Like we did last year before it became fashionable, we’ll take a seat each week in our very own WFNY Browns film room and break down a little tape from the game, with a specific focus. Do enjoy.
The Browns did something really positive in Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys, and I wanted to focus on that this week. The defense was able to sack Romo seven times. That’s a nice number.
We’ve been saying for weeks that the young defensive lineman have been holding their own while Rubin and Taylor have been out. I was very excited to see what kind of rotation the Browns would use, as Winn and Hughes would be more than capable of giving plays off to Rubin and Taylor.
As he has been doing all season (and we’ve been linking to in www), Chris Pokorny of Dawgs By Nature broke down the snaps and gives us the answer to that question–
Winn appeared to get 4 snap of those 49 at defensive end, just to be clear. It’s no surprise that in his first week back from major injury that Phil Taylor was limited a bit.
We know the Cowboys’ offensive line has had troubles, so what really happened for the Browns to get all those sacks? Did they bring the blitz? Did they employ stunts? Let’s look at the plays.
Here the Browns have 4 down linemen, 2 linebackers and 5 defensive backs. Craig Robertson is going to be the Brown that gets to Romo, coming straight up the middle.
You can see Robertson coming free through the middle here, and the back making a terrible effort to get to him. Notice the illegal contact by the Browns defensive back at the top of the screen. A theme we remember too well from Sunday. So on this play the Browns do bring a blitz, but they aren’t bringing more defenders than the Cowboys have blockers available. You do see Sheard is double teamed. As is the DT on the right side, I believe that is Winn.
Next sack. Four man front again, with an extra defensive back. Sheard, Rubin, Winn and Parker are the defensive linemen. Both of Dallas’ backs will be going out in the pattern.
No stunt or blitz. Billy Winn does spin to the inside, which opens up a little space for Parker to pull an inside move.
That’s all Parker needs to break free and track down Romo. Again, no blitz, no stunt. Just Parker beating his man.
Sack number 3. Base 4-3 defense for the Browns. John Hughes is the tackle lined up next to Sheard.
Hughes blows through a double team block to get the sack. Sheard was a split second behind him. No stunts or blitz. Honestly, that was about the ugliest double team I’ve seen since coaching junior high. I don’t know if the center and guard were confused on who was supposed to cover that gap or what, but both players stuck a chicken wing out there for Hughes to blow through.
Next sack. Four man front for the Browns. Nickel defense.
This is just a beatdown. Jabaal Sheard runs right around the tackle. Romo had no chance.
Now this one is a little more involved. The Browns are in their base defense, but as you can see at the top of the line of scrimmage, they are bringing heat. That’s Usama Young creeping up to the line of scrimmage.
Not only are the bringing the safety, but they are bringing Maiava as well. The defensive end crashes down to give both blitzers plenty of room. Notice the reciever in the slot up top. He is the hot read with Young’s blitz.
Romo, instead of hitting the hot read, rolls away from the pressure. Not a good decision. Both Young and Maiava are credited with a half sack.
Here’s another. As the announcer mentioned, Sheard may actually be lined up offsides, or at least certainly in the neutral zone.
We have a stunt! What do we mean by stunt? Well, Sheard is crashing hard from his outside position to the gap between the tackle and the guard. Rubin is going to disengage and scoot around the outside, taking Sheard’s place. When you run a stunt, a couple of good things can happen. There is always the chance for confusion on the line as to who is responsible for blocking a gap or a player. The outside rusher, Sheard in this case could beat his man because he isn’t expecting a hard inside move. The stunter, Rubin in this case could find himself free to the QB because the inside man is getting double teamed. The downside to the stunt is that it can take time to develop.
Here the coverage was very good, and Rubin is able to get to the QB despite the slow developing stunt.
Last one. The Browns have 4 down linemen, and are showing blitz with Ward and Johnson.
It’s hard to see, but we have a double stunt! This time Sheard is coming around his defensive tackle, and Rucker is stunting around his defensive tackle. It’s so beautiful.
You know the result of this play. Rucker gets the strip sack, which gave the Browns new life after the Weeden fumble.
So what did we learn? To be honest, we probably see more deficiencies in the Cowboys offensive line than anything. But, the Browns have athletes up and down the defensive line that can beat you one on one. That has to be a positive right? We did see at the end of the game more stunts and blitzes. The Browns were taking more chances to get to Romo, you would think as a result of the secondary struggling.
Next up are the Steelers, and aside from Pouncey, they have a pretty weak offensive line as well. Jauron, bring the heat.
Until next week, the film room is closed.