Notebook: Defense Improved? Not Against the Run

The Insiders look at the Browns run defense and other things...

The Browns have touted their defense as improved this year.

That improved defense is starting to look like a mirage.

In each of the last four games, the Browns have allowed a back to top 100 yards. Sunday they gave up 205 to Jamal Lewis, who now has 500 yards in two games against the Browns this season. Consider that the Browns leading rusher is William Green, who has 559 yards.

Lewis has two 200-yard games against the Browns, LaDainian Tomlinson another 200-yard game.

Three other backs have topped 100 yards in a game -- Seattle's Shaun Alexander, Denver's Clinton Portis and St. Louis' Marshall Faulk.

Finally, three other backs have topped 90 yards -- Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis, Kansas City's Priest Holmes and New England's Kevin Faulk.

Butch Davis desperately wanted to improve his team's run defense this year. He cleaned out his linebackers, brought in a new coordinator and tried to place an emphasis on stopping the run.

Obviously it hasn't worked as well as the Browns and Davis would have liked.

BROWNS NOTES:

  • QB Tim Couch completed the 1,000th pass of his career early in the loss to Baltimore. But the play was typical of the Browns day -- Couch took a serious shot after he threw the ball, and it went for a three-yard completion on third-and-14.
  • RB Lee Suggs earned the respect of the Ravens with the way he ran, gaining 68 yards on 20 carries. "William Green better get his act together," Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller said after saying how impressed he was with Suggs.
  • DT Mike Myers started in place of Gerard Warren -- Warren was late for a meeting -- and recorded two sacks in the game. Myers was signed by the Browns during the season.
  • DE Kenard Lang will not give Jamal Lewis a lot of love, even if Lewis has run for 500 yards in two games against the Browns. Lang said Lewis' first game, a 295-yard day that set an NFL record, was a fluke. What was the second? "It's still a fluke to me," Lang said. He did add that Lewis is one of the five best backs he's faced.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Thirty-five, zero. That sucks." -- Wide receiver Quincy Morgan on the loss to the Ravens.


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