Five players who need to step up against the Cardinals.
The Browns have a tough task as they welcome the Cardinals to Cleveland on Sunday. The Cardinals are 5-0 and looking very good under Kliff Kingsbury. The Browns are looking fine but they have some clear issues they need to work through against the Cardinals.
Consider it confrontation therapy. The Browns have got to show up and execute better against the Cardinals than they did against the Chargers, especially on defense. It’s obvious the Browns are a bit more hype than heroics at the moment but that can always change with a little extra effort and a move or two. Something Andrew Berry said last year is always a possibility no matter the time of year.
So the Browns have a chance to rectify a lot of issues in one game against the best record in the NFC. This isn’t a must-win to save the season, but it is a must-win to prove to the doubters they’re as capable as one as is. Yet, these five players have got to step up more than anyone.
These are five players who need to step up against the Cardinals
Ronnie Harrison & Grant Delpit
We’re just getting these two out of the way in one fell swoop. The defense wasn’t that bad on Sunday. It’s one thing if the offense is just picking you apart all day but be honest; those passing stats are inflated. Until the third quarter, the Chargers weren’t going down the field all that often. They only had 14 points at halftime. Clearly, injuries played a big hand in things. The defense had to rely on backups and people lost coverage due to not knowing their assignments, and that caused issues. Part of them is the fact that Ronnie Harrison and Grant Delpit seemingly forgot to play deep (or were told not to) and that cost the Browns. You’d think if you lose a couple of corners you’d do everything to negate the deep ball. Guess not.
Is it too soon to say Anthony Walker was a wasted signing? Now we all know why he took a one-year deal on a light contract. Walker is getting toasted in the passing game, all while Joe Schobert is having a solid year in Pittsburgh. Will I ever not bring him up when our linebackers get roasted? No, no I will not. That was one of the biggest mistakes the team has made since the new regime came in and after two years of plug-and-play linebackers, the team is no better. Clearly, a middle linebacker with his coverage skills wasn’t so easy to replace. Walker has got to step up because offenses are picking on him far too much.
Odell Beckham Jr.
We just posted a whole thing about how he’s fallen off dramatically. Time to cut bait. If he doesn’t play well against the Cardinals the team has to cut him or trade him, and make a simultaneous move for a real elite receiver.
David Njoku (for the blocking)
David Njoku had a great game as a pass-catcher. Let’s clear that hurdle now. The blocking, however, is as bad as ever. He’s getting bullied and disregarded and that’s when he’s making contact. On one play against the Chargers, he didn’t even get off the line fast enough to get to Joey Bosa, and he blew right by him. If he can’t even lay a chip on a guy, then he’s a liability as a tight end.