POSITION BREAKDOWN: CLEVELAND BROWNS vs PITTSBURGH STEELERS – DEFENSIVE LINE

Just like I would with the Brown offensive line, I would take their defensive line over the Steelers 10 times out 10. Regardless of who starts, the Browns have seven players they can rotate without skipping a beat and also keep everybody fresh for crunch time in the fourth quarter.

Ahtyba Rubin is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. Mix in Desmond Bryant, Billy Winn, Phil Taylor, John Hughes, Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and one of the players who stood out in the preseason, Armonty Bryant, and you have a group who has the potential to be one of the best D-Line units in the AFC. But to be considered an elite unit, they must improve their run defense, which ranked just 18th in the NFL last season.  Also they must tie up O-Linemen to enable the blitzing linebackers, corners or safeties to get to the quarterback, but again the potential for this to happen is there.

The Browns defensive line is definitely one of the strengths of the 2014 Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers defensive line has been poor the last few years because of big swing and misses in the draft and players getting old. But that didn’t stop G.M. Kevin Colbert from trying to hit a homerun or two in this year’s draft. He went out and selected Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt in the second round and he is expected to start. Another draft pick was used on a mountain of man from Tennessee, defensive tackle Daniel McCullers who stands 6’7 and tips the scales at 352 pounds.

Those two young guys will be called upon to join underachieving vet Cameron Heyward, as well as Steve McLendon, Brett Krisel and newly acquired free agent defensive end Cam Thomas. The fact that Pittsburgh drafted two D-Linemen in the first six rounds, signed a free agent and brought back an ancient Brett Keisel at the end of training camp, tells you how bad they were at these positions and how much of a question mark these guys are to start the season.

Without production from their front three, the Steelers linebackers, which are also below average for Pittsburgh, will continue to be ineffective putting pressure on the quarterback and in turn will put an already questionable secondary in jeopardy.

For the first time in a long time the Browns are better in the trenches on both sides of the ball than the Steelers, but will it be enough to help Cleveland post a win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2003? Will see!

 

DEFENSIVE LINE ADVANTAGE – BROWNS

Filed under Blog Posts, Feature Articles

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