Cowboys Extra: Browns need a boost at defensive tackle
11/13/2012 10:09 PM
04/18/2013 7:29 PM
The Cleveland Browns are starting to daydream about what it might mean to have both of their top two defensive tackles, Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor, on the field together for the first time this year.
"We're both dominant," Rubin said to Cleveland reporters Monday after practicing. He has missed three of the four previous games with a calf injury.
"If I'm not making a play, he's making a play, and vice versa," Rubin added. "We're just chipping away, trying to get back out there 100 percent. When we do get out there, it's going to be something nice."
It could mean an improvement in the Browns' run defense as they get ready to play Dallas on Sunday. The Cowboys took advantage of one team with a weak run defense, the Baltimore Ravens, although they remain without lead back DeMarco Murray.
The Browns are allowing 132.2 yards per game rushing, ranking 27th in the league.
"The roster looks more like I thought it would look when the season started," coach Pat Shurmur said.
Weeden pro and con
Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is on a pace that will put him near a 4,000-yard passing season. But he's completing only 55 percent of his passes, and he's backward on touchdown-to-interception ratio, 9 to 12.
The first-round pick out of Oklahoma Sate is coming off two of his worst performances of the season, even though one was a victory. He had a 55.9 rating in a 7-6 win against San Diego three weeks ago and a 44.4 rating in a 25-15 loss to Baltimore two weeks ago.
He didn't throw a touchdown pass in either game, and he was held to 129 yards and 176 yards.
But Weeden has been above 300 yards twice, both in road games at Cincinnati and Baltimore. In fact, his top four games in terms of passing yards have been on the road.
Running back Trent Richardson gives the Browns hope for a 1,000-yard rusher. He's at 575 through nine games. Kevin Mack, in 1985, is the last Browns rookie to go past 1,000 yards.
Richardson has delivered in the last two games, his busiest of the season. He rushed 24 times for 122 yards against San Diego and 25 times for 105 yards against Baltimore. He also caught six passes against the Ravens.
Wide receiver Mohammad Massaquoi remains out with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson is recovering from a sprained ankle suffered Oct. 7.
Jabaal Sheard, whose 8.5 sacks as a rookie led the Browns last season, has only 1.5 this season.
Phil Dawson is 17-for-17 on field goals, including 9-for-9 from 40 yards or more.
The Browns have lost 11 consecutive road games.
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