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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 11

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The Browns’ defense is dealing with a bunch of suspensions and injuries right now.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 11 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Larry Ogunjobi 63 85% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QH.
DL Myles Garrett 57 77% 1 tackle (1 combined). 3 QH.
DL Chad Thomas 57 77% 3 tackles (3 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH, 1 pass defended.
DL Sheldon Richardson 49 66% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 QH.
DL Chris Smith 29 39% 1 assist (1 combined). 1 QH.
DL Devaroe Lawrence 28 38% No stats registered.
DL Eli Ankou 13 18% 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 TFL.
  • There is a lot to sort through here. As a defense, the Browns had 11 hits on Mason Rudolph (well, 12 if you count the helmet hit). 8 of those hits came from the defensive line. 5 of those hits were from two players facing suspension now (2 for Larry Ogunjobi, 3 for Myles Garrett).
  • Ogunjobi and Garrett have been playing a ton of snaps all season. Since Olivier Vernon’s injury a couple of weeks ago, Chad Thomas has filled in and played way above my expectations (including logging another sack this week and almost having an interception). The problem is that Cleveland really doesn’t have a long-term option to replace those snaps in the starting lineup.
  • Ideally, Vernon would come back from his knee injury this week, but when he’ll return is still a question mark. Is veteran Chris Smith going to get most of Garrett’s snaps (actually, Thomas would shift over)? Smith is good for depth, but as a starter, that’s a hefty downgrade. The same goes for Ogunjobi up front. Sheldon Richardson is the only starter in tact right now; I’d expect some works for this week’s game in Miami.

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB Joe Schobert 74 100% 7 tackles, 3 assists (10 combined). 1 sack, 2 TFL, 2 QH, 2 INT, 4 passes defended.
LB Mack Wilson 74 100% 1 tackle, 4 assists (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
LB Sione Takitaki 6 8% No stats registered.
  • This was an amazing game for Joe Schobert, who filled up the stat sheet in impressive fashion. Take a look at what PFF said about his performance:
  • Sione Takitaki played 6 snaps on defense, staying ahead of Adarius Taylor on the depth chart.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Denzel Ward 74 100% 4 tackles (4 combined). 1 pass defended.
CB Greedy Williams 73 99% 6 tackles, 1 assist (7 combined). 1 TFL.
CB T.J. Carrie 63 85% 1 tackle (1 combined).
CB Tavierre Thomas 1 1% No stats registered.
  • He may not have been flagged a lot, so the stat sheet won’t show it, but this was a pretty rough game for Greedy Williams. The Steelers had no offensive players (with experience) left, so they wisely took the approach of chucking the ball down the sideline and hoping for a catch or interference. Williams was flagged once for it, but was borderline on a few other plays, and against better receivers, would have allowed the big catches. He needs to get his head snapped around more on those plays to locate the ball. On the bright side, his run defense has been great.
  • Denzel Ward is still waiting for his first interception of the year. He almost had one against Pittsburgh, but the overthrown pass went off his hands.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Damarious Randall 43 58% 1 tackle (1 combined).
S Juston Burris 42 57% 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined). 1 sack, 1 QH, 1 INT, 1 pass defended, 1 FF.
S Morgan Burnett 35 47% 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined). 1 TFL, 1 INT, 2 passes defended.
S Sheldrick Redwine 33 45% 1 tackle (1 combined).
  • The safety depth was tested against the Steelers, as Damarious Randall was ejected mid-way through the game for a hit to the head, and Morgan Burnett was lost to a season-ending Achilles’ injury. Safety depth has been shaky all season due to injury, and whatever that Jermaine Whitehead experiment was.
  • Juston Burris and Sheldrick Redwine both stepped up to the plate and did a good job. But that was against Mason Rudolph, a below average quarterback. Fortunately, Randall will be back, and Burnett was never viewed as a long-term answer at strong safety. I don’t know what direction Steve Wilks will go at strong safety, but I like the way Burris has played when given opportunities. When Eric Murray returns from injury, it’ll probably be his starting job the rest of the way.