Skip to main content


Browns LBs Nate Orchard, Tank Carder relish increased playing time

Tank Carder laid it out in matter of fact fashion.

There was simply no underscoring the significant increase in playing time Carder received in last week's win at Baltimore.

"I think I've probably gotten 40 snaps over the last three years on defense and I got 40 in one game," Carder said. "It was a big change to what my role's been in the past. Whether it was five or 40, I was just glad to be out there running around helping out however I can."

Carder's 42 snaps weren't the only major difference for the Browns at linebacker last week. Rookie Nate Orchard saw a similar spike and made his presence felt on a handful of occasions, including a key pressure of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco late in the game.

The Browns are down a body at outside linebacker now that Scott Solomon has been ruled out for the season, but the depth they're banking upon will enter Sunday's game a little more battle-tested thanks to what happened in Baltimore.

"It was good to see those guys step into bigger roles than what they might have been expected going into the year and do some good things for us defensively," defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said.

Re-living all of the best plays of last week's game – plus highlights in the community.

Orchard's increase in playing time -- inactive Week 1, 13 snaps Week 2, 20 in Week 3, 25 in Week 4 and 43 against the Ravens -- came as a result of the team's sub packages, Browns coach Mike Pettine said. The Browns have two different versions of their base defense, and there are different personnel groupings at outside linebacker for each one. The way last week's game played out called for more of the group that included Orchard, Solomon and Armonty Bryant.

Orchard, who was encouraged to "cut it loose" after playing tentatively in his previous games, was credited with five tackles and a pass deflection.

"I am kind of getting in a rhythm," Orchard said. "I think I had 40-something snaps and you really find a groove when you're out there."

Carder's dramatic rise in snaps came as a result of Craig Robertson's ankle injury, which could keep him out for a third consecutive game Sunday against the Broncos. Carder and Christian Kirksey essentially split snaps alongside Karlos Dansby because Kirksey's large number of snaps the previous week were hurting the Browns on special teams, O'Neil said.

One of the Browns core special teams players, Carder had three tackles and also led the team with 29 snaps on special teams.

"We know special teams is a big part of what's going to help us win and lose football games," O'Neil said. "We thought Tank deserved to get some plays on defense. He's done a really good job for us in practice, he had a good spring, so it was a good opportunity to get him out there. There were some plays that I know he wishes he had back. Kind of some growing pains of being out there for the first time, but he made a lot of good plays for us."

Carder doesn't know what to expect Sunday, and he's totally fine with it. He knows he'll be busy regardless of what happens on defense.

"I'll definitely still be playing special teams. That's my bread and butter," he said. "Wherever the coaches want to put me and whatever they can plug me in to help out, I'll do whatever I can to help out the team."

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