3 players that need to step up for Cleveland Browns defense to turn around
By Clay Goodwin
1. Myles Garrett, Defensive end
Defensive end Myles Garrett is widely considered the Browns’ best player. He was playing as such until Week 11 against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he struck quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his helmet. He was then suspended for the rest of the year and possibly more.
The defense was completely different with the departure of Garrett. He’s an absolute dominant presence and is almost impossible to block. Opposing offenses have to game plan for him. He draws chips from running backs and tight ends, double teams, and even triple teams. Sending extra blockers on Garrett frees up our other players to make plays.
Garrett also excels at run defense. Often times it may go unnoticed, but Garrett forces run plays to be stretched out for no gain. He is athletic and strong enough to keep leverage and chase backs to the sideline before they can turn up the field. Even if he did not actually make the tackle, he certainly made the play. He is the motor of the Cleveland defense.
Offenses cannot run long-developing pass plays with Garrett on the field and he causes opposing quarterbacks to have a short internal clock and flush the pocket or make poor decisions. This results in the secondary only having to cover for short periods of time. The impact Garrett has on the game is hard to quantify.
Unfortunately, when not on the field, he gives the Browns none of that.
The Browns need Myles to work all offseason and come back with a chip on his shoulder. He should be ready and hungry to play football again. Watch for Myles to have an incredible year and lead the defense to much better numbers.