The biggest news coming out of Cleveland in preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins is the return of Denzel Ward. Ward has been held out of the last three games for being in the league’s concussion protocol. He has been cleared to return this week against an up-and-coming Dolphins team. This is big news for the Browns Defense and their chances of winning this game.
Miami has had a coming-alive party this season. Well, as long as Tua has been healthy at least. When Tua plays, Miami is 6-1. Without him, they are a measly 0-2. Part of the reason for their success this season has been his ability to throw to his incredible receivers. This offseason the Dolphins made a major move by trading for Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs. He has proved to be a huge difference-maker for them. They already had a blazingly fast, shorter, wide receiver in Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama. Then, they added an even faster and more proven Hill to their offense and it has really exploded for them. Their opponents have had real issues staying with those two lightning-fast wide-outs all season long. But, I believe the Browns CBs are actually well-equipped to handle Miami’s Speedy WR’s.
Why Ward and Newsome Matchup Well with Hill and Waddle
Denzel Ward returning to the lineup means Cleveland will start Ward and Greg Newsome at CB. I’m assuming that Ward will get the task of covering Hill and Newsome will cover Waddle, if they play strictly man coverage (which I wouldn’t suggest). Ward and Newsome are pretty similar players. They are both roughly six feet tall and weigh just under 200 lbs. This means they aren’t going to be the most ‘physical’ corners. Ward and Newsome aren’t built to bully receivers and punish them with physicality. They are instead built to finesse and outwork them with their coverage skills. This is what makes them such great CBs.
Ward and Newsome aren’t really that equipped to play with wide-outs like DK Metcalf, Julio Jones, or Mike Evans, who are all bigger and more physical. But, they are pretty well equipped to handle the quicker, speedier guys like Tyreek or Jaylen Waddle. I’m not saying that they are going to play perfectly and not give up any receptions. I’m just saying that with Ward back in the lineup and Newsome opposite him, the Browns have a good shot at slowing down what has been possibly the best WR duo in the league this season.
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