 2012 UDFA and 2014 Pro Bowler says the entire NFL notices the culture change.
Speaking to reporters as he prepares to play for the 49ers in the Super Bowl, the 12-year veteran had more to say.
He recalled the 2014 season, when Cleveland started 6-3 and sat atop the AFC North.
It was as surprising to the Browns players as it was to their fans and the rest of the league.
But instead of gaining confidence, the atmosphere in the locker room was of disbelief.
And nobody was surprised when they lost 6 of their last 7 games to finish last in the division.
Gipson says the culture of losing and low expectations has changed for the Browns.
Especially on their defense, where the players honestly believe they are among the best in the NFL.
Browns fans felt it as well, anticipating second-half rebounds instead of turning off their TVs early in despair.
Gipson sounds sincere when he says he is happy for Cleveland and “some of the best fans in the world.”