While the focus of the Cleveland Browns has been on the offense and rightfully so, the defense is set to make some noise in 2019 as well.
It can be said that an offense has taken teams to the Super Bowl in recent years, the defense has won teams the Super Bowl. Whether it was the Patriots, Eagles, Seahawks or Broncos in recent seasons, their defense was what garnered them the Lombardi Trophy.
Cleveland went out and not only added two All-Pros on offense in addition to the supporting cast Baker Mayfield broke rookie records with on offense, but they also went and made some big acquisitions on the defensive side of the ball.
They upgraded the defensive line with the additions of Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson to add alongside Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi.
Cleveland also added veteran defensive back Morgan Burnett to help transition the strong safety position to either Jermaine Whitehead who impressed during mini-camp in June or if they look for a long-term fit in the draft or free agency next offseason.
In the draft the Browns addressed a need for a cornerback opposite Denzel Ward by selecting LSU cornerback Greedy Williams in the second round and also added linebacker depth by drafting Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson in the middle rounds.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens was appalled by the media during Wednesday’s press conference that they went 30 minutes without asking a question about the defense and he’s not wrong by saying that.
The defensive side of the ball is loaded with talent and they’re expected and should take a leap forward in 2019.
Mentioning all the talent above and still not even mentioned was guys like Damarious Randall, Joe Schobert, and Christian Kirksey. The Browns defense has the potential to be a top 10 defense overall in the NFL.
Potential and execution are two different things and the defense is going to prove it right from the start. While they created a lot of turnovers and made some crucial plays when needed down the stretch, this is also a defense that missed a lot of tackles and still gave up 24.5 points per game.
Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has a lot of weapons to utilize and if he can, there’s no reason why the defense won’t be able to create as much buzz as the offense once the regular season begins September 8th.