LAS VEGAS – Jim Schwartz was named the AP Assistant Coach of the Year at NFL Honors on Thursday night.
On the red carpet before the event, Schwartz thanked the Titans while acknowledging some issues he dealt with before finding his stamina, and good health, to return to the grind without issues.
In his first season with the Browns as defensive coordinator, the Browns led the NFL in multiple categories, including total defense and passing defense.
"I was at a tough spot in my career," Schwartz said of the time he joined the Titans in 2021 as a Senior Defensive Assistant. "Because I was like a player. I was injured, and I couldn't necessarily do my job. And I was thinking I would have to take a full year off. And I was just incredibly grateful to the Titans and Mike Vrabel for allowing me to contribute at my own pace. And my own pace went from a couple of days a week to seven days a week pretty quickly.
"It was a chance to not only do that, but to mentor some young coaches. I was in a different role. I had been a head coach or a coordinator for probably 20 years before that. It gave me just a good chance to be able to step back, and be able to enjoy the journey, and to try and help some younger guys along the way."
Schwartz said previously he'd had some thyroid issues, and "I needed a bunch of different operations and procedures."
Schwartz worked with the Titans in 2021 and 2022, when Shane Bowen served as the team's defensive coordinator. He then joined the Browns as DC.
Schwartz, who worked from 1999-2008 with the Titans, including 2001–2008 as defensive coordinator, praised Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk.
"The Titans are in great shape with ownership, with Amy," Schwartz said. "She's made a dramatic impact on that franchise, providing resources that we might not have had in the 2000s when I was with the club."
Schwartz said Nashville will always be a special place for him and his family.
"Our kids went to high school there, our kids were born there," Schwartz said. "So we're always going to have a footprint in Nashville."