S Rodney McLeod and the Browns defense is ready for the Week 1 matchup against the Bengals. The Bengals were tied for second in passing touchdowns last season and eighth in points scored, and they will bring back most everyone for the season opener.
"We're very excited about the challenge that's ahead of us," McLeod said. "Division winners, great all-around team, good skill group, and great quarterback. We have to bring our best, but I think we've been working hard for this moment. This moment in time to really go out this week one and establish our identity for the season."
McLeod will be a big part of the Browns' success in defending the Bengals' passing game Sunday. He has a ton of experience in the Browns' defensive scheme after playing for Jim Schwartz in Philadelphia.
Kevin Stefanski praised McLeod's ability to call out routes before they happen. One of his strong suits in training camp was his ability to diagnose things quickly when looking at the offense.
"it's all about tendencies," McLeod said. "Watching film, understanding who they are and allowing us to put us in a better position. What Kevin is talking about is just applying our film study over into the field. So, every team has indicators and tendencies that tend to come alive on Sunday, so it's on us to take advantage of them."
Bengals QB Joe Burrow is 1-4 in his career against the Browns, and DE Myles Garrett; the defense is a big reason for that. The Browns' revamped defense aims to continue their success against the Bengals in Sunday's Week 1 matchup.
"I am fully confident in where the defense has gone from start to finish, how we've been able to really take command of the defense, and now you see it just all coming together," McLeod said. "And the way – the signs of seeing it come together, guys making plays, consistently."