Bengals Film Study: Haden's Return Not Enough to Stop Cincinnati

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Sep 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Philadelphia won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

After taking a look at the Browns’ offense yesterday, it is time to revisit the Browns’ defense. Even though we looked at the Browns in last week’s game against the Giants, the defensive breakdown will be from the last game against the Bengals.

The Browns’ offense is a work in progress, with four rookies (Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon and Mitchell Schwartz) playing vital roles in the unit. The defense, however, is less green and, unsurprisingly, the better performing unit of the two.

One difference will be the return of Joe Haden at cornerback. He will undoubtedly follow A.J. Green around all day, but will the Browns play more man coverage? Against the Bengals, their zone defense forced Andy Dalton into a couple coverage sacks. Early in the game, his options were covered and Dalton dropped his eyes and felt more pressure than he was actually under.

This Cover 3 zone was the most prevalent defense towards the beginning of the game. The Browns defense, ran by Dick Jauron, is actually very diverse, however. Throughout the game, they ran a variety of coverages: Cover 2 man-under (two safeties up high and man coverage underneath), Cover 1 robber (the free safety plays high in the middle of the field, while the strong safety plays a zone underneath to take away crossing routes), Quarters (with four defenders playing towards the top, each taking one-fourth of the field) and Cover 3 zone (the same concept as Quarters, but with two cornerbacks and the free safety dividing the field up into thirds).

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