Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Browns Talk 1/10/17: The Browns Defense Going Forward With Gregg Williams

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The Cleveland Browns will have a new defensive coordinator for the 2017 season. Gregg Williams was officially named as DC Saturday and is expected to bring 3-4 coaches with him from the Rams. This change isn't just a coaching change though, its a schematic also. For the first time since 2012, the Browns will use the 4-3 defense. Gregg Williams primarily uses the 4-3 base defense and has for most of his career...and frankly it fits this roster better going forward.

The Browns defense going into this off-season still has major holes but the simple switch to the 4-3 helps patch up some of them. For example, Emmanual Ogbah will be a defensive end in the 4-3 defense. He can just focus on run stopping and pass rushing instead of including pass coverage when he was an outside linebacker in the 3-4. Ogbah started to play well when he was switched to the defensive line in the last month and a half of the season.  Same thing does with Desmond Bryant who might end up moving to defensive tackle next to Danny Shelton in a 4-3.

Now of course there are some players who won't have to change positions but it will help with depth at individual positions...like at middle linebacker. Christian Kirksey should continue to be the middle linebacker in the 4-3. He has a nose for the ball and speed to play the run and pass in the 4-3. Kirksey by the way lead the team in tackles with 148. With that Demario Davis will become the main backup for Kirksey and that's going to make the entire defense stronger. Having a former starter, who was the second on the team in tackles, as a backup should help this team on the field and the front office off the field during free agency and the draft.

The Browns obviously have the number one overall pick and the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft. They have been linked to a handful of players at number one but Myles Garrett seems to be consensus best player in this draft and has been mocked to the Browns at one by almost every "draft expert". Myles Garrett has been compared to Jevon Kearse by NFL.com draft Analyst Lance Zierlein. Garrett on the opposite side of Ogbah would help the development of both player. Williams' defense will use both of their strengths and try and get to the quarterback as much as they can. Garrett wouldn't have to worry about covering a running back or tight end at all like Ogbah did for the first 2/3rd of his NFL career.

With the 12th overall pick the Browns have been linked to many players on both sides of the ball. A ton of fans hope one of the top rated safeties end up dropping to the Browns. Malik Hooker and Jamal Adams are the top rated "free" and "strong" safety. They've been compared to elite players in recent history. Hooker could be the next Ed Reed and Jamal Adams was recently compared to Sean Taylor by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report. I know those are crazy comparisons but if one of these guys are there at 12, it would be crazy for the Browns to pass up one of those guys. Especially Adams who was compared to Sean Taylor and Gregg Williams was his defensive coordinator in Washington during his career.

Free Agency is going to be interesting for the Browns. They have a ton of money in their pocket to spend and a few holes to fill on defense. The Browns I'm sure want Jamie Collins for the long-term. Collins is one of the best outside linebackers in the NFL and the change of defensive schemes shouldn't affect his position status with the team. But there are a couple free agents who would help this defense day one.

Duron Harmon is a safety from the New England Patriots. He's going to be a unrestricted free agent this off-season and is set to get a pay day from a new team. He's currently the backup for Devin McCourty. Harmon is only 26 years old so it would fit the Browns' rebuilding plan. He's coming from the New England and that doesn't hurt and is a perfect fit to help change the culture.

Trumaine Johnson is another guy who would fit this Browns team. He's been part Gregg Williams defense the past few years and had his best years under Williams (164 tackles and 11 interceptions since 2014).  He's another unrestricted free agent who is only 27 years old. Johnson and Haden patrolling the secondary with Gregg Williams attacking defense with hopefully one of the rookie safeties and Myles Garrett...that's starting to become "on paper" a top tier defense in the NFL.

No comments:

Post a Comment