Browns coordinator goes on the defensive

Browns coordinator goes on the defensive
October 19, 2013, 7:30 pm

There’s nothing wrong with the Browns defense, Cleveland’s defensive coordinator says. After all, it’s the No. 1 defense in the league.

Depending on which statistic you like.

“When you go yards per play [4.4], we are the No. 1 defense in the league,” Ray Horton said this week (via ESPN.com). “We have 100 more snaps than the No. 1 defense, but when you go yards per play, we’re No. 1.”

Which is true, though most folks don’t consider yards per play to be the definitive measure of ranking defenses statistically. The league goes with yards per game, in which stat the top team is the Texans (about 253), with the Browns ranking No. 7 (312).

(The Ravens, by the way, rank 17th, at about 352, and give up 5.4 per play.)

Then there is the truly key measure — points per game. The Browns rank No. 11 (just ahead of the Ravens) at 20.8.

So, pick your stat. Especially when you’re sounding a bit, uh, defensive.

“There’s a number of guys playing well,” Horton said. “Can we play better? Do we have to play better? Yes. Do we have to fix third down? Yes. But the model, the system, the players, it’s not broken. ... We just need to fix a couple things. ... If you ask me what do we need to fix, we need to fix finishing games. Not starting games. We start fantastic. We need to fix finishing games. …

“We just need to clean up and hone and sharpen coming out at halftime. Nobody’s outscheming us. Nobody’s outplaying us.”

Wow. The Browns themselves should play such defense.