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Browns guard Joel Bitonio earns All-Pro nod

Veteran offensive lineman named to second team for second consecutive season.

Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns left guard Joel Bitonio was named to the Associated Press’ All-Pro second team on Friday.

It is the second consecutive season that the sixth-year veteran has earned the honor.

Bitonio was a second-round selection by the Browns in the 2014 NFL Draft and he instantly grabbed a starter’s role as a rookie. Injuries limited him to just 15 games over the course of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but he has not missed a start since then.

Bitonio and JC Tretter were the only reliable members of Cleveland’s offensive line this season thanks to the questionable moves by former general manager John Dorsey, and as a result the unit fell from a No. 2 ranking by Pro Football Focus in 2018 down to No. 23 this season.

The issues at both tackle spots and right guard make it difficult for the offensive line to build a consistent unit, Bitonio told in December:

It’s getting the communication and your combination blocks. A lot of time you’re double-teaming or working with somebody and you’re switching between -- for me, Greg (Robinson), (Kendall) Lamm and J-Mac (Justin McCray). The right side has had a couple different guards, a couple different tackles. It’s one of those things where you want to continue to get those reps in practice. Again, coach (James) Campen has done a good job of rotating us in training camp and things of that nature to try to put us in position to where we’ve repped with those guys. It’s just communication and making sure you know who you’re with. Guys have certain limitations or do certain things better, so you work with that to perfect the scheme.

In December, Bitonio was named as a first alternate to the Pro Bowl.