Every once in a while, a defense comes along that captures the imaginations of NFL fans.
Should the Cleveland Browns‘ surprising unit be mentioned along with the ’85 Bears or the Purple People Eaters?
Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn’t mind his players talking themselves up a little early.
But he puts a caveat on their claim to be “the best in the world,” as shared by Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot.
DC Jim Schwartz on the #Browns defense calling itself 'the best in the world': "If you want to have some personality and some swagger, you better back it up on the field, and I like our guys' ability to do that'
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 19, 2023
“If you want to have some personality and some swagger, you better back it up on the field, and I like our guys’ ability to do that’
Such swagger and personality come with Schwartz’s request for players to celebrate as much as possible.
End zone photos, dancing over sacked quarterbacks, glad-handing after a pass breakup… anything goes.
Schwartz believes such actions serve the purpose of elevating the spirit and confidence of his unit.
Their Play Backs It Up
Confidence is a key to any defense’s success and their willingness to follow a coordinator’s schemes.
No cryptic social media posts or sullen comments have slipped out of the Browns’ locker room this season.
And the players show their commitment and belief on the field, too.
When Pittsburgh broke off a 71-yard touchdown in Week 2, they might have hoped to break the defense’s spirit.
The Browns defense has been HISTORIC this season pic.twitter.com/algmalknwQ
— PFF (@PFF) October 20, 2023
But they were held to a 50-yard field goal the rest of the game and just 100 total yards in the second half.
In Cleveland’s latest victory, they bounced right back from the 49ers’ quick 84-yard opening touchdown drive.
San Francisco would find just 131 more yards the rest of the day as the defense clamped down.
And if the Browns beat the best the NFC could offer, why not call themselves the best defense in the world?