BEREA,Ohio--Hopefully, the first two preseason games are not an indication of how the Browns defense will be against stopping the run.
However, after giving up 375 yards through 2 preseason games, there could be cause for concern. Last week, against the Falcons, the Browns allowed 224 yards after giving up 151 on the ground against Green Bay.
Inside linebacker Demario Davis says the Browns defense has a lot of room to improve upon.
“The thing I see is that we have a long way to go," Davis said. "We’re doing some things well, but there is still tremendous room for improvement just in the run game, in the pass game and creating turnovers and getting after the quarterback in the red zone, in short-yard situations, just tremendous room for us to get better, which is good. You want to be able to improve and the good thing is it’s not Week 1 yet. "We still have time to get it right, but that window of opportunity is closing," he said. "Our coaches are telling us everything right. The players are committed. We just have to and each individual player has to keep working on their craft and getting better, keep getting better and be ready, especially in Week 1.”
Danny Shelton, whose primary job is to tie up two blockers and allow the linebackers to make plays in stopping the running game says he's not worried about the defense being ready for the beginning of the regular season.
“I feel like we have some good players, players who do what they need to do for the team when they’re in so I’m not really worried about what the preseason statistics say right now because I know what our guys are capable of," Shelton said. "Once we’re put in that situation, we’ll be able to handle business, but at the same time, I’m disappointed in any player that’s in that would kind of take away from our goal of being a top defense. This last game was disappointing, but at the same time, I want to continue to work with what we got and stay focused on the Bucs.”
Shelton had just one tackle last week against the Falcons, even though he played into the third quarter. He has been criticized early on for not making the impact at nose tackle the way the Browns were hoping.
“I think that I’ve been improving,"he said. "The first two teams we’ve had some zone read, a little changeup to what we’ve been working on. I think it’s preparing me for the season. It’s giving me a chance to work. I definitely can do better, and we definitely can do better as a D line. It’s just hard to kind of reenact that in practice when you don’t have the guys who can run so lateral and stuff.
"We try to do as much as we can to represent the Browns organization and we need to continue to do better at that," he said. "I’m glad where we’re at now because it’s given us the chance to be humbled. A lot of people expect a lot from us. We expect a lot from us. For us to face these two teams and not come out with the outcome, it’s putting more of a chip on our shoulder. We can use that for these next couple weeks finishing this preseason.”
Friday night is the dress rehearsal against Tampa Bay and the Browns are hoping the rush defense begins to show signs of being able to stop their opponents.