Browns D happy with progress but itching for more turnovers

Jamie Collins has felt great in his first training camp with the Browns but something's been missing.

Hue Jackson has been on the lookout for it, too.

"Getting the ball out," Collins said. "I can't get the ball out enough."

Collins, who is one of the best in the league at popping the ball out and doing something with it when he gets his hands on it, was speaking for himself, but the Browns defense as a whole is echoing the same mantra.

"See ball, get ball" has been heard countless times from defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, but the Browns defense isn't close to satisfied with how many times it's followed through with the edict. At Friday's Orange and Brown Scrimmage, the defense nabbed one interception, when undrafted free agent J.D. Harmon came away with a jump ball thrown by wide receiver Corey Coleman, but felt like there were more for the taking.

"Just trying to get to the ball a little more and creating more turnovers," defensive back Joe Haden said. "We didn't have too many strips or interceptions so that is something else that we need to work on. Besides that, the tackling was really good and the communication was really good."

Browns hold their annual scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium.

It's one of the main reasons why Cleveland's defense feels good about what it's accomplished thus far but, as Myles Garrett said Friday, is nowhere near satisfaction.

Simply put, the Browns want to force way more turnovers than they did last season, when they ranked 30th in total takeaways with 10 interceptions and three forced fumbles. The Browns' turnover margin of minus-12 was 29th while five of the league's top six were playoff teams.

All 10 of those interceptions came from cornerbacks, something the team would like to see diversified a bit in the upcoming season. Haden, who had three of them while dealing with multiple injuries, believes he'll personally help pad the total after a training camp at which turnovers are emphasized the moment he parks his car at the Berea facility.

"Just trying to be locked in and just trying to play my coverage. When I am in good shape, make sure to get my head around and create turnovers – that is the biggest thing. Just trying to get the ball back to the offense. I feel like with my playmaking skills, when I know I am in good shape, being able to get my head around."

At the start of camp, as he evaluated the quarterback competition and offense as a whole, Browns coach Hue Jackson was thrilled with the lack of turnovers. Following the first off day of camp, a thorough analysis of the film gave him mixed feelings because, well, he's the coach of the entire team, not just the offense. He wanted to see more turnovers, even if it meant the competing quarterbacks were throwing them.

Later that day, the defense delivered with interceptions to end back-to-back two-minute drills.

"We just have to come up with more turnovers," Jackson said. "That is what we are stressing. That is what we are after."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content