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Bill Belichick: 'I can't say enough' about Jim Schwartz

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When Bill Belichick looks across the field Sunday, he will see a former pupil leading the ferocious Philadelphia defense.

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz got started on his NFL coaching career as a research assistant and scout under Belichick with the Browns from 1993 to 1995.

"I can't say enough good things about Jim Schwartz," Belichick said Monday at Super Bowl LII Opening Night. "He's one of the smartest people I know. ... He's a really talented person. Look, I couldn't say a bad thing about Jim Schwartz."

Belichick revealed that he tried to coax Schwartz away from Tennessee to join him in New England before the start of the Patriots dynasty, only to see Jeff Fisher promote the linebackers coach to defensive coordinator in 2001.

"But he did a good job in Detroit," Belichick added. "He did a good job in Buffalo, and he's a good, good football coach. He started off in personnel, so he has a good understanding of player personnel, player development, those kind of things. I have a ton of respect for Schwartzy, he's one of the best guys I've worked with."

After running his own team in Detroit from 2009 through 2013, Schwartz has been an unqualified success as Doug Pederson's defensive boss in Philadelphia. In addition to boasting the league's top run defense, the Eagles have seven pass rushers with 20 or more pressures this season.

To hear Schwartz tell it, Belichick has had a major impact on his success.

"I owe just about my whole NFL career to him," Schwartz told reporters upon his hiring as Lions coach in 2010. "He taught a lot of people [in Cleveland]. There were a lot of head coaches that were in that building just starting their careers."

When Schwartz accepted the Eagles job two years ago, he pointed out some of the lessons he learned from Belichick, including how to exploit subpar offensive lines and the challenges of covering a "blistering b----" out of the backfield.

Will the former student have a few tricks up his sleeve for the tenured teacher on Sunday? That coaching matchup is one of the dozens of tertiary storylines hyping Super Bowl LII.

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