Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently asked the question — is the Cleveland Browns defense fixed?
Last season the Cleveland Browns made huge strides, but their biggest weakness was their defense. General manager Andrew Berry focused on defense this offseason, so is it fixed?
Berry and the Browns used most of their resources to enhance the defense with the hopes that it will take this team to the next step and be in the mix to go to the Super Bowl.
Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report asked questions about every division in the NFL and asked if the Browns defense was fixed for the AFC North portion.
That answer remains to be seen on the field, but it appears the Browns did indeed fix the defense on paper. Cleveland should have an entirely new starting lineup on defense outside of defensive end Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward.
Berry went out and made big splashes in free agency by signing safety John Johnson III, cornerback Troy Hill, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, linebacker Anthony Walker. He also selected cornerback Greg Newsome II in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and then linebacker hybrid Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the second round.
Johnson and Hill were teammates for the top-ranked Rams passing defense last season, and if they can produce at that same level, there won’t be a lot of shootouts. If Clowney can be rejuvenated, he and Garrett will wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
Defensive coordinator Joe Woods has to be salivating at all the possibilities he can incorporate into this defense with all these new players.
Along with all the additions made in the offseason, the Browns will welcome back cornerback Greedy Williams (shoulder) and safety Grant Delpit (Achilles) from injury. The Browns know a little of what Williams brings to the table, as he played in 12 games as a rookie in 2019. Delpit, who was a second-round pick last year, was lost for the year in training camp.
Speaking of injuries, last year the Browns defense was riddled with them, which is a major reason the Browns allowed teams to make big comebacks in games that should have been blowouts.
Last year, Cleveland ranked 21st in points per game allowed at 26.2. Not many Super Bowl teams will win, allowing so many points, despite how good the offense is. In addition, the Browns gave up 110.8 yards per game on the ground and 247.6 through the air.
While this defense seems to be much improved from a year ago, don’t expect it to fully gel in the opening weeks of the season. This will take some time to fully come together, but they do have the benefit of having an actual training camp as opposed to a mostly virtual one last season.
The pieces are in place for the Browns to make a serious run at the Super Bowl run now that they seemingly have a much-improved defense. Now, it just comes down to execution when the season kicks off on September 12 in Kansas City.