Everyone has their reasons as to why they think the Cleveland Browns defense has struggled this season.
That includes ESPN NFL analyst and former quarterback Dan Orlovsky.
He shared his thoughts with this Tweet, highlighting two main issues he’s spotted so far.
The @Browns defense
1) What’s the deal with communication and key/eye discipline? At least 6 plays where guys are totally uncovered
2) The tackling is awful
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) October 10, 2022
Both of those points are on par with what many fans have been griping about.
Rightfully so, too, as they aren’t problems a high-level defense should quarrel with.
Rather, they are things you’d expect a junior varsity defense to try and correct.
What gives with the communication breakdowns and poor tackling?
Can these problems be solved moving forward?
Lapses in Coverage
The breakdowns in Cleveland’s secondary have been mind-boggling since last season.
And yet, it continues to be an issue on a week-by-week basis.
Guys running freely past the safeties and the zone miscommunications have to be infuriating for fans to watch.
It should get head coach Kevin Stefanski fired up, too.
Hopefully, for the fans’ sake, enough to lead to changes.
However, what should those changes be?
Plenty of fans (and media) seem to have one idea in mind.
Joe Has to Go?
Many have seen enough of Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
There is simply too much talent in Cleveland’s secondary for these issues to continue to happen.
While not all of the blame is on Woods, the corrections have to start somewhere.
This defensive scheme is a joke! #Browns are gonna have to score 50 to win this game! I’m ready for the Joe Woods excuses to pour in. At least if your going to be an apologist, come up with something original.
— Garrett Bush (@Gbush91) October 9, 2022
Why does Joe Woods still have a job?
— Will Burge (@WillBurge) October 10, 2022
Can someone explain to me how Joe Woods continues to be employed?
– No pressure
– Soft Zone
– Poor communication
– Hardly any turnovers
– 50 points in the 4th quarter
– Not inspiring
What is it?
— Michael Killi (@MikeKilli) October 9, 2022
Cleveland’s defense is allowing the 8th-most points-per-game at 25.
While blame for that doesn’t fall solely on the secondary, their breakdowns continue to be a reason Cleveland has lost games in the late stages.
Joe Flacco to Corey Davis for the 76-yard TD!!!!
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
Nothing will have your old man swearing at the T.V. more than a missed tackle.
The Browns’ effort in trying to tackle Austin Ekeler would have had the swear jar full by halftime.
Browns trying to tackle Austin Ekeler pic.twitter.com/WpWqQUzkLL
— Cam🅿️ (@camfromthe216) October 9, 2022
Missed tackle after missed tackle after missed tackle #Browns
— Nick Dulach (@ClevelandRoxx) October 9, 2022
This play in particular on Sunday is a sample of Cleveland’s tackling woes.
Ekeler puts rookie Perrion Winfrey on skates, then proceeds to run through a face-mask riddled tackle attempt by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Austin Ekeler is on a ROLL ⚡️
Weeks 1-3: 0 TDs
Weeks 4-5: 5 TDspic.twitter.com/7jfo8yK5al
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 9, 2022
Quite frankly, the effort of Myles Garrett on that play could be questioned as well.
You’d hope he’d be able to make a play in that situation.
Regardless, a play wasn’t made, and Ekeler scampered into the end zone.
Start deducting money from game checks for every missed tackle. #browns
— Scott Montgomery (@20Montgomery) October 9, 2022
Where to Go from Here?
There isn’t one true answer to the Browns’ defensive woes.
However, there are simple things that can be cleaned up.
The tackling, for one, has much to do with effort.
Whatever the defense needs to do to put more into each snap, they better figure it out quickly.
As far as larger solutions go, like changes in the defensive coaching staff, that’s where Kevin Stefanski proves now proves his worth.
He’s the one that knows better than all of us what the fate of Joe Woods with the Browns should be.
I imagine this week will have Stefanski pondering his options.
A mid-season firing, especially with one of the coordinator spots, is tough to adjust to.
If that is what is required though, I trust Stefanski will be able to make that call.