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PFT's 2023 NFL assistant coach of the year: Jim Schwartz

During last year's hiring cycle, there were several hot defensive coordinators. Jim Schwartz was not one of them.

The Browns hired him. And Schwartz, a former head coach of the Lions, made Cleveland's defense into the finest in the league. The performance of the unit helped propel the Browns to 11 wins, and the No. 5 seed in the AFC.

It started early. After a Week 1 win over the Bengals, defensive end Myles Garrett raved by phone to PFT about Schwartz's defense, which fully utilized Garrett's skills and abilities.

They surrendered, on average, 270 yards per game. That's nearly 20 yards per game less than the Chiefs, who finished second, gave up.

The Browns are indeed the Browns. This year, they're one of the best teams in football — because they have perhaps the very best defense. And Schwartz deserves plenty of credit for that.

Tied for second in the PFT voting were Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken and Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. Also getting votes (we each voted for three) were Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.