Joe Schobert is a leader on the Cleveland Browns defense, but he has one area in his game where he needs to improve in 2019 if the team wants to be better on defense
This season, Cleveland Browns middle linebacker Joe Schobert is entering his contract year. A fourth-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2016, Schobert has developed into a leader on defense for the Browns and made the Pro Bowl in 2017.
Heading into 2018, he was expected to take his next step, and he did play very well. There were just two issues that kept him from really taking off. One was his health as he missed three games on the season. The other was his high volume of missed tackles — which is the one area he needs to show improvement in 2019.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
According to Jake Burns of Cleveland.com, Schobert missed 24 tackles in 2018 which put him atop the league when it came to the percentage of whiffs.
"“Schobert led the NFL with a 9.8 percent missed tackle rate, and the defense felt the sting of the tackling issue as a whole.Schobert wasn’t alone. Since Pro Football Focus began tracking tackling data, the 2018 Browns set the highest mark for missed tackles in a season with 169.” — Burns, Cleveland.com"
While Schobert has plenty about his game to love, this is clearly an area he needs to find a way to improve on. Cleveland, as a team, finished 30th in the NFL in yards surrendered and one way to improve in this important area is to make the plays when they’re there.
To his credit, Schobert was excellent in coverage last season. The team even struggled mightily when trying to stop tight ends while he was out of the game for three weeks. Even so, Burns says he still had some issues tacking while out in coverage which led to plenty of yards after the catch for opponents of the Browns.
Burns also said his lack of “quick twitch and burst” led to issues with lateral tackling. He pointed out that the majority of Schobert’s tackles in the running game came inside the box as he had issues getting outside.
Of course, some of the issues — especially with lateral tackling ‚— can have a lot to do with the scheme. With a new defensive coordinator in Steve Wilks this season, Schobert has the perfect opportunity to prove he deserves a big contract. But it all hinges on him shoring up the issue with missing tackles.