Kevin Stefanski: Jim Schwartz feels we can be so much better on defense

After the Browns hired Jim Schwartz as coordinator last offseason, Cleveland's defense significantly improved in 2023.

The unit went from a liability in 2022 to a strength, finishing No. 1 in yards allowed.

But after the team lost to Houston 45-14 in the wild card round, head coach Kevin Stefanski said last week that Cleveland is still looking to improve on the unit.

“Year to year, things change, and every year stands on its own merit,” Stefanski said in his press conference. “And I could let coach Schwartz speak specifically to it, but I know Jim and I know the conversations we’ve had. We want to be better on defense. There are plays that we feel were left out there.

“I think if you talk to coach [Schwartz] as he watches the tape over the course of the season, he was surprised we were able to stop anybody — you know, he feels like we can be so much better. Some of that comes from different things. We can adjust. Some of that comes from putting guys in positions to go make plays, but we are in no way satisfied on defense.”

Defenses tend to fluctuate from one year to the next. But if Cleveland can remain dominant on the unit, then the club should have a chance to make it to the postseason once again in 2024.