By: Barry Barnes, Founder
Unfortunately, it has been the same old song for the Cleveland Browns, especially when it comes to defense. They play hard to keep contests close, but fizzle at the end. Evidently, there is talent in “the Land” on the defense side of the ball from the likes of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., cornerback Jamar Taylor and safety and return specialist Jabrill Peppers to name a few.
Rookie linebacker B.J. Bello could be in the mix too.
Bello is a hybrid linebacker with a combination of athleticism, speed, aggression and patience. After his under the radar collegiate career at Illinois State, following a transfer from Illinois, he burst onto the NFL Regional Combine scene at the Minnesota-held trials in February.
The 6-2, 229-pound linebacker never lacked confidence, just opportunity. When the Browns signed him as an undrafted rookie, Bello excelled during camps and his progress showed in the preseason as he registered four tackles and a sack.
The Browns recognized Bello’s efforts and made him part of the 53-man roster. He was primarily on special teams and earned three tackles. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Bello made it onto the field with the defense and was close to bringing down ball carriers twice.
“Being a Cleveland Brown means everything to me,” said Bello via conversation. “Being able to be on a NFL roster and play with the best players in the world every day and weekend is a dream come true.”
In Week Four, assuming he will fill some spots defensively, Bello could register more numbers.
“It’s a blessing being a Cleveland Brown and playing for a coaching staff that trust and believes in me to be on the field,” voiced Bello.
CHICAGO BEARS (1-2) VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-1)
The Bears gave up nearly double-digit yards in punt returns. Packers return specialist Trevor Davis returned a punt for a touchdown in Week One of the preseason and had a return for 33 yards in Week Three.
Davis is getting close.
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Will Thursday be the night that the second year-man from California and the 2016 RC session in New Orleans take it to the house?
One thing for sure, Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is looking to get his hands on some Packers, as he has two tackles and a pass defense this season.
LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-1) VS. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1)
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is bringing havoc to opposing quarterbacks with his furious pass rush. Fellow defensive end Benson Mayowa is causing problems as well.
Mayowa is nearly on every play when the Cowboys defensive front bears down on quarterbacks. With five tackles already this season, Mayowa should bring his total to double digits against the Rams.
Field positioning will be the key for the Rams. They have one of the best punters in the NFL in Johnny Hekker to assist and kicker Greg Zuerlein to help keep things interesting.
Hekker is fourth in the league in net average yards with 44.6 per attempt, while Zuerlein is tied at the top of the NFL with 12 field goals and remains perfect.
Rams defensive back Cody Davis is quietly becoming known for his hard hitting. Against America’s team, in front of a national audience, Davis will have another stage to show that trait.
- After a controversial week of standing for the national anthem against the team’s plan, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is looking to steam roll over some Baltimore Ravens, create lanes for the backfield and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the time he needs to lead the club. Punter Jordan Berry will keep the Ravens deep in their territory, and the Steelers will need him to.
- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is on pace to earn his first 1,000 yard season. The Detroit Lions’ defense will key on wide receiver Stefan Diggs, and Thielen will burn them.
- As rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole continues to prove his worth, the Jacksonville Jaguars will continue to make him a target, as they will fullback Tommy Bohanon who is exploiting his catching skills this season. Against the New York Jets, they will continue their growth. Nevertheless, either player may meet linebacker Julian Stanford, another RC brother.
- Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts has been quiet for the past two weeks. He should make some noise against division rival Denver Broncos.