The Browns’ defense this year is one of the best defenses that we’ve ever seen in the history of football. They are aggressive, they play hard and they can truly suffocate teams.
If there’s one thing to critique, it is the offside plays that came back to haunt the Browns last week.
In the second drive of the game Sunday on third-and-7, Myles Garrett mistimed the snap count and jumped offside, and it led directly to a 59-yard touchdown pass. Denzel Ward spoke on the play Thursday in his press conference.
“I relaxed for a minute and went in and squeezed down (Michael) Pittman… so that play was on me,” Ward said. “I don’t think it should be too big of an issue moving forward”
Personally, I love this response from Denzel if I were his teammate. Never throw your guys under the bus and always take accountability. However, the free plays due to offside penalties have to stop. There are two ways to stop them.
The first is an increased focus from the D-Line on either watching the football or watching the man in front of them. The moment the ball moves or their guy moves, they can take off. This is easier said than done, especially if Myles is feeling it the way he was on Sunday.
The second and the more realistic route is to tell the defensive lineman not to stop. In order to not put any restrictions on any of the guys, I would coach him to just go. If you jump offside, go all the way to the quarterback and the play will be stopped before a massive, game-changing play takes place.
Regardless of how Jim Schwartz coaches them up this week, expect the offside penalties to be fixed going forward.