Cleveland Browns: Austin Pasztor excelling at pass protection
Pasztor beating the Wide-9 Rush
Pasztor has figured out how to set the Wide-9 technique. Pasztor struggled early in the season against speed rushers converting speed to power. He still struggles to an extent but he is figuring out how to cut off the inside line from rushers.
In previous games, Pasztor would be late off the ball and unprepared at the point of contact. As such, he was at the mercy of the defender. That is, his failure to set allowed the defender to make any move he wanted and take any path to the quarterback he wanted.
Now Pasztor is setting on time. In addition, he is using his body to dictate terms to the defender. In previous weeks, Pasztor would open his hips to face the defender giving the defender two options. He gave up major hits on Griffin, McCown and Kessler when beat on the inside move. Now Pasztor is keeping his shoulders and hips square to the line of scrimmage closing off that inside lane. By doing so, he dictates to the defender the lane he can rush.
By dictating terms to the defender, Pasztor is taking control of the pass protection and making his job much easier. For example, by setting setting square and closing off the inside lane, Pasztor is forcing defenders to take the longer outside lane. This plays into his hands as he can run a speed rusher past the quarterback or stand up the power rusher creating a nice pocket for the quarterback.
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The improvement of Austin Pasztor is real and should be taken seriously. Hal Hunter deserves a raise for his work with Pasztor. I once asked, can Austin Pasztor be fixed? The answer is clearly yes because he has been fixed. This is great news for Browns quarterbacks.