Browns blockers earn national ranking
The Fifth Down blog at The New York Times spent the past week rolling out its Top 10 list for each position and the Browns are well represented – especially on the left side of the offensive line.
Joe Thomas repeated as the top tackle in the NFL, someone who “makes the game look easy, especially in pass protection. Not a mauler, but as reliable a run blocker as you’ll find.”
Alex Mack moved up one spot, and is the second-best center, a “superb technician who holds his own in a phone booth and gets out in front with ease.”
Eric Steinbach dropped two spots at guard, but is still the seventh best as “he was Cleveland’s most impressive lineman in ’10. Can get to virtually any spot on the field.”
The rankings for Thomas, Mack and Steinbach are even more impressive when you take a look at the defensive ranks, which are filled with players that the Browns have to deal with in the division:
- At defensive tackle, Pittsburgh’s Casey Hamilton (No. 7) and Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata (No. 1) were in the Top 10.
- At outside linebacker, Pittsburgh’s LaMarr Woodley (No. 7) and Jerome Harrison (No. 1), along with Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs (No. 3) were all Top 10.
- At inside linebacker, Baltimore’s Ray Lewis (No. 8) and Pittsburgh’s Lawrence Timmons (No. 4) were both Top 10.
Gives you a good idea of what the Browns face twice a year and emphasizes the importance of building a solid offensive line.
The Browns were represented on defense, as corner back Joe Haden was mentioned as a player who could make next year’s list as his “uncanny change-of-direction ability alone will make him top-10 before Halloween.”
Now if we could just see these guys on the field again sometime soon, all will be good.
(Photo by Getty Images)