The Browns have to stop the run in 15.

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Note: Today on NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I reviewed the Browns defense after their free agent deals. The podcast is on

The Browns were in the top 5 against the pass in 2014. But as usual the numbers don’t tell the entire story. They were last—dead last—against the run. Given the harder schedule in 15, the Browns need to find ways to stop the run.

Part of the issue last year was the injuries along the front line. But the fact is that NT Phil Taylor was not playing well when he was healthy. The injuries to Desmond and Armonty Bryant hurt the pass rush as well as run defense as well.

Those of you that listen to NNR on the radio show page know that the Browns have struggled for years at containing the edge run. In the 3-4 defense that falls on the outside linebackers. They have to force the edge run back into the middle of the field where the defenders have help. Both Barkevious Mingo and Desmond struggled to hold the point of attack against the edge run.

In short, the Browns allowed their opponent to run almost at will against their D. That has to stop. Taylor was a decent choice in a bad draft. Mingo so far has been a miss. He doesn’t have enough lower body power to hold up against the run and not enough moves and upper body strength to get past the blockers.

While the Browns have done a good job by signing Tramon Williams at corner back the key to the season for the defense will depend on how well they stop the run.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on

He also edits

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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