The Cleveland Browns have created a sense of optimism around the rebuilt defense. Can the unit make a big jump in 2017?
The Cleveland Browns have done considerable work in the offseason to fix a broken franchise.
And much of the heavy lifting has occurred on the defensive side of the ball. Consider that since the end of the 2016 season the Browns:
- Drafted defensive players Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, Larry Ogunjobi, Howard Wilson and Caleb Brantley
- Resigned linebackers Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey
- Signed defensive back Jason McCourty
- Traded for safety Calvin Pryor
- Hired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
The moves have energized a fan base that is ready for something to cheer about when it comes to the Browns.
A Top 10 defense this fall may be a bit too aspirational for a unit that finished at or near the bottom of every meaningful statistical category last season, but the arrow is definitely pointing in the right direction for the Browns.
One of the biggest things the Browns can do is stick with Williams as defensive coordinator for more than one season. It may sound fundamental, but when you realize that Danny Shelton is entering his third season in the NFL and he is working with this third different defensive coordinator, you can see the problem.
The 2017 season should be better than last season – it couldn’t be any worse than what happened under Horton – and if the Browns play this smart, then 2018 could really turn into something special for the defense.
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