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Sunday, September 14, 2008

3-4 is not the Cleveland Browns Problem

I have heard several fans and local media people say the Browns need to stop using the 3-4. The reasons vary from the Browns can't sack the quarterback or they can't stop the run. The solution for most people is to go back to a four man line. If you study the Browns defensive line throughout the game, they do play a lot of four man line. On most passing downs the Browns have three defensive linemen and either Kameron Wimbley or Willie McGinest with their hand in the dirt.

So what is exactly is causing the problem with the defense if it's not the scheme? You have to take a look at the players, not the scheme. The first player to look at is Kamerion Wimbley, his role in the 3-4 is the pass rushing outside linebacker. One of the problems I saw with him in training camp is the ability that great 3-4 outside linebacker have, the ability to turn speed into power. Kamerion's bread and butter in his rookie year when he had 11 sacks was the speed rush. So what teams often do now to stop the speed rush, is wait for it and see if Kamerion has a counter move off the speed rush. So far I have not seen it or it's not working. I would love to see him use signature dip move to setup the offensive tackle to stop that and then hit him with the bull rush. Another move he could use would be to setup the speed rush then club and rip inside. All of this sound pretty good in a vacuum of a blog, but it hard to do.

If you look at the the other guys on defensive they don't really scare other teams except for Shaun Rodgers. Rodgers was worth his weight in gold during the Dallas game, by disruptive when single blocked and occupying two blockers on other plays. The problem is the inside linebackers didn't make plays. That is what the real problem is with the Cleveland Browns version of the 3-4, the three being the defensive line did their job in the Dallas game. The inside backers were free to make plays and didn't. In the Dallas game I thought D'Qwell Jackson had bad game although he had a lot of tackles. The problem with those tackles were after large gains by the receivers and running backs of the Cowboys. Andra Davis played okay, but dropped a key interception when the Cowboys were in redzone.

As I watched the Dallas game, I thought Phil Savage will need to spend Randy Lerner's money and draft picks in the off season on linebackers and not the secondary. The New York Giants proved that if the front seven can stop the run and sack the quarterback the corners can be average. If you get Daven Holly back, draft a corner, sign a stud free agent linebacker, and draft a stud linebacker in the first round pick the Browns defense should be okay Next Year. For now the best bet for Romeo Crennel would be to find away to put the Browns two best defensive player Shaun Rodgers and Kamerion Wimbley in position to make plays.

The bottom line is the offense will have to carry this team for the rest of the 2008 season.

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