The Cleveland Browns defensive line is planning to unleash - in the words of defensive end Myles Garrett - a “blood bath” on opposing quarterbacks in 2019.
That is the type of plan that Browns fans everywhere can get behind, and one that the team should be able to start executing on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in the opening game of the season.
The Titans are already without starting left tackle Taylor Lewan, who is suspended for the first four games of the season, and right tackle Jack Conklin has been dealing with a knee issue (although Conklin was a full participant in practice on Friday). In addition, starting right guard Kevin Pamphile has not practiced all week and is listed as questionable.
With Lewan out, the Titans will turn to Dennis Kelly, who has played two regular-season snaps at left tackle, to hold Garrett at bay. Cleveland defensive coordinator Steve Wilks talked this week about how the Browns expect the Titans to give Kelly extra help in dealing with Garrett, which should create plenty of opportunities for defensive tackles Sheldon Richardson and Larry Ogunjobi, and defensive end Olivier Vernon.
No matter what the Titans or offensive lines throw at them, the defensive line is focusing on being the best it can be this season, Vernon told ohio.com:
“It’s really what we’re going to put on our shoulders as far as the defensive line. We know what we’re capable of, we’ve just got to put it out there on the field. We aren’t really focusing on what’s going on on the outside — people are trying to put us up on some type of pedestal. We know what we can do and all we’ve got to do is work hard and see how it goes from there.”
The Browns gave opposing quarterbacks a hint of what is in store for them during the preseason when they sacked Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston five times in the first half.
Sunday’s game against the Titans will be the first opportunity for the Browns defensive line to show what they can do in a game that matters.
Let the blood bath commence.