Cleveland Browns: Donte Whitner Week 7 Player Preview


Week 7 is a critical game for the Cleveland Browns because of how the standings have played out through six weeks of football. In order for the Browns to get a win this week, SS Donte Whitner will need to have a great game on the road.

In Week 6, the Cleveland Browns played the undefeated Denver Broncos and took them to overtime. Unfortunately, the overtime win streak stopped at one for the Browns. K Brandon McManus kicked the game winning field goal which give the Broncos the victory.

So now it is off to Week 7 and my player to watch this week is strong safety Donte Whitner. He is one of my favorite Browns players. The fact that he is an Ohio State alum only solidifies my fandom.

Whitner is a hard hitter who polices the secondary for the Browns, doling out punishment to, receivers. He is one of the vocal leaders of the team. Whitner is also a motivator for the defense.

Whitner has led the team in tackles almost all year. He currently has 45 tackles, which is good for second at the moment. The leader is LB Karlos Dansby with 47. Of those 45, 28 are solo tackles. Whitner does not have great cover skills so he earns his keep by helping in the running game.

Unfortunately, the Browns are dead last against the run again this year and it’s not even close. Cleveland faces the St. Louis Rams this weekend and their rookie sensation, RB Todd Gurley.

Rams coach Jeff Fischer loves to run the ball. Now that he has a workhorse superstar in the making, Fischer is licking his chops knowing that the Browns are next up on the schedule.

Gurley is probably salivating as well. Surely Gurley will have a career high in rushing yards against the Browns. However, this is where Whitner comes in.

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The trio of CBs Tramon Williams, K’ Waun Williams and Pierre Desir should be able to handle the Rams receivers. This would leave Whitner in charge to cover Gurley. That is right, he will shadow a running back instead of a quarterback.

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The Browns should have Whitner follow Gurley on every play. It’s an unorthodox strategy but the Browns will be 2-5 if they lose. Should the Cincinnati Bengals win next week, the Browns will be five games back before the season is halfway over!

The Browns need this game. If Cleveland can improve their record to 3-4, they are at least in the running for a wild card berth. To earn the win on Sunday, the Browns will need to pull out all the stops to win.

Having Whitner shadowing Gurley may not lead to any long touchdown runs. If I were coaching the Browns, I would make QB Nick Foles beat me. There is no way I would let Gurley run for 200 yards.

If Whitner can keep Gurley in front of him, Gurley could be kept to under 150 yards for a change and the Browns would have a chance at winning the game.

Next: Browns Front Office Divided

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