The Cleveland Browns have made a series of explosive moves this summer. Everybody has drooled over the offensive side of the ball, but the defense has quietly developed the potential to be a true juggernaut.
Steve Wilks, a former defensive coordinator for the Panthers during their 2016 Super Bowl appearance and ex-head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, was brought on to replace Gregg Williams as DC for Cleveland. Wilks is an experienced coach with the brains to make this group of men special and a nightmare for opposing offenses.
Everybody knows Myles Garrett (23 years old) is a monster. Garrett is known as a hard worker and a scholar of the game. Not to mention, he is 6 ft 4 in, 272 lbs. Garrett, with underrated Larry Ogunjobi and new addition Olivier Vernon, will be a sack waiting to happen every play. Vernon is extremely productive when healthy. The Browns also signed Sheldon Richardson away from the Minnesota Vikings, who have had one of the best defenses in the league for a couple years now. The Richardson signing was questioned, but it added to the depth and brings another veteran to the young locker room. Low-risk, high reward. The line has a plethora of personalities, especially Garrett’s, who is an avid contributor to the community and loves sharing moments with the fans. There are hard working, great individuals all over this roster.
Garrett taking his puppy to a dog park, spending time with the local people of Cleveland.
Denzel Ward already made a Pro Bowl his rookie year and now gets LSU cornerback Greedy Williams as his new running mate. This has the potential to be one of the best backfields in the league. Williams tackling was questioned going into the draft, which is probably what hurt his stock. Hopefully, Wilks and the cornerback coach can sharpen that up for him. He seems dedicated to honing his skills and is thrilled to be in Cleveland, already guaranteeing a Super Bowl. T.J. Carrie and Terrance Mitchell were solid last year as well and will be nice backups. The depth is real and something a playoff contender must have.
I am a huge Damarious Randall fan and am quite shocked John Dorsey has not extended him yet. Randall racked up a solid 4 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 72 solo tackles last season. That is pretty dang impressive. It still shocks me the Green Bay Packers gave up this stud for busted Dishone Kizer. Cleveland also added depth to the safety position by drafting Sheldrick Redwine from Miami U, increasing Florida players on the Browns’ roster to 12 now. Hey, maybe it will create some sort of camaraderie. Redwine had 64 total tackles, 3 sacks and 3 interceptions his final year of college. Lastly, the Brown’s added Morgan Burnett, a veteran safety who played for the rival Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay. These are just more playmakers and more depth.
The weakest spot on the defense, in my opinion, is the linebacker core. Joe Schobert is the heart and soul of the group, even over Christian Kirksey. I like Kirksey, but I think he is somewhat overrated and needs to be able to stay healthy. He does love Cleveland, so I guess that is a plus. Mack Wilson was a snag out of Alabama in the 5th round of the draft this year. Also, Genard Avery came in this past season when injuries started to pile up and was surprisingly good. It will be interesting to see if these guys can build off of their hints of success and hold down some consistency.
It’s a positive sign when half of these players are thriving and haven’t even been in the league for 3 years. It is only up from here for many of the cornerstone defensive players and the veteran additions will benefit them even more.
Overall, this defense has the potential to be a terror and compliment the star-studded offense. The Browns won’t be must-watch football solely because of Baker and company. Look for these names to rise next year.
– DAWG CHECK