The Cleveland Browns were supposed to be a defensive-oriented team last season, which obviously didn’t happen.
The defense didn’t do a lot to help Jacoby Brissett and the running game, which is why they revamped that unit by hiring Jim Schwartz and making several moves.
With that in mind, ESPN analyst Jake Trotter believes the Browns will have one of the most aggressive defenses in the league in 2023.
"This is going to be a very aggressive Browns defense," – @Jake_Trotter.
Do you think the Browns will have a top 10 defense in 2023? pic.twitter.com/NlCTiKcoLa
— ESPN Cleveland (@ESPNCleveland) May 26, 2023
Tackles for a loss, interceptions, fumbles, and constantly going at the quarterback will be the recipe for success under Schwartz, and that should come as no surprise.
The Browns brought in Dalvin Tomlison and Juan Thornhill to retool their defense.
But Za’Darius Smith’s addition might be the most crucial of the offseason.
They now have two of the most prominent pass rushers in the league, pairing two of just five players with at least ten sacks per season in three of the four past campaigns.
Smith and Myles Garrett are fully confident in their ability to anchor an elite defensive unit, citing that they’re going to be the best pass-rushing tandem in the NFL in 2023.
That’s a lot to say and a big statement to make, but there’s no denying that they have the potential to crack the top three at the very least.
Of course, Deshaun Watson will get most of the attention in his first full season as a starter, but this team’s defense might be their biggest strength as they look to make it back to the playoffs.