Sunday, January 8, 2017
Browns hire Gregg Williams,fire Ray Horton in coordinator swap.
The biggest news is with the Browns on the defensive side of the football as defensive coordinator Ray Horton was fired for the second time after one year in Cleveland and replaced by Gregg Williams,most recently the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams..
Horton's second tenure was no better than his first as the Browns finished 31st in the league in defense in looking almost inept at times.
Horton wasn't at fault for the lack of talent and it wasn't his fault that much of that talent (especially on the defensive line) was better suited for a style of defense that Horton runs in the 3-4,but good teams coaches and personnel departments are able to adjust to what they have to work with.
Horton and the Browns were unable to make that work.
The Browns have tried to emulate Pittsburgh's 3-4 for years with little success and while some of that can be credited to coaches insisting on running the 3-4 when the talent indicated the 4-3 would be the better choice,I blame the various personnel departments for drafting players that weren't a fit for the defense.
Every year,I'll be watching the draft and Pittsburgh will take someone on day two that I'll turn to whoever is watching with me and comment "That guy isn't rated as high by me as this guy at that position,but he is perfect for what they do".
The Browns never do that-they always take a player and shoehorn him into a rigid slot that often does not suit him.
For example look at this season with Emanuel Ogbah,who surged forward after being moved to end following being forced to learn on the fly as a standup outside linebacker in the 3-4.
The Browns took a nice player and forced him to adjust to a new position just as he was learning the speed of pro football,which is exactly what a young player doesn't need.
Ogbah,by the way,should thrive in the 4-3 and under Gregg Williams,the Browns defensive line should be a pretty good one assuming the Browns keep the top pick and use it for Texas A&M's Myles Garrett or even Alabama's Jonathan Allen.
Take either player on one end,Ogbah on the other,Danny Shelton and Jamie Meder at the tackles with the Williams philosophy of constantly putting heat on the passer and you have a defensive line capable of producing a pass rush not seen in Cleveland for years...
Gregg Williams has ran successful defenses for years and despite the struggles of the Rams of late,I don't blame that on Williams defense as the issue there is as simple as teams putting eight and nine players in the box to stop Todd Gurley.
The Rams have some talented players on defense too,which no matter the scheme-it always comes back to talent.
Williams has ran some of the top defenses in the game at Tennessee,Buffalo,Washington and even New Orleans and won a Super Bowl there,before the "Bounty Gate" debacle saw him suspended for a season.
That fiasco,which cost him a year of his career,has tarnished the Williams resume' a bit and I doubt that he'll ever get another chance to be a head coach (he was the coach of the Bills for a few years),but the facts remain that Gregg Williams is a excellent defensive coordinator,players love playing for him and his system and he brings that attacking attitude that the Browns have lacked for years.
I doubt the Browns will be getting pushed around much longer by the Steelers and Ravens (on a intimidation level,not on the scoreboard right away) against a Gregg Williams defense and the intensity that will be brought to Cleveland.
I prefer the 4-3 if everything is the same (sometimes your talent best fits a 3-4 and if that's the case-use it) because in my opinion,it is easier to get heat on the passer using that system,but I'm flexible enough to be open to a 3-4,but the 3-4 hasn't worked here under several regimes and the one time that things did seem to be progressing was with the 4-3 with Tom Heckert draftees which were promptly dumped over the side by the Joe Banner/Mike Lombardi bunch.
I really like this move and I think the Browns should make a move forward on defense (Like they could get worse) next season with Gregg Williams running the defense...
This article was being saved for a cleaning of the inbox,but since I did a Browns post,I decided to use it here as the always controversial Tony Grossi on ESPN Cleveland rips the Browns season ending press conference with Sashi Brown,Paul DePodesta,Jimmy Haslem and Hue Jackson to call them out on various mind-boggling dumb statements on the state of the franchise..
I don't always agree with Grossi,but his work is much more on base than some of the"touch football" bunch in Cleveland media.....