5 Ways Cleveland Browns can win Super Bowl 54
4. Defense can become elite
Last year, the Cleveland Browns offense was re-tooled. They shipped out all the quarterbacks and changed over the majority of the running backs as well. They even added the NFL’s leading receiver in Jarvis Landry via trade and paid him on a huge deal to be their top receiver. We all saw that the offense was better in 2018 due to these moves, but 2019 was focused much more on defense.
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Sure, their biggest acquisition was wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. — and they took a risk on running back Kareem Hunt — but the majority of the moves were made to add defensive help. Their top free-agent signing was defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. They also landed edge rusher Olivier Vernon in a trade and added some key pieces in safety Morgan Burnett and linebacker Adarius Taylor.
Then in the draft, they were even more defense-oriented as they added Greedy Williams, Sione Takitaki, Sheldrick Redwine, and Mack Wilson. So far, they’ve all looked legit and the Browns could finally have a good defense this season. In fact, there’s a chance they could be a top-10 defense if the moves pan out.
Whether or not that ends up being the case likely depends on the guys up front. Vernon will be paired with Myles Garrett and the interior of that line will feature Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi. All four can get after the quarterback, which will make everyone else’s job easier.
Looking ahead to 2019, the players are excited about this season. Both Garrett and Ogunjobi have said there’s more freedom this season under Steve Wilks, which could be a great sign. If all four linemen play to their potential, this could be an elite defense, which os another step toward winning it all.