Sheard focuses on discipline

Posted Dec 11, 2012

Jabaal Sheard registered his fourth sack of the season in Sunday’s 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard had the second-most sacks, 8.5, of any rookie in the NFL in 2011. His first five solo sacks also resulted in forced fumbles by opposing quarterbacks.

This year, Sheard has four sacks, three of which have come in the last five games, including the one he registered on Brady Quinn in a 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. Previously, Sheard had just one sack in his first eight games of the season.

“A lot goes into a sack,” Sheard said. “You’ve got to have perfect coverage. Everybody’s got to be in the right place and I just kept working. I talked to J.P. (Juqua Parker) and I talked to a coach on the sideline and they both tried to coach me up. I just kept working. They told me to keep working and it paid off.

“It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to continue to play. You never know when that sack is coming. Through the coaches and players and guys I have around me telling me to keep playing and just keep going hard, it pays off.”

Sheard was quick to credit the veteran defensive ends, Parker and Frostee Rucker, with helping him and second-year tackle Phil Taylor improve their games.

“Those guys have been good in the meeting rooms and helping the other guys out,” Sheard said. “Last year, it was kind of short with me and Phil coming in and not getting to know the scheme. We had to mature pretty fast. I just think now, everybody has a grasp of the defense and what’s going on. We’ve got a better feel on defense and there’s a better feel on offense as well.”

For now, Sheard and the rest of the Browns’ defense are uncertain of the quarterback they will face in Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. After rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was injured against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, fellow rookie Kirk Cousins took his place. Cousins helped the Redskins force overtime and led the team to a 31-28 win.

With Griffin, the Redskins primarily run an option offense. That could change if he is unable to play Sunday.
“Either way it goes, I’m still facing the same tackle,” Sheard said. “I’m just going to watch the tackle. Maybe the scheme might change; maybe it won’t, but it’s something you have to think about. Coach will do a great job of putting us in position to play either quarterback.

“It’s going to be a disciplined game. I played schemes like this against West Virginia. It’s all about discipline and guys filling their gaps. Either I have the running back or the quarterback and I have to remember which one I have on each play. It’s all about being disciplined and just playing it out.”

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