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“In regards to the running game, this newest version of the Browns could boast the team’s best run defense in some time. While Phil Taylor looked a bit disheveled last night, in time the rookie defensive tackle should become a top priority for opposing defenses. Likewise, Ahtyba Rubin looked a bit out of place while simply playing in more open space. However, behind the Browns’ new front wall was returning veteran D’Qwell Jackson, who instantly reclaimed his title as the most active linebacker on the roster.
Yet, the hopeful establishment of a solid defensive interior only points to the future significance of the Browns strengthening their outside run support. In this scenario, the play of both Sheldon Brown and Joe Haden becomes nearly monumental to the team’s defensive hopes. Last night, Brown again showed why he is still one of the league’s better physical cornerbacks. Or, for a better contrast – both the slender Coye Francies and miniaturized rookie Buster Skrine were essentially planted in the Kentucky Bluegrass of the Stadium.” [DK/The Orange and Brown Report]
“Some players in the locker room of a professional sports team are just numbers. They fill a jersey, fill a locker space and might as well be robots. They come and go and are replaced by other robots. Some players even the most stoic, hardened sports writer can’t help but root for. D’Qwell Jackson is one of those players.” [Schudel/News Herald]
“Not to read into one preseason game too much, but the Browns look to be ready to surprise the NFL on offense. Even though they did not select Julio Jones or land a big-name free agent receiver, the current crop looked ready for the challenge, especially Jordan Norwood, who caught three passes for 36 yards and had several exciting punt returns too. Even more impressive was the linebacker play from the backups who truly are a group of “no names.” Second team middle linebacker Titus Brown looked good as the leader of the second unit and that hit by Brian Smith could help land him a roster spot come the regular season too.” [Wolf/National Football Authority]
“It was an efficiency that was only seen in spurts during last season’s roller coaster ride of offensive quality. And with a new system being installed in such a short period of time, no one was expecting to see it look polished this quickly.And it wasn’t just the offense opening eyes – the new4-3 defense was making plays as well. Rookie defensive end Jabaal Sheard combined with defensive end Jayme Mitchell on an impressive sack of backup quarterback Matt Flynn.” [Dawg Pound Daily]
We take it when we can- “By the way… AFC North Standings as of 8/14/11 Cleveland Browns – 1-0, Cincinnati Bengals – 0-1, Baltimore Ravens – 0-1, Pittsburgh Steelers – 0-1 (Yes I know, it’s only preseason, but still…ha!)” [Browns Gab]