Cleveland Browns: Top 5 opposing running backs in 2017
With a tough schedule ahead, who will the Cleveland Browns run defense have to worry most about this season? Slowing down these five running backs will be no small task.
The Cleveland Browns had their share of struggles in 2016 defending the run. The Ray Horton-led defense ranked 30th against the rushing attack, surrendering 142.7 yards per game.
With little personnel change, there isn’t much reason to bank on a dramatic reversal of fortunes in 2017. The hope is that Cleveland improves under the scheme of new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, but the rushing defense will undoubtedly be challenged once again.
Bringing Jamie Collins back is a major bonus, as is the return of Christian Kirksey. But where the Browns really need to focus their attention on is the defensive line’s role in stopping the run.
Last season, Danny Shelton and company had major struggles setting the edge. Their lack of mobility was clear, and as a result, opposing running backs were hitting the outside and torching the Browns, especially on first down.
The solution to better run defense isn’t simple and won’t happen overnight, but the Browns can and should make strides in this area in 2017.
These five running backs will give the Browns all they can handle this season, truly testing their run defense.