By Tony Grossi | ESPNCleveland.com
The Morning Kickoff …
2013 in review: With Mike Pettine’s staff now complete, the Browns’ new coaches are using this time before the NFL combine Feb. 19-25 to evaluate the players they inherit. They are reviewing every play of every player from game video of the 4-12 2013 season.
This is another in our series reviewing the team’s position groups.
Position: Defensive line.
Players under contract (through year): Armonty Bryant (2016), Desmond Bryant (2017), John Hughes (2015), Ishmaa’ily Kitchen (2015), Ahtyba Rubin (2014), Brian Sanford (2014), Phil Taylor (2014), Billy Winn (2015).
Players not under contract: None.
Total snaps (incl. special teams): Rubin, 686; Taylor, 618; D. Bryant, 651; Hughes, 428; Winn, 421; A. Bryant, 321; Kitchen, 197; Sanford, 20.
Games started: Taylor, 15; Rubin, 14; D. Bryant, 12; Winn, 3; Hughes, 2; A. Bryant, 0; Kitchen, 0; Sanford, 0.
Analysis: Because new coach Mike Pettine runs a “multi-front” defense – switching seamlessly from a 3-4 front to a 4-3 and even the old Buddy Ryan “46” look – this unit easily could stay intact in 2014. Desmond Bryant, the big-ticket free agent from 2013, should have a more consistent season after undergoing an ablation procedure in December to correct an irregular heartbeat. He led the team with 32 quarterback “harassments,” an unofficial statistic that includes sacks, hits and hurries. The most consistent player was Rubin, whose non-stop motor and work ethic resulted in the most tackles and served as a good example to younger players. Taylor’s play time was reduced, as he left the field on sure passing downs. He didn’t publicly complain, but he didn’t look happy about it. Hughes had the best year of the backups. Winn missed five games with a quadriceps injury. Armonty Bryant, a 2013 seventh-round draft pick, flashed some pass rush potential with two sacks and 12 QB harassments – tied for second among linemen. Sanford had a circuitous season – traded, brought back when the trade was rescinded, waived, and then re-signed.
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|Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com. |
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 46 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.orgFollow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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