In the first three weeks of the season, the Browns traded their starting running back and threw open the competition for the starting quarterback job.
But that’s not all that should define September for the Browns.
The beginning of 2013 might have spelled the start of a promising era for the Browns’ defense, which has been outstanding in the first three weeks of the season. Entering Week Four, only the Jets are allowing fewer yards per play than Cleveland. Moreover, the Browns’ pass rush has been strong, notching 12 sacks thus far.
Rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo has done his part to bolster that pass rush, recording a sack in each of his first two regular-season games. Now, with starter Jabaal Sheard doubtful with a knee injury, Mingo could very well make his first NFL regular-season start Sunday against Cincinnati.
Browns coach Rob Chudzinski has liked what he has seen from the Browns’ first-round pick.
“All parts of his game have really improved,” Chudzinski said Friday, according to the club.
Chudzinski has been pleased with Mingo’s progress defending the run.
“A lot of that is just learning the defense and learning the techniques and getting better,” Chudzinski said. “He plays with real good leverage. That shows in his strength.”
In Mingo, Sheard and Paul Kruger, the Browns have a wealth of rush talent at outside linebacker. In short, this looks like a defense that could be fun to watch protecting leads while facing teams in must-pass situations.
Which, of course, brings us back to the Browns’ offense. We know the story. It’s a work-in-progress. The good news is the defense looks to have turned the corner.