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