Latest cryptic Myles Garrett comment makes valid point

Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cleveland Browns, Myles Garrett
Tommy Togiai (93) Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The secret is there is no secret

The Browns have no organized run defense.

Defense is played at three levels. All three levels have to play in unity with each other. By doing so they play as a coherent whole. In such a case, the actions of the defensive line support the linebackers whose actions support the defensive backs. When such unified coherence occurs, it is called team defense.

Cleveland doesn’t play team defense against the run. They have a great team defensive philosophy against the pass. But it’s hard to grasp what their defensive philosophy is against the run. It literally seems like the defense defends the pass on every play while stopping the run if it happens to occur.

The difficulty with such an approach is that there’s no coherent plan to stop the run. If a defensive lineman penetrates upfield, it leaves an opposing offensive lineman free to work on a linebacker. Thus, not only does the defensive lineman run himself out of the play, but he also sets up his linebacker to be blocked.

This issue is exacerbated by the Browns preferring smaller, faster linebackers who are not physically able to get off blocks. Their strategy seems to be to elude blocks to make a play. But such a strategy works if the linebackers are “protected” by the defensive linemen taking up two offensive linemen. If the opposing offensive lineman is allowed to climb to the second level consistently, the linebackers have very little chance of being able to stop the run.

Stopping the run has to be a coordinated effort by a defense. The Browns fail to achieve such a coordinated effort. It seems they are trying to stop the pass because that is what analytics states win games.

The failure to take concrete reality into consideration is putting the defense in a bad position schematically game in and game out. What is the point of having Clowney or Garrett if they are constantly put in a position to be effective only on pass plays?

Watch this long enough, one has to wonder why players give the effort they do. They aren’t being set up to make plays or play team defense. To quote Garrett, “Doesn’t matter if you are ready to run through a wall if it is in the wrong direction”.