Issues That Cleveland Browns Must Address

Cleveland Browns Issues

There are just a few issues that the Cleveland Browns must address before the season starts. Expectations are high of this team, and their roster has been considered one of the best. They were wise in resting their starters for the preseason opener, confirming that their backups were enough to overcome Jacksonville Jaguars number one’s. So, which areas need to be addressed? Let’s discuss.

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Cleveland Browns Have a Few Issues That Need Fixing

Run Blocking

The Browns were unable to get any real push in the run blocking against Jacksonville. Early in the game, it looked like they would get about 2.8 yards per carry. That isn’t ideal. The situation worsened when John Kelly bounced plays outside, resulting in -1 yards on eight carries. Cleveland ended up with 41 yards on 26 carries. On the flip side, the Browns pass protection was more than adequate, despite some bad reps by some players.

Pass Rushing

Cleveland’s front four struggled with their pass rush. Aside from Porter Gustin, the group floundered in generating any pressure. Curtis Weaver was a sufficient run defender but could not pass rush at all. Takkarist McKinley’s status is uncertain, so the Browns must improve in pass rushing – and quickly. Perhaps they might even bring in other players. Something that doesn’t require much improvement is blitzing, which wasn’t a problem thanks to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The sack on his first play set the tone, and the Browns were then able to put pressure on the opposing passer.

Offensive Tackle – James Hudson III or Alex Taylor?

Alex Taylor was on the practice squad in 2020, making a transition from basketball to football. In last week’s preseason game, he looked the part of an offensive tackle. At 6’8”, he is light on his feet and opponents have a monumental task trying to get around him. He displayed good flexibility and anchoring capabilities, making him a good fit in Cleveland’s zone scheme. James Hudson however, struggled in pass protection with some opponents escaping from his blocks. He has demonstrated he has the tools to be a good blocker, but it will take some work.

Offensive Guard – Drew Forbes or Michael Dunn?

Before this preseason game, Michael Dunn had only played one NFL game. He had displayed huge potential only to get injured. Against Jacksonville, he was the best offensive lineman. Unlike the others, he created momentum in the running game. Also vying for the spot, Drew Forbes’ strength is in pass protection. While he has good athleticism, he plays too high and narrow which creates issues when hitting moving targets. His run blocking is excellent and if he can play lower, he can still be a valuable guard. At this moment, Dunn has a slight advantage at being the sixth man on the offensive line, even if he does only play on the inside.

Safety – Sheldrick Redwine or Richard LeCounte

It is the cruel nature of the game, but Sheldrick Redwine wasn’t able to play due to injury. Richard LeCounte III stepped in, displaying excellent range and speed. With a sack and quarterback hit, this was a fantastic professional debut, especially when you remember that six months ago, he was still recovering from a dirt bike accident. There is a chance the Browns keep both LeCounte and Redwine. But if they want one true backup strong safety, Redwine will not be it.

The Browns are secure in most aspects of their game. Run blocking and pass rushing can easily improve especially when many analysts believe the Browns have one of the best rosters They are right, especially in reference to their starters. Among the backups and rookies, there is a lot of talent available. Some have shone brighter than others, and in the next few weeks, it will be clear who can shine consistently.

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