A strong safety that needs to have a strong game.
Jermaine Whitehead is the most unheralded player on the Cleveland Browns defense. The fourth-year strong safety out of Auburn has started all five games for the Browns so far this season. Whitehead will have a large role in slowing down the Seahawks rushing attack on Sunday.
Steve Wilks’ arrival as the defensive coordinator has been instrumental for Whitehead. Wilks’ base defense mainly employs a five defensive back scheme. The majority of the time that means three safeties on the football field at any given time.
Whitehead will be the de-facto seventh man in the box for the bulk of the early-down action on Sunday. Normally the seventh man in the box would be the Will linebacker, but that position is rarely seen in Wilks’ scheme. With the inability to stack the box with eight men due to Russell Wilson’s acumen as a quarterback, that means Whitehead’s play will be pivotal in stopping the Seahawks’ rushing attack.
In the passing game, Whitehead will play a role in attempting to slow down the Seahawks’ tight end Will Dissly. The second-year tight end has played a vital role in the Seahawks offense this season. In five games Dissly has 23 receptions for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Limiting his production has to be a priority this week.
Whitehead has had some trouble this season with untimely penalties and unfortunately, they have been of the 15-yard variety. If Whitehead is able to play smart fundamentally sound football his play could go a long way in ensuring the Browns are in a position to get a victory on Sunday.