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The Browns Biggest Need That Nobody is Talking About

Denver Broncos v Cleveland Browns

There isn’t a reason that these guys can’t eat up blocks. So let’s look at the next level with our inside linebackers. The Browns have Karlos Dansby as their main guy.

Dansby has played relatively well this year, leading the team with 54 tackles and having two interceptions to go with it. However, he is 33 and not the athletic guy that is going to make a difference. The Browns also have an injured Craig Robertson who has had his up and down seasons with the Browns and Christian Kirksey who is more of a pass coverage guy than a run stopper.

So what can we do to fix it? To make this comparison easier, I am going to go back to D’Qwell Jackson. D’Qwell was a really underrated MLB for the team since he came into the league out of Maryland in 2006 until 2014 when he departed for the Colts.

Since joining the team in 2006, the Browns have ranked in the top half of the NFL in total defense only twice, in 2011 and 2013. What both of those years had in common is that D’Qwell led the team in tackles by a wide margin.

He had 158 in 2011 with second on the team being Ahtyba Rubin with 83 and in 2013 he had 141 and Ward second with 112. To put other recent years in perspective, 2014 saw Donte Whitner lead the team with 106 and 2012 was Jackson again but he only had 118.

A safety led the team in 2010 with T.J. Ward at 123, 2009 Abram Elam at 91, and Sean Jones in 2006 with 111.

When a safety leads your team in tackles three possibilities come to my mind. First is that a safety is needed to come into the box in order to help stop the run.

Second, the front seven isn’t doing a well enough job that teams are getting into the last line of defense. Finally, the team is so bad against the pass that teams are constantly throwing all over them forcing the secondary to make tackles.

The only exception to any of these trends was in 2008 when Jackson had 154 tackles and the Browns ranked 26th overall. When you put the data together, eight out of nine years is consistent enough for me to call it a trend.

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While a pharmacy major at Toledo by day, Brandon Urasek is now making his mark in the journalism scene specializing in fantasy football and all things Cleveland sports. A five time fantasy football league champ and two time runner-up in ten tries, Brandon strives to help people with their lineups each week in both personal and weekly fantasy leagues in addition to covering the other various Cleveland teams. Follow Brandon on twitter @burasek10



  1. Dave

    October 29, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    That honestly was the best and on point browns article ive read in years. Our linebackers are terrible all cover guys nobody thats going to smack u in the mouth and for sure no sure tacklers and im not talking about 20 yards down the field everyone else in the division gets it ravens draft cj mosley soon as ray lewis retired Pittsburgh draft shazier bengals have burfict all young aggressive lbs we overpay dudes past their primes maybe someone in berea reads this and takes a long hard look at Alabamas Reggie Ragland or Jaylon Smith but like you said it the browns they will find a way to disappoint us once again. Smh

  2. Avaunté

    October 30, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Great article… I have been saying the same for three years ever since lavonte david was drafted. I thought kirksey would be but he has missed a lot of tackles or taken bad angles. What do you think of Darren Lee from Ohio State? He is a sure tackler and is faster than shazier. Maybe undersized but jus what Browns need.

  3. Seth Neale

    October 30, 2015 at 11:20 am

  4. Brandon Urasek

    October 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you everyone.
    Avaunte-I wouldnt go as far as to say Lee is a sure tackler. He definitely is a big hitter though. He is undersized and would need to fill in at OLB if we drafted him, most likely on the weak side. He likely will be a late 1st to 2nd round pick so he may not be there and what complicates things the most is that the Browns drafted Orchard to be that same kind of guy last year. I think he only comes into consideration if the Browns move on from Kruger or Mingo.

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