3 big fixes for the Cleveland Browns defense in 2023
By Greg Newland
Cleveland Browns defensive fix No. 1 – Improved Defensive Line
I mentioned below that Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett was double-teamed more than any other player in the NFL in 2023. While part of that was the scheme, part of it was how weak the rest of the defensive line was.
Jadeveon Clowney was a strong play opposite of Garrett, but contrary to popular belief, Clowney is a far better run defender than pass rusher. He is certainly a freak athlete, but opposing teams were never scared to leave him in one-on-one situations on passing downs.
Not only did Berry bring in Dalvin Tomlinson to sure up the middle of the line, but the trade for Za’Darius Smith brings yet another huge pass-rushing threat on the opposing side of Garrett. Not to mention, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo who is a pass-rushing specialist will be on the bench when one of the starters gets tired.
The big question at the moment is, who will be the second starting defensive tackle? Currently, the Browns have four or five strong candidates who could break out with so much talent surrounding them.
Remember, the defensive line affects the entire unit. If they can’t get a pass rush the secondary has to be in coverage that much longer. And when the defensive line can’t cover up gaps, linebackers give covered and gaping holes open in the running game.
The Browns vastly improved defensive line will make a huge difference in 2023 for the entire unit.