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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and PFF notes: Week 1

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The Browns received some surprise performances from the likes of DT Larry Ogunjobi, MLB Joe Schobert, and S Derrick Kindred.

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns' Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Emmanuel Ogbah 42 70% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 pass defended.
DL Carl Nassib 40 67% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH.
DL Trevon Coley 39 65% 1 tackle (1 combined).
DL Danny Shelton 23 38% 1 tackle (1 combined).
DL Nate Orchard 18 30% No stats registered.
DL Larry Ogunjobi 17 28% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
DL Tyrone Holmes 16 27% No stats registered.
DL Jamie Meder 10 17% No stats registered.

Notes:

  • Carl Nassib got the start in place of Myles Garrett. Except for the one sack he had, though, he and Emmanuel Ogbah were pretty ineffective. According to PFF, Nassib graded out to a 44.0, while Ogbah was just a 42.4
  • For the game in general, the Browns only pressured QB Ben Roethlisberger once in 37 dropbacks, per PFF. When you consider the fact that QB DeShone Kizer was pressured 19 times in 41 dropbacks, that’s a huge difference.
  • Although he played only 17 snaps, Larry Ogunjobi received high praise from PFF for his exceptional run defense. In fact, he posted the higher run defense grade for interior defenders this week:
  • The Browns held the Steelers to just 35 total net yards rushing (2.1 YPC).

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB Christian Kirksey 60 100% 2 tackles, 3 assists (5 combined).
LB Joe Schobert 60 100% 4 tackles, 5 assists (9 combined).
LB Jamie Collins 59 98% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 FF.
LB James Burgess 9 15% 1 pass defended.

Notes:

  • Before the game started, I predicted that we would end up seeing a lot of Joe Schobert, after thinking that middle linebacker would be a seldom-used position in this defense. Stunningly, Schobert played the entire game. He led the team with 9 tackles, and I thought he did a good job finishing plays again.
  • It’s a shame that Schobert’s work in coverage didn’t pay off. He did a nice job tipping the pass that deflected right to WR Antonio Brown for a 50-yard gain. Then, he was in coverage on both of TE Jesse Jamestouchdowns, but was all over him for the first one and then was just victimized by a great play call on the second one. Still, despite all that, Schobert graded out as the team’s 5th best defender on the day (77.0) by PFF.
  • The Browns utilized James Burgess on some 3rd-and-long passing situations, and he came away with a deflected pass.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Jamar Taylor 60 100% 3 tackles, 3 assists (6 combined).
CB Jason McCourty 60 100% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun 47 78% 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined). 1 pass defended.

Notes:

  • Jamar Taylor talked a big game, but I think everyone knew that nobody on our team (or many other teams, for that matter) would be able to stop Antonio Brown. PFF says that Taylor was targeted 8 times and allowed 8 catches for 82 yards, 5 of which came against Brown. Taylor was graded a 32.8 by PFF, the worst among all Browns players.
  • On the flip side, Briean Boddy-Calhoun was great, allowing just 1 catch for 6 yards on the 3 times he was targeted. He also tipped the pass in the red zone that led to the interception for Derrick Kindred. Also, although Pittsburgh still scored, Boddy-Calhoun delivered an absolute lick to running back Le’Veon Bell down near the goal line.
  • Cleveland only played three cornerbacks, and all of them were on the field most of the game.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Jabrill Peppers 60 100% 4 tackles (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
S Derrick Kindred 40 67% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 INT, 2 passes defended.

Notes:

  • We saw the footage over and over on how Jabrill Peppers was playing the deep free safety position 25-30 yards back. I like the idea in a way, because it takes away the deep threat for Pittsburgh, and the rest of our defense appeared up to the task of playing physical football. However, there was also part of me that wanted to see Peppers be more involved near the line of scrimmage. Per PFF, he was the team’s fourth-ranked defender with a grade of 78.1, and 49 of his 61 snaps were at the deep safety spot.
  • Although he only played 67% of the snaps, Derrick Kindred made his mark on the game, and it was more than just catching the interception. He ended up as the Browns' highest-graded defender on the day with an 85.2 grade.
  • Similar to cornerback, the Browns kept their defensive back rotation thin — no snaps for Ibraheim Campbell or Kai Nacua. We could see this change week-to-week, depending on who the opponent is.

Thanks to Pro Football Focus for some of the neat stats they provided. You can follow their PFF Twitter account exclusively about the Browns @PFF_Cleveland.