Cleveland Browns defense stalks offense with improved ‘dynamic playmaker’ cast
The excitement of what can be is evident in Garrett’s body language as he works out. There is a feeling of contentment and anticipation. He nods at the music blaring from the speaker system, but the vibe is that he would move the same even if there was silence. Because for the first time in his five-year career, he’s got help – impactful to help. Like Garrett, Clowney is a former # 1 general pick who can destroy blocking patterns. He’s never had more than 9.5 sacks in a season since joining the league in 2014, but stats alone don’t reflect his ability to disrupt offenses. It has to be taken into account, which will make it harder for opponents to slip their protection over to Garrett, who has averaged nearly a sack per game over the past three seasons. Jackson, a 10th year veteran who coordinator Joe Woods has known from their time in Denver, also poses an insider escape threat.
“I’m still optimistic about the year, and with the acquisitions we’ve made, I really think we can do something big this year, something that they haven’t done for a long time here: go to playoffs and have a run, ”Garrett said.“ Knowing that I have all these dominant guys around me – everyone’s healthy, everyone’s in a good mood and everyone comes in with a positive attitude. – I’m just excited to be here with these guys. I feel great, my body feels great and I am able to give it my all in every game. So if everything is as it should be, why should not I go there and seem to like the game every time? “
The beauty of what the Browns have done is found across all levels of defense. Linebacker Walker provides speed and experience, averaging over 100 tackles over the past three seasons while starting for the Colts. Owusu-Koramoah is an exceptional athlete who should be able to provide some rushing ability, but whose real value might be defending tight ends.
In high school, the Browns have an abundance of wealth having drawn Johnson and Hill from the Rams’ top-ranked defense. Pair them with Ward and Newsome, all the while adding Greedy Williams, a 2019 second-round pick who missed all last season with a shoulder injury, and Cleveland looks a lot better equipped to lock in the receivers.
“We have to go out and show it,” Ward said. “It’s a lot of talk right now. Everything looks good on paper, but every year you have to prove yourself in this league.”
The man most excited about defensive additions might be Woods, though you’d be hard pressed to tell just by looking at him. In his 18th year as an NFL coach, with recent stints as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator and the 49ers secondary coach / passing play coordinator, Woods moves with determination on the training ground, using pauses between exercises to offer more in-depth instruction. Many who know the 51-year-old use the term “grinder” when talking about him.
“He’s the hardest-working coach I’ve ever been around,” said Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who hired Woods for the job while coaching the Broncos. “If you follow him, wherever he goes, it’s instant progress. He’s a great teacher and the players play early for him. As a coordinator in Denver, nobody talks about the work he’s done. Our first year, we were top five in passing and running, it’s hard to do.