Each week this season, we’ll take a seat in our very own WFNY Browns film room and break down a little tape from the previous week. Do enjoy.
A whole lotta press this week about the Browns defensive line, and in particular the rookies Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard. Both played well Sunday. Taylor has played well both games, while Sheard rebounded from a tough opening week to play well against the Colts.Let’s take a look at the tape and see why everyone is excited about these draft picks.
The first thing we need to say about Sheard is that he and Mitchell switched sides of the defensive line. Sheard lined up as the left DE all game. Does that have anything to do with his success? Well, there really is no way of knowing that from such a small sample size.
Here we see the Browns base 4-3 defense against a double tight end set (both tight ends are off the line of scrimmage) in a formation that could easily be run or pass. Sheard is the LDE at the top of the picture. Dallas Clark is the TE in a 2 point stance on his left shoulder.
At the snap we see the QB head towards the HB, and we also see Browns LB Chris Gocong blitz. The Browns were most likely thinking run here and guessed right. Center Jeff Saturday takes off for MLB Jackson, leaving the guard and tackle to block Phil Taylor and the blitzing Gocong. Jabaal Sheard is one on one with Dallas Clark.
Gocong gets through the line and forces Addai out wide. Here’s the problem- with Gocong blitzing inside, that leaves Sheard as the primary defender to force a sweep inside or make the play himself. We see Mike Adams sprint up to the line, but he is going to get picked by the WR at the top.
You can see it much clearer in the video than in screenshots, but Jabaal Sheard tried to take an inside route on Dallas Clark. The end result is he gets sealed, giving Addai a huge hole on the outside. If a DE has outside contain they are taught to keep the outside shoulder free in order to pursue the runner. Sheard’s inside move made it easier for Clark to get the block. Addai rushes for 9 yards on first down before Joe Haden gets him. Had Haden not gotten the tackle? Touchdown easily. This was the largest gain on the ground to Sheard’s side of the field.
We’ll get back to Sheard, who did have a nice game. Let’s take a look at the play that must make Heckert smile.
Here we have the Colts lined up in a pro set I formation, with two tight ends to the right. It is 3rd and 1, with the Colts needing to get to the 8 yard line for a first and goal. Phil Taylor is the DT on the left.
This is such a beautiful picture to an old d-line coach. Look at the push Taylor gets on this play. He has the tackle well behind the line of scrimmage.
But the more impressive thing is that he is able to shed the tackle and make the play behind the line of scrimmage. That is what you draft defensive tackles for in the first round. To make these kinds of plays on short yardage. The Colts kick a field goal instead of getting another set of downs inside the ten.
Ok, back to Sheard. Offset I formation, with a tight end to Sheard’s side. The Browns have 8 in the box on this play, expecting a run.
Sweep to Sheard’s side. Jabaal again takes an inside route on his blocker, but he has help outside this time, and it was a very effective move for him as he quickly gets around the TE.
Jabaal blows this play up. He engages the runner 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The only problem is that he didn’t get in the best tackling position, and Addai is able to fend him off with a stiff arm.
Help is well on the way however, and Sheard helps make the play with Joe Haden on the outside. I didn’t even bother showing you the sack/forced fumble/recovery that Sheard had late in the game. Mostly because the knock on Sheard has been his run defense, especially after week 1. There is most certainly potential for Sheard to be a decent defender against the run, and a pass rusher that the Browns have needed for a very long time. It’s worth noting that Sheard went up against the massive Andrew Whitworth in the Bengals game. I’ll be curious to see how Sheard stacks up against the larger tackles in the league.
Phil Taylor is a beast in the middle. Along with Rubin, the Browns may end up having one of the best DT tandems in the NFL when all is said and done. It’s still very early, but nice returns in this game.