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Browns video: Cleveland D-line caves the pocket, smothers Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

So, the Cleveland Browns may be onto something. The team paired together Pro Bowler Myles Garrett and Pro Bowler Olivier Vernon to form a scary pass-rush, and they are already reaping the benefits. In the Browns’ Friday night preseason bout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the two reeled around their respective edges to beat both tackles, resulting in a monstrous Vernon sack on Jameis Winston.

Can we appreciate how quickly the two simultaneously shrank Winston’s pocket? The tackles didn’t stand a chance. Who are you going to double team? A freakish edge rusher and former No. 1 pick coming off an excellent season or a respected veteran coming off of a Pro-Bowl campaign? It’s going to be impossible to defend Cleveland’s edge rushing unit in 2019.

The Browns acquired Vernon in a massive trade with the New York Giants in March. The trade sent Vernon and Odell Beckham Jr. to Ohio, in exchange for right guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers, a first-, and a third-round pick. It appears as if the trade is paying dividends.

In 2018, Vernon enjoyed his first Pro-Bowl season. For the year, he tallied seven sacks, 30 combined tackles, 21 quarterback hits, and seven tackles for loss. He played as an outside linebacker but is switching back to his natural 4-3 defensive end position in Cleveland. His best statistical season as an end came in 2013; when he accumulated 11.5 sacks, 57 combined tackles, 16 quarterback hits, and 13 tackles for loss.

As for Garrett, he’s entering the third season of his career, after being selected No. 1 overall in 2017. In 2018, he recorded 13.5 sacks, 44 combined tackles, 29 quarterback hits, and 12 tackles for loss. He’s fully entrenched as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate for 2019.

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