David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
Big Man Walkin'
Late-rounder Billy Winn started at DT. That might have been significant if he had played more than seven snaps before leaving the game with a concussion.
Instead, his departure led to significant playing time for UFA Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, who made two tackles.
On the depth chart, John Hughes may be backing up Ahtya Rubin, but in the nature of modern defensive line rotations he saw plenty of action and recorded six tackles, a sack and a QB hit.
Juqua Parker gained a sack before he, too, left the game with an injury. Emmanuel Stephens continued to show that he belongs in the pros by filling in.
Frostee Rucker chalked up a sack v.s his old team. Check off one thing on his 2012 “to do” list.
Jimmy Haslam may note that both of the Browns free agent acquisitions got to the quarterback twice in this game. That’s not a bad investment and reflects well on the current front office, which also looks good for drafting Winn and Hughes and signing Stephens and Kitchen.
It might not be enough to save their jobs, but it shouldn't be ignored.
As for linebackers, it’s ironic that Scott Fujita returned to the field just in time to snatch his job back from outstanding rookie LB James-Michael Johnson.
At least Cleveland fans think he’s outstanding. That’s how he looked in camp and the preseason before this rib/oblique injury sidelined him. It was not guaranteed that Fujita could have beaten the rookie LB for the starting gig.
In other linebacker action, D’Qwell Jackson is burning up the turf and UFA Craig Robertson continued to be a standout with another six tackles coming off the bench.
The defensive storyline in Week 3 vs. the Buffalo Bills will be the ability of the front seven to stop C.J. Spiller, who has decided to join the ranks of professional running backs here in his third season.
If Safety T. J. Ward starts having to come up and make plays in the running game—it could be a fatal blow. Ward led the defense in tackles in Week 2. See, that’s not ideal.
Fortunately, the Browns D played far better against the run in Week 2, holding decent rusher BenJarvus Green-Ellis to 3.6 yards per rush and no scores.
The Bills offensive ability is probably somewhere between the gross ineptitude displayed against the Jets and the playground romp vs. the zombies masquerading as the Kansas City Chiefs D in Week 2.
The Browns D handled the Eagles quite well in the opener, so they could theoretically get the ball back for their offense. As long as Spiller doesn’t have 75 yards by halftime.