Thanks to the play of nose tackle Phil Taylor, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, cornerback Joe Haden and the emergence of tight end Jordan Cameron, the Cleveland Browns finally have a young nucleus of Pro Bowl-level talent to build around.
Taylor, a third-year defensive tackle out of Baylor has emerged into one of the best 3-4 nose tackles in the NFL by recording 11 total tackles while creating the dominating kind of pass-rushing and pocket collapsing pressure at the zero technique in Ray Horton’s new attack-minded defense that has long been missing in Cleveland.
While he may not have the numbers worthy to justify it, Taylor’s 6’3, 335-pound presence in the middle helps disrupt opposing offensive lines while freeing up defensive ends Desmond Bryant and Ahtyba Rubin to attack in the backfield.
Jackson, a eight-year veteran out of Maryland, is the undisputed leader of the re-born Browns defense, as he is tied for fourth with New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo in recording 49 total tackles. Jackson also has one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the season. Jackson is having one of his best seasons in Cleveland, and if he continues his solid play, could very well find himself in Honolulu.
Haden, the former seventh overall pick out of Florida in the 2010 NFL Draft, appears to have finally matured into one of the top-flight shutdown corners in the league in blanketing the likes of A.J. Green(seven catches, 51 yards), Mike Wallace(one catch, 15 yards), Steve Johnson(two catches, 19 yards) Greg Jennings(three catches, 43 yards) and Torrey Smith(seven catches, 85 yards).
For the season, the former Gator has 20 total tackles and six passes defended. Opposing No.1 wideouts have averaged four catches, 42.6 yards receiving on 8.4 targets.
Cameron, the former basketball player at USC, has emerged into one of the best early regular season and fantasy football surprises in catching 33 passes for 396 yards and five touchdowns, which ties him for sixth in the NFL with Chicago’s Brandon Marshall, San Diego’s Eddie Royal and Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles.
Third in touchdown receptions among tight ends behind New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham and Denver’s Julius Thomas—both former hoops players like Cameron, look for Cameron to develop into one of the brightest young stars in the NFL and hopefully see his strong play rewarded with a selection to the Pro Bowl as well.
Robert D. Cobb is the Founder/CEO/Senior Editor-In-Chief Of The Inscriber : Digital Magazine, for questions, comments and concerns email me at [email protected]://220.127.116.11/~theinscr and follow the Inscriber : Digital Magazine on Twitter at @TheInscriber