On the Rams side we want to see a new faster and productive offense, hopefully that can score at will. Breeze down the field and score faster than Rok Watkins pushing his way to the front of an all you can eat buffet.
The Brown’s may have something to say about that because of their new DC Ray Horton. We know a little about his type of D from playing the Cards the last two years. Consider his record while at Arizona in the tough NFC West.
"He served in the same capacity the previous two seasons (2011-12) with the Arizona Cardinals. Horton’s résumé includes 19 years of experience coaching in the NFL, following a 10-year playing career as a defensive back.
This past season, Horton guided a defensive unit that led the NFL in passer rating allowed (71.2) and interception percentage (4.4%). His defense also ranked second in the NFL in interceptions (22) and third-down efficiency (32.9%), third in red zone defense (44.4%) and fourth in takeaways (33). The defense also ranked fifth in passing defense (200.8 ypg), first downs allowed (288) and points allowed per drive (1.42)." Ref. http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/team/coaches/ray-horton/be7f405a-f814-4b1c-b23b-5b2fa04ecbc1
That’s a pretty impressive resume for a DC in the NFC West. Even though it’s pre-season I think we can expect Ray to get some practice in blitzing. This will be a good test for our O-Line even if it’s not the exotic forms that would be seen during a real game.
"Ray Horton’s Blitzes
Ray Horton is one of the most aggressive defensive coordinators in the NFL. He is known for finding creative ways to put pressure on the quarterback. The most exciting thing about this for Browns fans is that the numbers back up the reputation. During the 2012 season, Horton blitzed on 279 out of 588 pass plays (47.4%). To put that number in perspective, defensive coordinators around the NFL only blitzed on an average of 31.6% of pass plays.
When Horton blitzed, his players normally did a good job of executing. On the 174 plays that Horton sent five rushers, 59 combined quarterback hits,hurries, and sacks were created. This means that a hit, hurry, or sack was created on 33.9% of snaps that Horton sent five rushers. ( If you think that is impressive, wait until you hear how often pressure was created when Horton sent six rushers.) On the 64 plays that Horton sent six rushers, 35 combined quarterback hits, hurries, and sacks were created. This means that pressure was created on 54.7% of snaps that Horton sent six rushers. Just by looking at these numbers, we can conclude that Horton does an excellent job of designing his blitzes.
Like any defensive coordinator, Horton blitzes more or less depending on the situation. When using the 2-4-5 during the 2012 season, Horton blitzed on 142 out of 505 snaps (28.1%). 28 (19.7%) of Horton’s blitzes from the 2-4-5 came on first downs, 24 (16.9%) of his blitzes from the 2-4-5 came on second downs, and 83 (58.5%) of his blitzes from the 2-4-5 came on third downs. When using the 3-4 during the 2012 season, Horton blitzed on 125 out of 563 snaps (22.2%). 50 (40%) of Horton’s blitzes from the 3-4 came on first downs, 60 (48%) of his blitzes from the 3-4 came on second downs, and 11 (9%) of his blitzes from the 3-4 came on third downs. The unit has depth on the defensive line, young talent and athleticism on all three levels, edge rushers that can put pressure on the quarterback, one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, and one of the top safeties in the NFL. Ref. http://www.draftbrowns.com/2013/05/an-in-depth-look-inside-ray-hortons-defense/
It’s going to help, that the Rams have faced his defensive work before. Does he have the same level of talent that he had in Arizona….probably not but don’t expect that it will be a cake walk by any means. We’ve seen firsthand what good coaching can do for a team with a lack of talent. They have some untested weapons just like us that may surprise a few people.
It’s going to be interesting to see our new offense testing the waters against a new Brown’s defense. I’m sure that both sides will be vanilla, but we might get a glimpse of what the future holds.
I’m hoping for an interesting and injury free game for both teams. And of course I think all of us will be glued to the T.V. for the premier of Ram’s 2.0 in the Jeff Fisher regime.