Why the Cleveland Browns Defense can be ELITE in 2021
Cleveland Browns defensive line
The Browns defensive line, led by Myles Garrett, only got better and healthier this offseason which should lead to a dominant front line of attack.
Last season, Myles Garrett was on pace for a career year before he contracted COVID-19 right before the team’s Week 11 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Garrett missed two games before he returned in a limited capacity Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans.
For the rest of the season, Garrett just wasn’t the same. He later admitted that COVID-19 impacted his breathing because of his asthma, which ultimately impacted his play on the field. Garrett said that conditioning-wise, he felt like he was only at 50%.
Now, Garrett is full steam ahead for the 2021 season and has put his rough experience with COVID-19 behind him.
Andrew Berry gave Garrett a gift this offseason… a partner in crime. Jadeveon Clowney agreed to a one-year deal with the Browns in mid-April. A former No. 1 overall pick to the Houston Texans, Clowney has had awful luck with the injury bug. In his NFL career though, Clowney is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and earned second-team All-Pro in his 2016 campaign.
Clowney has never been a guy to blow up the stat columns though. With an injury history and not a lot of sacks, many people think he’s “washed up” and teams may have been afraid to take the risk on him. Not the Browns though. When you look at the amount he is double-teamed, it may change your opinion.
Now, with Garrett and Clowney on the same defensive line, it will be tough for opposing offensive lines to double team both of them. It could very well turn into a pick-your-poison for the opponents.
Now throw guys like Takkarist McKinley, Malik Jackson, and Andrew Billings into the mix, we could be seeing a top defensive front in all of football emerging.