The Evolution of the Browns' 3-4 Defense Part II - The Linebackers

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The Linebackers Dictate the Effectiveness of a 3-4 Defensive Unit

A good nose tackle may serve as the foundation for all successful 3-4 defenses, but the true difference makers are found at the second level.

It’s the linebackers that truly set the tone in all 3-4 schemes such as the Browns. If a team’s four linebackers are mostly solid and consistent, than chances are that defense is going to be AT LEAST an average unit. On the other hand, if a defense has some playmakers at the second level, then you better look out because that defense has a chance to be dangerous.

With that in mind, all it takes is a quick glance at the Browns linebackers and it’s quite obvious that the  defense is striving for respectability this season, not dominance. There’s not a true, impact linebacker in the bunch, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for this unit and the future of the defense as we enter our sixth season running the 3-4 (since the rebirth!!).

In fact, with the darnedest of luck, the linebacking corps for the Browns MIGHT actually be viewed as one of the strengths of the defense when it’s all said and done.

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  • barry

    remember the all pro day andra davis had against buffalo? the snow was a factor, but not a single OL blocked him all day. the point is that it doesn’t matter how good your linebackers are in a 3-4 if they have to shed blocks from offensive linemen. and if rogers is getting upfield from an end position instead of at NT, that’s going to leave OL’s getting free to block down field.

  • Coach Mark

    Dude, this is a pretty good assessment of the Browns’ linebackers, but you forgot a name. Where does Jason Trusnik fit in? All he did was come to us in the Braylon Edwards trade and step right into a starting spot. He also showed a great deal of versatility playing both inside and outside spots as well as many special teams. And the coaches like the kid. …And he was the first restricted free agent to sign his tender, without any fanfare. He’s exactly the kind of guy Mangini is looking for, tough, smart and lives for football. And he’s one of us, a Nordonia grad playing for his hometown team. C’mon show him a little love…

    • hank in naples

      Coach Mark:

      And don’t forget he is a product of Manginis much maligned “oportunity periods” and just now getting a chance to start. His upside is terrific.

    • Bernie Dawkins

      My bad for excluding Trusnik. I didn’t forget him, I just didn’t have time to include him because I was trying to post Part II before work.

      No excuses, tho. Dude is a versatile, solid option at LB for us.

      Sorry for not giving him a little love – he deserved it.

  • Bernie Dawkins

    On a side note: I actually played against Trusnik in college.
    And by “played”, I mean my team played against him. I was actually holding the clipboard, and I have no regrets about that considering I saw Trusnik absolutely decapitate our QB on a bootleg. It was just brutal. DAMN!

  • Hamfist

    This group reminds me of the Pats SB group in a couple of ways.

    One, there are not any real superstars, as was stated, but a solid group of TEAM players. That, in and of itself, is a very potent weapon.

    Secondly, we seem to be recruiting/signing a group with a paticular mindset. Professional, committed, and standup players. with the slight anomaly of Roth’s offseason posturing, I don’t recall any news of a gun/drug/fighting/etc. nature from this group. I may be wrong, but it seems as if we’re morphing more and more toward a Patriots type of organization. Which in my opinion is a great thing.