The Cleveland Browns’ defense made the most of their 26½ minutes on the field in last Sunday’s 20-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
They forced the Steelers into eight turnovers and sacked quarterback Charlie Batch once for six lost yards. The Browns recovered five of the seven fumbles they forced and intercepted Batch three times.
“It’s rare,” Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said. “Obviously, they were playing without some people, the Steelers were, but our guys did a great job. I thought they played hard and they tackled well. They knocked the ball out, stripped the ball a number of times. It was really a rare occasion to get eight.”
Jauron said part of the credit for the success against the Steelers goes to the preparation during the week.
“Probably like everything in life, there’s a good amount of hard work and planning and effort and then, a good amount of luck in whatever you do,” Jauron said. “It happens on game day too. You certainly work at it, but eight (turnovers) happen very, very rarely. The other guys are always good. They’re always taught to protect it. The ball is the issue in our game. We try to strip it all the time. It just bounced our way last Sunday.”
Throughout the season, Browns coach Pat Shurmur has stated on multiple occasions that “you get what you emphasize.” According to Jauron, turnovers come second to tackling in the Browns’ 4-3 defense.
“We always teach the first man in tackles; he’s a tackler,” Jauron said. “Now, it’s a little different on the quarterback in the pocket. If you’re coming from the blindside, you always go for the ball. You’re going to go for the ball hand.
“Out in the field and a running back with the ball, the first man is a tackler. Once the tackle is secure, then, the next guys in will try to strip the ball. They’ll try to get the ball out. Players don’t always do exactly how they’re taught to do it technique-wise and really, even assignment-wise. Sometimes, they make plays and you try not to coach them out of plays, but you’ve got to have them disciplined. You’ve got to have enough discipline to win. You walk a lot of fine lines, but players make plays.”
During the last three games, the Browns have returned tackles Phil Taylor and
The defensive line was responsible for five of the seven sacks the team generated on quarterback Tony Romo in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
“Up front, we’re pretty good,” Jauron said. “We knew we’d have more depth, but then, losing Phil and losing Rube for a good amount of time set us back, but it helped the development of John (Hughes) and Billy (Winn). They got a lot of snaps in there. I think, as we move forward, it’s a good group up front. I think they’ll just get better over time.”The all new Browns Fan4Pack is on sale now! The all-inclusive game day package includes 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 Pepsi Products, 4 game programs and 1 parking pass for home games versus the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 9 or the Washington Redskins on Dec. 16. Click here to purchase today!