Action News sports reporter Jamie Apody speaks with new Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Jamie: What attracted to you this job and to Philly?
Jim: The first thing is ownership. When you're in the NFL and I've been here for 23 years, you learn how important ownership is in the NFL. I've been fortunate enough to have a career where maybe I could make some decisions and to choose to go with Jeffrey Lurie meant a lot to me, the way he runs this program, the way he runs this organization, it's respected throughout the league. I can't tell you how much it's respected. So that's number one.
A chance to work with Coach Pederson who's an offensive coach. We really didn't know each other very well, we were acquainted, but there's a comfort level there from people that we do know in competing against each other.
And the players on the roster. This is a talented roster. I took over a 0-16 team, I know what a non-talented roster looks like. But there are some attractive pieces here, not just a couple here, but in all three levels of the defense - up front, linebackers, and secondary.
I'd say lastly, the city of Philadelphia. I grew up in Baltimore. I'm a cop's son. I had seven sisters and a brother. I grew up 90 miles from here, that's where my family is. I know blue-collar towns. I grew up in Baltimore. I worked in Cleveland. I worked in Detroit. I worked in Buffalo. There's something about that passion that makes it fun for us, that makes it worth it.
I've been fortunate enough to do a lot of things in my career. I might be the only person who took a 0-16 team to the playoffs, but I've never held a Super Bowl trophy and I'm consumed with being able to do that. I would like nothing more than to see Mr. Lurie hold it and to see the city of Philadelphia enjoy that.
Jamie: I think the fans will love to hear that. I think the response I got when we talked about you being named defensive coordinator from fans is that you're fiery and you're intense, that's what excites the fans here. Is that you?
Jim: (Laughs) Everybody has to be their own person. Doug said it, you can be loud, you can be quiet, you can be old, young, black, white. What the players want is authenticity and if you try to be someone you're not, they're going to see right through, the fans will see right through it. I am what I am. I love this game. I never would have thought I'd end up being a football coach going to Georgetown University. But I decided I wanted to do something that was combining my hobby and my profession. I love to go to work every day. I love the competition of the game. I love dealing with players. I love the comradery with the other coaches. I hope that shows. If it does, then I'm fine, but I don't try to be anyone other than who I am.
Jamie: You said there's talent here on this roster. The past couple years, the defenses have struggled here a bit. Would you say you're not that far off from turning this into one of those top 10 defenses that you've had year in and year out in your career?
Jim: Every year is different. I've been around this long enough to know not to make predictions, but the potential is certainly there. And it's our job as coaches, it's our job as an organization, to find a way to get that done. The most important thing is winning a game and I don't really care what our stats look like. If we win the game, then I'm going to be happy. I don't have an ego when it comes to how many yards we give up. This is a points league, give up less points than you score and you're going to be fine. If we can do those things then I'll be happy regardless of third down percentage or points allowed or yards allowed or anything else that other people want to judge a defense on. Our job, and it changes every week, but our job is to give us a chance to win the game. Whatever we have to do to do that I'm certainly willing to do that.
Jamie: Finally, would you say one of the reasons you are most attractive is given your head coaching experience, do you think you'll help a young coach like Doug Pederson who has never done this before? Will that help that you've been there before? You can tell what happens. The ins and outs and struggles of a head coach in their first season.
Jim: That's the first time 'most attractive' and Jim Schwartz have ever been used in the same sentence. But I hope I can offer that. I do. Experience is a wicked teacher. Those are lessons that don't come free. They're very costly. The scars that we all have, you have to earn those, there's no other way you can get them. But you learn. We're all old elephants with scars and those are the ones that last, the guys that learn different things. Any advice I could give, I'm not in the position to solicit advice, but my door is certainly open to anything that I could help not just Doug Pederson with, but the whole organization.
I started off at the very bottom of this league, I was driving people to the airport, I was getting cigarettes for secretaries, I've been a head coach in this league, I've been to a Super Bowl, the only thing I haven't done is hold that Super Bowl trophy. I'm possessed with getting that done here for the city of Philadelphia.
Jamie Apody speaks with Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz