3 areas the Cleveland Browns Defense needs to improve in 2021
One thing is for certain, general manager Andrew Berry was sick of watching as his
defense struggled tremendously last season. At times it felt like the unit couldn’t stop a wet paper bag, but it feels like things will certainly be different in 2021.
To be fair, no one is really to blame for the defense being so bad last year. Multiple starters never played a game (Greedy Williams and Grant Delpit), while other starters missed multiple games throughout the year.
Most notably, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Ronnie Harrison, and Olivier Vernon all missed multiple games for various reasons. When you take your top two guys out (Garrett and Ward), your defense becomes vulnerable very quickly.
The biggest shock of 2020, as bad as the defense was, the team still managed to win 11 regular-season games, and a first-round playoff game on the road. That is a very telling stat of just how good Kevin Stefanski’s offense was under the direction of Baker Mayfield.
Defensive coordinator, Joe Woods, comes into year two with a roster that is finally built to do what he wants. That is get after the passer and play tight man-to-man coverage on the outside. While that seems easy to do, it’s nearly impossible without a good roster in the NFL.
Even though guys will be healthy, Berry added free agents, and the Browns drafted heavily on the defensive side of the football in 2021, it’s going to take some work to get better. Woods and company will really need to focus on these three areas to become an elite defense.