Browns Focusing On Tackling Preparing for Saints


In this day and age in the NFL the ability to practice tackling is very limited. Teams can only “tackle to the ground” a certain amount during the off-season as well as during the season.

The Browns, coming off a first half where tackling was their primary problem on defense, need to address this issue the best that they can. Against the Steelers Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell took advantage of this problem in a basic skill the Browns failed to show. The Browns defensive plan seemed well done and the players executed most plays in the right position. Taking down the player to end the play was the problem.

Looks like that was being addressed today in practice:

On a defense with some solid veterans it was surprising that this was the issue. They weren’t often dominated from a physical or skill perspective. Instead it was this fundamental ability.

Two possible reasons both are related to the Browns offense. The defense faced the team’s limited offense all off-season, except for the 4 pre-season games. Did the defense become over confident against the offense that was struggling to find an identity?

The lack of overly physical receivers also could have created a sense of confidence. In practice receivers are likely to go down a little quicker and, besides Josh Gordon, the Browns receivers are not overly physical. Taking down Travis Benjamin and Andrew Hawkins, if you can catch them, is not overly difficult. Especially when those players were likely going closer to 75% speed. Brown isn’t the biggest receiver but he is strong and physical.

No matter the reason in the past the future has to look different. Against the Saints the Browns will need to make clean tackles with physical pass catcher Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham paired up with a bunch of shifty, speedy guys like rookie Brandin Cooks. Making solid, secured tackles will be the difference between a close game and a Drew Brees romp.

What do you think led to poor tackling for the Browns against the Steelers?