Cleveland Browns question No. 2 – What’s the identity on defense?
The offense was frustrating at times, but I’m still not sold on this defense even as well as they finished the season. When I look at the Bengals defensive roster, I see Trey Hendrickson and Jessie Bates. Don’t get me wrong, they have good players, but nothing that jumps out at you.
I would argue that Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and Denzel Ward are better individual players than anyone on the Bengals roster. So, what’s the difference? The Bengals have an identity on defense. They get pressure on the quarterback, and they run to the football.
Joe Woods has yet to establish an identity. Part of it is him trying to figure out what scheme he wants to run, and part of it feels like him being scared to really cut loose. It’s easy to get complacent with great edge rushers like the Browns have, but things need to be different in 2021.
I want to see the Browns utilize Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Grant Delpit as blitzers. I want to see the corners in tight man-to-man coverage because they know the opposing quarterback is going to be under pressure quickly.
This may cause you to give up a few big plays, but this defense needs to find a way to be elite. There is far too much talent for it not to be a top-three defense in the league in 2022.