Jim O’Neil: Browns can have best secondary in the NFL

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The Browns secondary had a pair of players picked for the Pro Bowl in safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback Joe Haden and safety Donte Whitner was added to the game as a replacement for players who didn’t play in the game.

That group included Gipson, but that doesn’t change the fact that the team has a lot of talent in their defensive backfield. The same could be said of the departure of cornerback Buster Skrine since the Browns signed longtime Packer Tramon Williams to round out a group that also includes cornerback K’Waun Williams and 2014 first-rounder Justin Gilbert. The sum total of the group leaves defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil with high hopes for how the group will play this season.

“I think we have the potential to be the best secondary in the NFL,” O’Neil said, via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan.

There are several teams that likely have designs on the same spot in the league’s pecking order, including the Seahawks and Jets, but it’s hard to argue with O’Neil about the potential of the unit. Wherever they rank against the pass, though, the team needs to rush the passer and stop the rush more effectively for the defense as a whole to rank among the league’s best. With O’Neil feeling good about the secondary, that should leave him plenty of time to focus on those areas.

27 responses to “Jim O’Neil: Browns can have best secondary in the NFL

  1. Good to see some love from PFT. It’s hard to be too high on a team that easily has a bottom-5 QB room, but I will say this: the Browns are an intriguing team for a move up the end of year rankings.

    In 2013 they were a top-10 defensive unit.

    In 2014 they had a top-5 backfield, and at least (5) “front-7” starters missed a majority of the season due to injury. “Injuries are no excuse” yeah but nobody plans on losing all their starting defensive linemen and a back-up for a majority of the season. I think their bottom ranked run defense was a bit of an anomoly, considering the same starting unit the year prior was really stout.

    I won’t say they’re playoff bound because you need a QB. Theirs is one defense primed for a rebound. Retooled and with (gasp!) no coaching change over year-t0-year.

    The Jets got a good player in Skrine but I do think they overpaid. Likely the Browns win that exchange with the addition of Tramon Williams.

  2. Not even the best in their own division, Leon Hall, Pacman, Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Denard , Reggie Nelson, George Illoka, bengals are far superior.
    Amazing how the overrated clowns have all these pro bowl players. If it were true wouldn’t they win enough to get out of the basement?
    Whodey

  3. Haden is amazing Gipson is good. Whiter and the rest are okay. Gilbert was bad last year

  4. Joe Haden gets voted into the Pro Bowl based upon an unfounded reputation and a shameless and relentless media onslaught. If he ever spent as much time working on his gaping defensive issues as he does on his PR, he’d be great. For as often as that guy gets burned, he should play with an electric toaster in his pants.

  5. I think once the season reaches the midway point, everyone will see that the Kansas City Chiefs have the best secondary in the league.

    On the way to the AFC title, the Chiefs will shut down every opposing QB.
    They were the Number 1 unit last year, and the scary part is that they will be MUCH better this year.Chiefs will dominate the next dozen years, better jump on the bandwagon now

  6. Cleveland is pathetic. Poetic for them to lose the NBA Finals in Cleveland. Truly cursed.

  7. Just keep a safety up top – behind Tramon…

    For some reason he kept giving up the deep pass last year and in the redzone he kept getting beat on Zig-Zag routes.

  8. We know Cleveland fans are still a little tender after the NBA finals and may need some encouragement, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Look on the bright side, at least you guys still have Johnny idiotface.

  9. seabrawk12 says:
    Jun 18, 2015 2:48 PM

    We know Cleveland fans are still a little tender after the NBA finals and may need some encouragement, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Look on the bright side, at least you guys still have Johnny idiotface.

    _____________________________

    Say the Big, Dumb, Mute Beasty Lynch.

  10. The Browns held Big Ben to 13 points in the last SIX QUARTERS they played. Big Ben must have thought he was in the playoffs or something.

    And that was WITH (whimper, whine, sniffle) Le’Veon (sniffle, sniffle, sniffle) Bell (whine, whimper, sniffle, sniffle, sniffle).

  11. If Desir and Gilbert fulfill their potential, it’s going to be real tough for teams to throw the ball. Couple that with upgrades to stop the run and some serious depth on the D-Line, Cleveland’s defense will be strong enough to keep them in every game – despite leaning on a journeyman QB.

    The Browns are FINALLY building the right way.

  12. I see what you’re saying… Seattle’s defensive backfield is so elite they no longer deserve the term “secondary”. I can get on board with that.

    So then, discounting Seattle’s Primary, then I guess Cleveland has a shot at the best defensive backfield in the league. I still think Whittner can’t cover and the jury had better be out still on Tramon Williams (if the jury’s not still out, then the verdict is he was a backup at GB and they didn’t want him back).

  13. Worst team in the history of the NFL.

    The old Browns never made it to a Super Bowl, and had to move to Baltimore to become winners.

    The new Browns are beyond pathetic. How many losing seasons since their inception is that? When was the last time they didn’t have a losing record?

  14. tralfaz1127 says:Jun 18, 2015 12:27 PM

    Not even the best in their own division, Leon Hall, Pacman, Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Denard , Reggie Nelson, George Illoka, bengals are far superior.
    Amazing how the overrated clowns have all these pro bowl players. If it were true wouldn’t they win enough to get out of the basement?
    Whodey
    __________________________________

    We’ll see come season’s end, Who-ville.

  15. commenter says:Jun 18, 2015 2:29 PM

    Cleveland is pathetic. Poetic for them to lose the NBA Finals in Cleveland. Truly cursed.
    __________________________________

    what’s the matter, upset because your NBA team didn’t make the playoffs this year ? if ANY other NBA team lost 2 bona-fide stars to playoff ending injuries, I’m sure they wouldn’t have fared any better, and this is not to take away from Curry and his very talented teammates. LeBron could not carry the team to glory, any more than D.Wade could in Miami once LeBron departed. Get a life.

  16. I’m a huge Browns fan but – I still feel that Haden is still just a tad over rated, when he stops grabbing jerseys and drawing penalties because he got beat, I’ll change my mind

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