In an article published by the football statistics site Pro Football Focus, they reviewed the players on the teams in the AFC North in a series called "Movers and Fallers." There were three categories for each team, including "Moving on Up," "Had a Bad Year," and "Give This Guy More Snaps." Which three members of the 2010 Cleveland Browns fell into those categories?
Moving on Up - ILB Chris Gocong: I didn't think Gocong was anything particularly special this season, but maybe that is because I was yearning for the type of linebackers you would see in Pittsburgh or Baltimore. Gocong was rated a -1.7 last season and moved up to a +18.5. Pro Football Focus cites the fact that Gocong was a dominant force as a run stopper, had decent pass rusher, and was pretty good in pass coverage.
Had a Bad Year - RT John St. Clair: No surprise here, as the veteran went from a +2.9 down to a -9.4. St. Clair was not great in 2009, but toward the end of the season he had showed marked improvement. In 2010, he was just flat out awful, and I'm sure that is part of the reason he was released the other day.
- Give This Guy More Snaps - OLB Marcus Benard: I was disappointed that Benard didn't have more snaps this season, so this category already makes sense in that respect. Pro Football Focus points out that Benard was rated an +8.5 in 255 snaps, saying that he pressured the quarterback once every 7.5 snaps, which is close to what Clay Matthews averaged full time (once every 7.53 snaps). They conclude that if played full time, Benard could turn into next year's Cameron Wake. We can only hope.