Let’s face it, 2010 to 2019 was a horrendous decade for the Cleveland Browns and one we’d like to forget. But the defense showed flashes of greatness on many occasions. A number of Browns defense have been considered amongst the best in their positions, so all was not a complete disaster. So let’s take a look at the 2010s Browns All-Decade Team.
Cleveland Browns All-Decade Team 2010-19: Defense
Defensive End: Myles Garrett
An elite pass rusher, Myles Garrett totaled 30.5 sacks in the first 37 games of his career. He’s one of the league’s best pass rushers. Pro Football Focus named his one of the top players under 25. Garrett had three consecutive seasons of 80.0+ pass-rushing grade. Until he was suspended last season, it was a whopping 91.6.
Defensive End: Jabaal Sheard
Jabaal Sheard was strong for his size and had good instincts and awareness. He was intelligent and versatile. He had the speed to whiz past offensive tackles and the long arms to fight off blocks. Sheard never gave up on snaps and he was so rapid-moving, a former coach said he played “like his hair was on fire.”
Defensive Tackle: Larry Ogunjobi
He struggled in 2019 but Larry Ogunjobi managed his second straight season with 50-plus tackles and 5.5 sacks. He’s the perfect mix of size, speed and athleticism. Expect him to make a big impact in 2020, especially after the new workout regime.
Defensive Tackle: Danny Shelton
Danny Shelton was a top defensive tackle in his 2015 class. He made a valuable 3-down contributor for the Browns. Shelton possessed athleticism and a kind of concentration and body control that made him able to manipulate blockers. He was able to force his way to spots on the field in a way that cannot be taught.
Linebacker: D’Qwell Jackson
He was plagued with injuries until 2011, and D’Qwell Jackson appeared to be on the decline. However, in 2011-2013, he bounced back and provided three productive seasons, starting in all 48 games during that period. He was a rare combination of longevity and production. At the time he left Cleveland, he ranked third in franchise history in solo tackles (530).
Linebacker: Joe Schobert
Joe Schobert is a gifted linebacker who can do a bit of everything. During his time in Cleveland, he was a threat making plays on both sides of the line. He was able to attack the quarterback and was an effective coverage player. A jack of all trades, he was also a leader who could make calls and get players lined up.
Linebacker: Jamie Collins
Losing Jamie Collins was a notable loss because he was versatile and a real difference-maker on the field. Starting all 16 games for his season in Cleveland, he led the team with 104 tackles. He clocked up 13 tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception and one forced fumble in 2018. His performance was impressive given that he’d missed most of the 2017 season due to a torn MCL.
Cornerback: Denzel Ward
Denzel Ward is a Pro Bowl corner. His time with the Browns was productive. He had the numbers. In 16 games, he registered 65 total tackles, including 49 solo stops and 16 assists; 13 passes defended and three interceptions. He was also a valuable contributor on special teams, where he blocked several field goal tries.
Cornerback: Joe Haden
When first drafted in 2010, Joe Haden earned a reputation for being a shutdown cornerback. He was great at interceptions. He talked a good game and thrived against division rivals like A.J. Green. He soon became known more for his amiable character and fully embracing the city of Cleveland. That cemented his popularity and contributed to the ‘impact’ he had on the franchise.
Special safety: TJ Ward
An All-Pro and Pro-Bowl selection, T.J. Ward was an impact player in Cleveland. In 2013, he was ranked third-highest of all safeties, and appeared to be in his prime. He was a leader on the young defense and contributed to the unit finding their footing that season. Ward made a positive impact off-field too, always giving pep talks to his teammates or hyping up the crowd.
Free safety: Tashaun Gipson
Tashaun Gipson is a Pro Bowler who ranked 67 in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015 – during his time with the Browns. Gipson had an uncanny knack for catching a ball no matter where it was headed. A “nose for the ball” is what some say. The ball could be going in any direction, he would somehow get a pick.
Embed from Getty Images