Dwayne Bowe Continues To Disappoint For The Cleveland Browns

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Aug 29, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio (75) blocks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. Bitonio Struggles Are Being Noticed

Joel Bitonio was expected to take that next step at left guard coming into this season. It has yet to happen and he has struggled in sophomore season with the Browns. His footwork has been the biggest issue. Offensive linemen are always taught to “never let color cross your face.” That means they shouldn’t let an opposing defender get past them or penetrate their gap because it’s already too late and they are likely already in the backfield.

Of all the line spots, guards are the ones who pull (run and block) the most of any of the lineman and are expected to chip block and get to the second level on almost every play.

Bitonio has struggled doing this.

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He’s getting bullrushed and pushed around and it’s leading to plays being made by the defenders. A potential reason for the struggles could be the change in scheme. Bitonio was in a zone-blocking scheme at Nevada and it is also what the Browns ran last season under Kyle Shanahan. This season under John DeFilippo they are running a pass-blocking scheme and he is struggling to adjust. Corey Liuget of the Chargers had his way with Bitonio on a number of plays Sunday. By the time Bitonio would get a hand on Liuget, he already made the tackle on the running back or was in the backfield pressuring McCown. That just cannot happen, He isn’t the only one to blame for mediocre offensive line play, but he was the one player who most people thought would be the staple with Joe Thomas on the left side.

He must adjust to the new scheme, be more aggressive, and learn to widen or shorten his splits (leg placement before the play) and be the road grader that he was last season.

Next: What Is Wrong With This Buckeye?

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