Browns building defense

The Cleveland Browns have made a big splash into free agency.  New owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have made it clear the Browns need to build into a stout AFC North defense.  On Tuesday the Browns inked Paul Kruger to a 5 year, $40 million deal.  The Browns followed that with two more defensive signings which include former Arizona Cardinals LB Quentin Groves to a 2 year contract, and former Oakland Raiders DT Desmond Bryant to a 5 year deal.  Kruger will be a big addition for the Browns, who are switching to a 3-4 defense this season under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.  Kruger gives the Browns a solid pass rusher in this scheme, but Kruger wants to be known for more. Kruger led the Super Bowl champion Ravens with nine sacks and another four and a half in the playoffs.  During his introduction presser in his new home he said he wants to be more than a pass rusher.  New Head coach Rob Chudzinski agrees saying they are looking at Kruger to be a three down player.

The signing of Desmond Bryant gives the Browns depth and versatility in the new 3-4 scheme.  Bryant will be a defensive end for the Browns but will sub into other position in different packages. Standing at 6-6 and weighing 300 pounds, Bryant will be a enormous help for the Browns in defending the rush.  With a defensive line that already includes Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin, the Browns will be strong up front.  The addition of Bryant will allow 3rd year player Jaabal Sheard to move to Outside Linebacker opposite of Paul Kruger.  Bryant brings some baggage with him after a recent arrest last month.  Browns officials say they had talked with people who have worked and coached Bryant and didn’t seem to be worried with the arrest.  In his presser Desmond described that is not like him and has used it as a learning point.

As the Browns continue through free agency and gear up towards the draft, look for them to continue improving this young defense.  Cleveland is still searching for a Cornerback to lineup opposite of Joe Haden. This free agent class boasts a surplus of cornerbacks and the Browns will need to pull one.   Also the Browns will look for another Pass Rusher in the draft.  This seems to be the strongest position in this years class which includes; Jarvis Jones, Dion Jordan, and Ezekiel Ansah to name a few.

-Philip Arnold