What exactly does Jim Schwartz do for the Tennessee Titans?

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

Heading into the postseason, local media is trying to pinpoint exactly what Jim Schwartz is doing for the Tennessee Titans.

It makes sense that people are questioning his involvement with the team because the improvement from the defense has been incredible compared to where they were last year.

Now, smart fans know that last season Mike Vrabel was very involved in defensive play calls, and it is no secret that Shane Bowen was allowed to take the reins this season. Other than that, there really wasn’t a big shake-up on defense from the coaching standpoint.

However, there was a “Senior Assistant” added to the team, and that was former Tennessee Titans LB coach and DC, Jim Schwartz.

With an entire season as a sample size, let’s take a look at what changed for the Titans from a play-calling standpoint.

What did Jim Schwartz do for the Tennessee Titans?

The biggest change is the Titans’ ability to get pressure without blitzing. Remember last year the Tennessee Titans had talent on the defensive line, but some of this credit has to go to Jon Robinson who upgraded their pass rush from DaQuan Jones and Jadevone Clowney, to Denico Autry and Bud Dupree.

Still, last year the Titans blitzed on 28.7% of the snaps (16th in the NFL) but they only hurried the quarterback on 7.2% of their plays (29th).

In 2021, Tennessee only blitzed 19.9% of the time (5th fewest in the NFL) but they still managed to hurry the quarterback 11.2% of the time (11th in the NFL).

With the pass rush being so much more efficient, the defense looked much better this season and there are some telltale signs that Jim Schwartz had something to do with this (notice the wide-9 alignment in this clip).

It is hard to say exactly what Jim Schwartz does, but the general consensus is that he is a sounding board in meeting rooms and not actually calling plays or giving advice outside of halftime adjustments. Reading between the lines, it seems like Schwartz may be in charge of breaking down tendencies and how offenses react to certain pressures, coverages, or blitzes and then making that information easily digestible for Shane Bowen, the position coaches, and the players.

When Dean Pees was with the Tennessee Titans, players raved about his tip sheets and how that information helped them during games. Maybe the best way to conceptualize what Schwartz does for the Titans is to think of him as the tip sheet manager before games and then an extra set of eyes to help adjust at halftime.

Whatever he is doing, it is working and he has been a huge asset to the team this year. The Titans should keep writing him checks and keep him in the building for as long as they can.