Cleveland Browns: Offensive line is disrespected
The Three Amigos
But what people are not seeing in this Browns offensive line is the guard, center, guard combo. The three players up the middle have had phenomenal seasons.
To understand the importance of this combo, it is necessary to understand how teams attack “shorter” quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield. Defenses believe the best way to disrupt a shorter quarterback is the pressure up the middle. The idea is to take away his vision by collapsing the guards and center into his face.
The Browns combo of Joel Bitonio, J.C. Tretter and Kevin Zeitler has not allowed this to happen. In fact, they have made the exact opposite occur. The Browns numbers on his and sacks can be attributed to the play of these three amigos.
Left guard Joel Bitonio has only given up one sack over fifteen games. He has committed three penalties, two of which were false starts. He has not been called for holding this entire season. Joel Bitonio is the model offensive linemen. He was voted a first alternate to the Pro Bowl. The fact that he was not named a starter is a testament to ignorance.
Center J.C. Tretter has been a beast throughout the season. He has battled an ankle injury almost the entire season. Every week he is on the injury report as questionable. Yet, every week he plays at a high level. He has only given up three sacks all season. He has not had a penalty. His play is deserving of a Pro Bowl selection, but he passed over as well.
Kevin Zeitler is proving he is worth every penny the Browns paid for him. He struggled early in the season but has found his groove under Freddie Kitchens. He has allowed 3 sacks all season. He has 3 penalties but were under the watch of Todd Haley. Zeitler has played like a madman the second half of the season. He definitely deserved to be at the Pro Bowl. Yet he too was snubbed.
The three blocking amigos of Bitonio, Tretter, and Zeitler deserved to take their show to the Pro Bowl. But inexplicably they were all passed over. No team has pass blocked like the Cleveland Browns over the past 7 games.
The three amigos deserved better than what the NFL gave them. Interior offensive line lives matter. Maybe someday they will get what they have earned – a trip to the Pro Bowl.