Browns: Keep your guards up!
It hasn’t gone unnoticed here at PFF that after three games offensive guard play is down overall around the league. In fact, only 29% of guards that that have taken at least 75 snaps are currently standing in the green with just four teams having both starters in that zone.
John Greco and rookie Joel Bitonio are both in the Top 5 which has helped create a stable pocket for Brian Hoyer. In Greco’s last 27 starts he only has six games graded out in the red with 11 in the green and was the Browns’ fourth-highest rated player on offense in 2013.
Ray Farmer raised some eyebrows after he selected Bitonio, especially when seven wide receivers were drafted after him in the second round. Beauty is in the eye of the general manager as Bitonio has earned a +1.0 or better mark in each game while the combined tally of the second rounders at any position with a grade equal or better than that is one (Jordan Matthews). You can’t produce if you aren’t on the field and Bitonio played every snap this year with only three of the other rookies having taken over 100 snaps to this point.
Until the passing game finds its wings, the Browns are going to have to get things done the right way in the trenches and that starts with Greco and Bitonio after the bye.