Crowell setting up for a ‘monster year’?

With a revamped offensive line in place for 2017, the Browns running back appears to be in line for a big year, per his RB coach.

| 1 week ago
(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Crowell setting up for a ‘monster year’?


  • Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reported that Browns running back coach Kirby Wilson has spoken highly of Isaiah Crowell and that he will have a “monster year” after signing his restricted free-agent tender May 10.
  • With the additions of G Kevin Zeitler (PFF’s seventh-highest-graded guard), and C J.C. Tretter (PFF’s ninth-highest-graded center) through free agency, and the return of G Joel Bitonio from injury, the Browns offensive line has become one of only six in the NFL to have at least four starters grading 80 or better going into 2017.
  • Crowell was one of the most productive runners behind the talented anchor at LT Joe Thomas and the revolving door at LG after Bitonio’s injury, his 7.3 yard-per-carry average was second-highest behind the LG and LT in the league.
  • Defenders had a difficult time bringing Crowell down — his average of 3.18 yards after contact in 2016 was the third-highest among running backs with at least 100 carries.
  • The former undrafted rookie’s 16 runs of 15 or more yards ranked fourth in the league and accounted for 8 percent of his total yards, that was tied for the third-highest percentage last season.
  • Crowell’s breakaway percentage (percentage of yardage coming from runs of 15-plus yards) the past three seasons are the three highest seasons for a Browns running back in the PFF era (since 2006).

Isaiah Crowell

  • Andre Taylor

    Behind a much improved O-line, RB Isaiah Crowell will have room to show what he is truly capable of. With LG Joel Bitonio healthy, ALL-Joe Thomas and the addition of pro-bowl RG Kevin Zeitler and J.C.Tretter. Four fifths of the line will have a high caliber player manning the position, 2nd year RT Shon Coleman is on track to start next to Zeitler at RT. With Crowell as the lead RB, and Duke Johnson as the 3rd down and change-of-pace back. Don’t sleep on 7th round pick RB Matthew Dayes, vastly overlooked Dayes is 5ft 10, 205lbs with a nice blend of power and passing game skills. He has a compact build and naturally low center of gravity, and runs with excellent balance through traffic, allowing him to squeeze through for tough yardage. Good lateral movement skills, with enough speed to threaten the edge. He’s excellent in the passing game, capable of flexing out as a receiver and create mismatches against LB’s. Dayes does a nice job with recognition as a pass protector, he shows good vision and good explosf upfield. Giving the Browns a diverse set of RB’s to wear defenses down in a variety of ways, thus taking the pressure off of QB Cody Kessler and allowing the offense to be balanced. HC Hue Jackson stated that this year there will be a greater emphasis on running the ball early and often, as fans we are so use to hearing from a new Browns regrime every few years that things will be different. Although i originally had my doubts about VOP Sashi Brown, the savvy moves he has made in the last 2 years shows action to all the good talk. The offense has a chance to be decent, and the defense under new DC Greg Williams if healthy is going to be an absolute nightmare to face. The Browns had a top 5 draft this year, with plenty of cap-space and a plethora of high draft capital in next years draft. As i Baltimore Raven fan i fear facing the Browns over the next few years over anyone else in the division. Every pick in this years draft offers excellent value and will end up making the team. Even the day 2 and 3 picks were drafted much later than the pre-draft projections, although injured in the rookie mini-camp CB Howard Wilson has the desired length and speed to earn a spot in the rotation this year. OT Roderick Johnson was considered a 1st round pick last year, but struggle his junior year. A starter for 2 plus years at LT at FSU, Johnson is tall with long arms, he has exceptional length and is a violent, aggressive and precise puncher who can redirect pass rushers. Much better in the run game, with LT Joe Thomas still playing at a high level. Johnson can sit and learn from the future HOF LT, before taking over for Thomas in the next few years. Before the reports of assault came out about DT Calab Brantley, he was considered a late 1st or 2nd round pick. Which led to Brantley falling into the 6th round, with the charges dismissed and his legal troubles hopefully behind him. Brantley has the build of a wrecking ball with the playing style to match. Displaying a mix of outstanding power and quickness, exploding off the ball and shooting gaps as a destructive 3-technique. He can occupy multiple blockers in the run game and has the low center of gravity and leg strength to push the pocket against double-teams. With follow rookie DT Larry Ogunjobi a one gap penetrator, with a impressive closing burst. Ogunjobi has the ability to counter on the fly as a pass rusher, with Brantley and Ogunjobi on the line with #1 overall pick DE Myles Garrett and DE Emmanuel Ogbah. Greg Williams will be able to get after the QB with his front 4 and time his blitzes to keep offenses off balance. With LB’s Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey 3 down types, both with the ability to be interchangeable. Greg Williams may also bring either 1st round pick Jabrill Peppers or newly acquired SS Calvin Pryor as a third LB. If CB Joe Haden can stay healthy along with CB Jamar Taylor, CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB Howard Wilson when he comes back and veteran CB/S Jason McCourty. By mid-season no offense will want to face the Browns defense, giving the draft capital that the front office has in next years draft. Sashi Brown could systematically target specific players to complete both sides of the ball, most fans will feel like they will believe it when then see it. The days of the old Cleveland Browns are over.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Didn’t we hear the same “monster year” comments when the Browns had Trent Richardson and Peyton Hillis? Kirby Wilson use to play in the CFL so maybe he’s using that level of competition as his base reference.

    • Pullit

      Contract year, Coach Jackson said he wanted to run the ball more, line upgrade. Yes, he should get more yards than he has before in the NFL.