Cleveland Browns: Building in the mold of the Atlanta Falcons
As much as the offense shows promise, defense is where the Browns undeniably need to improve. Already this offseason, they took a step towards doing this by hiring defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. And with several young players with a lot of room to grow, there is potential with the right additions.
Plus, looking at the defense Atlanta has, the Browns can easily measure up within two years. Vic Beasley is the star linebacker, who has burst onto the scene in just his second season. Strangely, Emmanuel Ogbah is very similar to Beasley, as he is just a year younger but has shown just how effective he can be rushing the passer.
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Danny Shelton, the nose tackle, has similar skills as Atlanta veteran defensive lineman Jonathan Babineaux. Other than that, much like the Browns, other defenders are mainly complements to these players as well as Dwight Freeney. Even though the Falcons have an impressive defense, they don’t have the high draft picks or any of the J.J. Watts of the world.
This is especially true in the secondary, an area in which the Falcons have struggled. Allowing the sixth-most passing yards during the regular season, Atlanta ranked even lower than the Browns in pass defense.
Not many recognize names such as Robert Alford, Jalen Collins, Ricardo Allen, and Keanu Neal. Yet these players make up the starting secondary of the Falcons, according to their current depth chart.
This isn’t to say the Browns should accept their struggling secondary and not do anything about it. But it does show that the way the Falcons are built and the direction the Browns are going, players like Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Ed Reynolds are serviceable under the right circumstances and with the right coaching.