Nov 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (51) commits a roughing the passer penalty against Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
I listed the above roster “adjustments” showing the change to the 3-4 and you can see that the Browns the aged and didn’t get better. You could argue that Starks has a size advantage over Sheard, but I’ll take Sheard’s eight sacks and Starks doesn’t even practice during the week.
Jackson was let go because he was getting old, but Dansby is older and paid four times more. Ward is basically Whitner, but hasn’t lost a step and was drafted by the Browns. Williams size has made zero impact, and again, Skrine was drafted by the Browns! I loved Taylor and once he is fully recovered from injury will be a stud again, given the chance.
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While head coach Mike Pettine doesn’t necessarily deserve the blame for this, O’Neil can certainly be blamed for not understanding the scheme and being passive with an aggressive team.
Mostly the blame falls on general manager Ray Farmer for not embracing the culture and roster, then selecting the weaker or equal replacements instead of upgrades. While it may be too late to switch to another defensive system, the Browns must correct their 3-4 defense now.
Farmer must be released – no question in my mind. O’Neil must be released – see Farmer. Pettine can remain, but he must bring in an aggressive minded coach who can make a 3-4 defense sing. He has to bring in a young version of Dick LeBeau and get these linebackers blasting and firing off at the quarterback.
This defense is a joke and a mockery of what Browns football is all about, and the players carry zero percent of the blame. It is hard to imagine that Kruger, Barkevious Mingo and Orchard would rather chase a shifty slot receiver or wrestle a tight end around the field instead of running past a fat tackle and diving on a quarterback.
It is time for a change.