Cleveland Browns surprises and disappointments from first quarter of 2019
Surprise – T.J. Carrie
With both Ward and Greedy Williams missing two games because of hamstring injuries, the Browns needed their backup cornerbacks to step up. And that is exactly what they have done, especially T.J. Carrie.
Carrie has been reliable in coverage and against the run. He was arguably the defensive MVP against the Rams and helped contain the potent Sean McVay offense. But his strong play has been prevalent all season.
The 29-year-old has made 15 total tackles, one interception, and two passes defensed. He has consistently played tight coverage and is not letting receivers make big plays. Unlike Ward, Carrie seems to be thriving in Wilks’ defense.
Early in the season, Carrie was reliable when covering the slot. But once he moved to the outside, Carrie seemed to take on the extra responsibility and improve his performance. He has an aggressive mindset, which has especially helped in run support. Carrie is not afraid to step up and contain the edge, forcing runners to stay inside and into the waiting arms of another Browns defender.
Once Ward and Williams return from injury, Carrie should have earned himself a larger role as an extra defensive back. And he has played well enough so far this season that it could be hard to keep Carrie off the field.