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Browns' Week 4 Defensive Snap Counts vs. Chargers

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Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 30-27 loss to the Chargers.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts on defense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 4 game against the San Diego Chargers.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Randy Starks 45 69% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
DL John Hughes 36 55% 1 assist (1 combined).
DL Danny Shelton 27 42% No stats registered.
DL Xavier Cooper 27 42% 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
DL Jamie Meder 25 38% 2 tackles (2 combined).

Once again, I didn't think the defensive line did a terrible job clogging up the lanes on traditional runs up the middle, as RB Melvin Gordon was held to 3.2 YPC. However, this unit is really missing Desmond Bryant when it comes to being anything more than a pedestrian job.

Outside Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
OLB Paul Kruger 52 80% 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
OLB Armonty Bryant
26 40% 1 quarterback hit.
OLB Nate Orchard 25 38% 1 assist (1 combined).
OLB Barkevious Mingo
18 28% 1 tackle (1 combined).

If you want to feel sad, go back and re-watch Paul Kruger and our other outside pass rushers try to get around the edge time and time again with no productivity. Kruger's ineffectiveness is probably the most baffling defensive story for me this year, considering how good of a 2014 season he had and how lights out he looked this preseason. Barkevious Mingo showed off his speed when he chased down a receiver at the one yard line, but with the rotation of the other three guys besides Kruger, I get the feeling that Jim O'Neil is absolutely dying to get Scott Solomon back.

Inside Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
ILB Christian Kirksey 65 100% 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined).  1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 quarterback hit.
ILB Karlos Dansby 62 95% 4 tackles, 3 assists (7 combined). 1 pass defended.
ILB Tank Carder 3 5% 1 tackle (1 combined).

With Craig Robertson out, the Browns decided not to include Tank Carder in a time share of duties with Christian Kirksey, as the second-year linebacker played every snap and appeared to be one of the bright spots of the afternoon, although he did let Danny Woodhead slip away on his big catch-and-run.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Donte Whitner 65 100% 7 tackles (7 combined). 2 tackles for loss.
S Tashaun Gipson 45 69% 3 tackles (3 combined).
S Jordan Poyer
20 31% 2 tackles (2 combined). 1 quarterback hit.

Donte Whitner had two nice run blitzes for losses in the backfield. What is absurd about the whole Whitner utilization is that when we signed him over T.J. Ward, the reason was supposed to be because of Whitner's ability to defend the pass. Now, we are basically using Whitner the same way the previous regime used Ward when he was here, and Ward's ability to defend the run was pretty darn good. Tashaun Gipson left the game with an injury.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Tramon Williams
62 95% 5 tackles (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Pierre Desir 62 95% 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined). 3 passes defended.
CB Johnson Bademosi 42 65% 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Justin Gilbert
8 12% 2 tackles (2 combined).

The Browns were without Joe Haden and K'Waun Williams, so Pierre Desir and Johnson Bademosi replaced them. Desir did a good job despite giving up a touchdown and committing a couple of penalties. Bademosi did better than one would expect him to, but I think it is a bit ridiculous that he saw work over Justin Gilbert. In a game where the Chargers were missing their receiver mid-way through the game and Cleveland needed a big play, if there is one thing that Gilbert is supposed to excel at, it's making a play on the football. Throw him in there and let him take a chance.

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Amount of Defensive Plays, By the Week

  • Week 1: 61 plays
  • Week 2: 80 plays
  • Week 3: 71 plays
  • Week 4: 65 plays