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Browns’ defensive snap counts, stats, and notes: Week 2

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Myles Garrett logs three sacks, Joe Schobert plays very well, and Denzel Ward looks a bit off.

Cleveland Browns v New York Jets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Below, we analyze the snap counts and stats on defense for the Cleveland Browns’ Week 2 game against the New York Jets.

Defensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
DL Oliver Vernon 49 72% 1 tackle (1 combined).
DL Myles Garrett 47 69% 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined). 3 sacks, 3 TFL, 5 QH.
DL Larry Ogunjobi 42 62% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined). 1 QH.
DL Sheldon Richardson 41 60% 3 tackles, 2 assists (5 combined).
DL Chris Smith 26 38% 1 pass defended.
DL Devaroe Lawrence 26 38% No stats registered.
DL Daniel Ekuale 22 32% 1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined). 1 TFL.
DL Chad Thomas 19 28% 2 assists (2 combined).
  • One thing that gets under my skin a bit is when defensive linemen don’t rotate enough to stay fresh. Cleveland did that last week, as all of their backup linemen played in 9% or less of the snaps. In Week 2, that changed. The four starters were each around 60-70% of the snaps, while the four backups were at 30-40% of the snaps.
  • Myles Garrett is a different animal this season. I love the intensity he is bringing, and the increased use of his strength to bulldoze over people. I couldn’t believe how long it took Jets head coach Adam Gase to make an adjustment and start having people chip Garrett a tad. As far as his roughing the passer penalties go, I didn’t like the fact that Garrett did it twice on 3rd-and-long when the quarterback was backed up and had already thrown the ball. You know those type of plays get called in the NFL. If his idea was to punish quarterbacks and not care about the fine to follow, then mission accomplished, I guess. It is hard to be critical of Garrett, though, because then you’re telling a possessed/dominant player to be careful with the very drive that helps him get some of those other sacks.
  • An improvement for Olivier Vernon this week: he showed up on the stat sheet with one tackle! Chris Smith deflected a pass late in the game to get on the stat sheet.

Linebacker

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
LB Joe Schobert 68 100% 10 tackles, 3 assists (13 combined). 1 TFL. 1 FF.
LB Christian Kirksey 57 84% 1 tackle, 3 assists (4 combined).
LB Mack Wilson 11 16% 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
  • Besides one whiff on a spin move by Le’Veon Bell, this was a great game for Joe Schobert, who led the team with 13 tackles. He forced a fumble on Bell late in the game to prevent them from getting a touchdown. Schobert was the Browns’ highest-graded defender by Pro Football Focus for Week 2:
  • Mack Wilson saw some action, but only when Christian Kirksey had to exit the game for an injury. Otherwise, for the second week in a row, it looks like Cleveland had no intention of giving any reps to their rookie linebackers.

Cornerback

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
CB Denzel Ward 68 100% 4 tackles, 3 assists (7 combined).
CB Greedy Williams 67 99% 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined).
CB T.J. Carrie 39 57% 1 fumble recovery.
  • Through two weeks, second-year CB Denzel Ward looks “off.” I know some of it is zone coverage, but some of the biggest pass plays the Browns have given up have come in the direction of Ward.
  • Greedy Williams played all but one snap this week, ending the rotation that he was in with Terrance Mitchell last week. Mitchell only played on special teams this week. Williams did a solid job from what I could see — the Jets didn’t pass downfield very much, though. T.J. Carrie helped lock Jamison Crowder down for the whole came.

Safety

Pos Player Plays % Stats
Pos Player Plays % Stats
S Jermaine Whitehead 68 100% 5 tackles, 1 assist (6 combined).
S Morgan Burnett 48 71% 2 tackles, 4 assists (6 combined). 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QH.
S Eric Murray 42 62% 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).
S Sheldrick Redwine 8 12% No stats registered.
  • It’ll still take me time to get used to Cleveland’s safety situation, especially with Damarious Randall having been out this week. Jermaine Whitehead played the entire game; and then a combination of Eric Murray, Morgan Burnett, and Sheldrick Redwine played too. Burnett had his second sack in as many weeks.