In his weekly column, the Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto suggests that the Cleveland Browns will probably switch to the 4-3 defense next season since it is the scheme that Dick Jauron and Mike Holmgren have been accustom to using. Does Cleveland have the personnel to make the switch to the 4-3 defense?
This change is a big deal because it means the Browns now need four defensive linemen -- and they had trouble finding three healthy and effective defensive linemen last season. Ahtyba Rubin is their best lineman. He was a nose tackle in the 3-4, and he can play tackle in the 4-3. So can Shaun Rogers. But he'll be 32 in March. He packed on pounds and had several injuries last season. He played in 15 games but had only 17 tackles and played 39 percent of the snaps.
One player who might be compelling in a switch to the 4-3 defense is Jayme Mitchell, who Pluto notes played the 4-3 defense in Minnesota. Mitchell never saw any action with the Browns since the team acquired him, but with a new coaching staff coming in next season and his experience in the system, he might have an advantage over his teammates next season at the defensive end position.
Pluto also suggests that D'Qwell Jackson is fit to be the middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense, but how much faith can you put in a guy who has basically missed the past two seasons to injury?
Check out Pluto's column for the rest of his thoughts on the potential switch to the 4-3 defense.