The Browns have formally requested permission from the Eagles to interview defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz for their head coaching opening, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 7, 2020
There was no immediate word whether the Eagles have or plan to grant Schwartz permission to meet with the Browns, but NFL teams generally - not always - allow coordinators who are under contract to interview for head coaching jobs.
Schwartz has been Doug Pederson's only defensive coordinator, and the Eagles have allowed the 7th-fewest points in the NFL during that four-year period at 20.8 per game.
The Eagles have allowed 20 or fewer points in five of six postseason games under Schwartz and an average of 17 per game.
They've done all this with only two Pro Bowl-caliber players on the roster during that entire four-year span - Fletcher Cox and Malcolm Jenkins.
This past year, the Eagles held eight of their last 10 opponents to 17 or fewer points.
Schwartz, 53, was head coach of the Lions from 2009 through 2013, taking a team that was 2-14 2009 and going 10-6 and reaching the playoffs in 2011. He was fired when his next two teams went 4-12 and 7-9.
The Browns fired Freddie Kitchens on Dec. 29 after they went 6-10 in his only season as head coach.
The Browns have already interviewed Eric Bieniemy, Brian Daboll, Josh McDaniels, Greg Roman, Robert Saleh, Kevin Stefanski and Mike McCarthy, according to NFL.com. McCarthy accepted the Cowboys job on Monday.
Bieniemy played for Andy Reid with the Eagles in 1999 and has been on Reid's staff in Kansas City since 2013, first as running backs coach and the last two years as offensive coordinator.
The Eagles and Browns do have an extensive coaching history together.
Nick Skorich, the Eagles' head coach from 1961 through 1963, was the Browns' head coach from 1971 through 1974.
Bud Carson, the Browns' head coach in 1989 and part of 1990, was the Eagles' defensive coordinator under Rich Kotite from 1991 through 1994.
And Pat Shurmur, the Eagles' quarterbacks coach under Andy Reid and offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly, was the Browns' head coach in 2011 and 2012.
Whoever the Browns hire will be their ninth head coach since 2008.
The Browns haven't had a winning record since 2007, haven't reached the playoffs since 2002 and haven't won a playoff game since 1994 (under head coach Bill Belichick), and that was the franchise that became the current Baltimore Ravens.
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