The 2021 Browns were meant to be that juggernaut on offense while defense got that label of hope and prayer.
Except DC Joe Woods’ Defense played well on the track. And right in the middle was the defensive backfield.
The cornerback position was a huge question mark. could Denzel Wart maintain his Pro Bowl stature? How about Greedy Williams, who was always a target to fill the right cornerback slot but was always injured? Then the Browns were drafted Greg Newsome in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft to work with the veteran free-agent signer Troy Hill and the boy AJ Green.
But for the security position? the Andreas Sendjo experiment was over. Also gone was veteran Karl Joseph and Sheldrick red wine who was a terrible tackler and is probably looking up the phone number of one of those new spring leagues. This meant that this unit would have many new looks.
A veteran was brought in John Johnson III by the Los Angeles Rams to coexist with them Ronny Harrison. Grant Delphi was eventually healthy and the Browns took the promising Richard LeCounte to compete with someone MJ Stewart and Montrel meander.
What is the forecast for the end of 2021?
Administrator: Cleveland Brown’s We Bark Together Facebook fan page
One of the most quoted sayings among die-hard sports fans is that defense wins championships. No matter how productive an offense may be, without the consistent ability to stop opponents from scoring, those hard-earned points quickly become insufficient to win. Therefore, in the Browns’ relentless quest to hoist the elusive Lombardi trophy, the stealth rating must be on the secondary side, specifically the safeguards.
Deciding who stays on a roster or who goes is often a daunting task, but Cleveland definitely has standouts who should stay on the roster. First up is the Bama man Ronnie Harrison Jr. who was rolled by The Tide to be drafted by the Jaguars, then traded to the Browns two years ago. Harrison skipped the formal introduction and stormed onto the stage, shocking the veteran QB Philip Rivers with an interception and then bent lightning fast legs propelling him easily through the end zone. At 24, he’s young and hungry with an obvious gift for playing the box. Harrison’s strong safety skills also extend to excellent deep coverage, and he knows how to tackle effectively. This has been an area of vulnerability in the Dawgs in the past, so the resolution is welcomed.
Next is standing MJ Stewart. He didn’t start for the Buccaneers when Utility Safety called for waivers from the Tampa Browns, but his impact in Cleveland was immediate. He was most impressive and memorable against the Steelers in a playoff wildcard game, in which he not only made 10 tackles but also snapped one of them Big Ben Roethlisbergers darts, which made him instantly popular with Browns fans. Although he’s had some hamstring problems, he’s only 26, so he represents another in the safety ranks who has that young hunger.
Experience in position must not be underestimated or underestimated and is part of the security John Johnson III checked all the boxes, big time! He is the veteran Super Bowl starter with multi-tackle experience during the biggest game in pro football. A third-round draft pick, he cracked his teeth in his rookie season with the Rams in 2017 when he caught an interception in his first league start. Cleveland signed him as an unrestricted free agent in 2021, and the Browns have been smart to ensure he’s still around after this season. He’s been super solid with 11+ interceptions since his rookie season and was the third-best safety in 2020 with 100+ tackles. He placed first in interceptions, second in fewest receptions allowed, and third in fewest targets thrown in his direction. This one is a no brainer.
Last but not least is to evaluate Grant Delphi which I consider the “mini gambit” here. There’s no question he can play, and his record as a two-time LSU All American confirms that. But as sports fans know, one of the game-changing injuries is a ruptured Achilles tendon, and that’s exactly what Delpit suffered during camp, no less. After being drafted to Cleveland in the second round, his rookie season was simply called off. But does it fit? Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods is a veteran known for incorporating his DBs into his balanced Stop the Run and Pass type defense schemes. In fact, Woods used the 4-2-5 in 67% of defensive plays and even brought in the 4-1-6 for 9%. which means (not overly simplistic) that consistency in secondary play is crucial when trying to stop the ball in Cleveland. So the answer is yes, Delpit fits.
Last year, the Browns ranked 27th in pass defense. A source gave the Browns’ safety a rating of 48.2, the lowest overall rating in the league. It must be noted that injuries also affected safety as Delpit and Harrison were both off duty.
If Delpit, a young, hungry 23-year-old and stallion select rookie, can return to his full pre-injury form based on performance alone, he will fit well into the Woods scheme. In this scenario, Stewart should be fired.
Drafting safety isn’t my pick because Cleveland already has the pieces and those choices are better utilized elsewhere. The Dawgs are simply addressing what every other team is doing, which is the need to stay healthy and increase unit unit productivity. With patient development, Woods must develop the schemes that (1) Johnson utilizes the most in comprehensive reporting and player recognition with his ability to quickly diagnose play (2) Delpit with his ability to play anywhere on the field and prove himself as a Set up Service Provider Slot Guy, or play the box and (3) Harrison with his blinding speed that ensures he doesn’t miss a thing.
What are the facts? If all else fails, the security measures should fail. Basically, one of the main purposes of the security position is to be literally the last line of defense when all other areas of defense are unable to defend themselves.
The bad news is that when weak safeties dominate a squad, the secondary is fatally flawed. The good news is that’s not the case with the Cleveland Browns.
Would you re-sign MJ Stewart?
Of course – a tackling machine
No, he’s a free agent, let him go
2 votes in total