A lot of Browns fans think the linebacking corps of the team is the strongest group. I beg to differ. It’s still one of the weakest positions on the team, but there are some positives. Joe Schobert is playing great since losing weight, and making his transition from the outside to the inside. Christian Kirksey has been a tackling machine, and Jamie Collins has been…well…MIA.
This is still a group that needs improvement. The tackling has gotten somewhat better,and they’re getting pressure on the quarterback at will, but they still struggle when it comes to dropping into coverage. Opposing tight ends are already having their way with them in the middle of the field.
Sunday was just putrid. Watson, who turns 98 this year (he’s really 36) had a career day against this core. He had 8 receptions for 91 yards. He averaged 11.4 YPC.
They should be embarrassed for letting anybody but Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham have that much success against them, and at that age! Watson didn’t even play that good with the New England Patriots with Tom Brady throwing to him. He was used more as a blocking tight end.
Everytime he had the ball, he was wide open. There wasn’t a backer or safety in sight.
It was an issue last year, and it’s yet to be corrected. It is still early, and players are learning Williams system, but that is ridiculous to allow that to happen. It’s basic fundamentals.
This Sunday, they’ll be going up against Jack Doyle of the Colts. He was the favorite target of Jacoby Brissett last week–and didn’t drop a pass. He had 8 catches for 79 yards. They will look to continue that against these linebackers unless something changes.
Schobert is still learning his new position in the middle, but I won’t give a pass to Kirksey or Collins. They both have been in the league long enough to know what it takes to be a complete linebacker. All of them must work on their coverage skills, or opposing tight ends will expose the weakness and have career days. It needs to start now.