Flash Analysis: Browns Defense vs. Titans

Providing something different than you'll be able to read elsewhere this morning, Lane Adkins offers his quick analysis of the Browns defensive performance against Tennessee.

- Veteran Robaire Smith continues to look like the player he was prior to coming to Cleveland. Smith's presence was felt by the Titans, as the big defensive end was solid against a very good run blocking Tennessee offensive line. And potentially more of an impact could be Smith is getting off the ball well and pushing linemen back.

- Second-year NT Ahtyba Rubin has been a steady work in process since gaining the majority of reps, while Shaun Rogers remains out with a mystery injury. Rubin, a relatively inexperience defensive lineman is gaining consistency, he is not being pushed off the play often and is displaying the ability to gain penetration. He may get pinned off the gap at times, the young man makes every effort to remain balanced and often is doubled at the point, which you want to see from a NT.

- DE Keynon Coleman is in Cleveland to help stop the run. In the past two pre-season games, Coleman has demonstrated this ability, as he is often removed in passing situations.

- Defensive lineman CJ Mosely continues to show-up on game-day. Mosely tales reps at DE replacing Coleman, as well as reps at NT -- and has done quite well. His initial burst makes his a threat on passing downs, but Mosely is quickly becoming a very consistent and sure tackler.

- As was the case a week ago against the Detroit Lions, the LB's of the Browns flowed well to the ball. When the defensive lineman contain gap integrity and limit mistakes, D'Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton are physically capable of making plays.

- OLB Kamerion Wimbley is progressing in the role which enables him to line-up in various positions. Wimbley is all over the field, but he is needed to make impact plays, which have been few and far between. Against the Titans, Wimbley did record a sack and an additional pressure, but he is needed to be a consistent presence for this defense. Let's see what transpires when much of the defensive play-book is thrown into the mix against the Minnesota Vikings in the season opener.

- The Titans offense took advantage of rookie LB's, Kaluka Maiava and David Veikune in the passing game, Both rookie LB's were late in recognition and failed to hold position against RB's and TE's in space. The pre-season is a process for rookies such as Maiava and Veikune and they will be coached-up this week in meetings, though Maiava fared much better in coverage, his couple lapses cannot be overlooked.

- The rookies were not the only LB's exposed on game-day, as Collins and Vince Young also worked the TE's against Jackson and Wimbley.

- The Browns blitz packages, which were effective against the Detroit Lions a week ago struggled against the veteran Tennessee offense. While the Browns did not sell-out nearly as often as a week ago, Rob Ryan's defense did blitz from the corners and gaps, with very minimal success.

- I thought the CB's played too soft in zone coverage against the Titans and this could be a product of the inability to get to the QB. Looking average at best in most cases against the experienced Kerry Collins at QB, the Browns CB's outside of Brandon McDonald and Coye Francies were somewhat nondescript.

- CB Eric Wright simply looks like a different player when asked to play zone. He is a lightening rod when on an island playing man, he can be physical and he rises to the challenge. There is absolutely no doubt Wright wants to play aggressively. In zone, Wright does not get to use his athleticism to be as physical and aggressive -- and this young man has the mentality to make plays.

- The lack of productivity by the defensive backs should not be pinned solely on this group. The communication between the entire defensive unit was shaky at times, as the three positional facets were not always on the same page, which creates missed assignments and confusion.

- Veterans Rod Hood and Corey Ivy were easily beaten by Collins and WR Justin Gage far too often. Hood and Ivy, initially believed to be set as the nickel and dime CB's for the Browns have struggled and are being pushed by veteran Hank Poteat and rookie Coye Francies.

- Speaking of Francies, he has been rock solid in training camp when facing the likes of Braylon Edwards and looks to be a legitimate cover type CB. His development is going to be very interesting for a team such as the Browns that seek solid, cover type players at the position.

- The safeties could be an issue for this team going forward, as this group was consistent -- consistently late in coverage and did not provide the necessary support. While the object is to force the opposition to work its way down the field, there are too many openings within the secondary of the Browns.

- If safety Brodney Pool is absent for any period of time, the Browns defensive backfield is going to be tested often. Mike Adams, a very good special teams player replacing Pool doesn't possess the size, quickness and support ability of Pool. With no other viable replacement in-house with the experience to step-in and fill the void at this time.

- Say what you will about Mangini and his staff in Cleveland. This Browns team practices hard and that is relaying to the playing field. This team may need to continue their influx of talent added to the roster, but his team is playing with greater intensity.


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