Oct 28, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard (97) during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Cleveland won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The sack is a beautiful thing to see in an NFL game, but it’s unfortunately not been seen enough in Cleveland over the years. Since their NFL return in 1999, only the Houston Texans have fewer sacks (347) than the Browns (440), and they didn’t enter the NFL until 2002.
If the Browns are able to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks more in 2013, defenses end/linebacker Jabaal Sheard will be a key contributor. In his first two seasons in the NFL, he’s logged 8.5 sacks his rookie year and seven sacks in year two. While he is not putting up Aldon Smith numbers, playing on a defensive line with very few threats to get to the quarterback and posting over 15 sacks in two seasons is pretty impressive.
Newly-signed outside linebackers Paul Kruger also has high expectations for the entire defense. After winning the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens last season, he believes his new team has comparable talent on defense:
"I think we’re right there with them honestly. I’m not just saying that. We have an extremely fast middle linebacking corps. Joe Haden and the other corners are covering extremely well right now, so I’m not exactly sure how exactly it would rank out. But there’s a lot of good things that you can look forward to, and it seems like guys are making big plays."