By Larry GLicken

The Cleveland Browns seem to understand that defense wins football games. The Browns made some changes to the defense that ranked number two in the NFL in pass defense. Yesterday the Browns parted ways with Jayme Mitchell who became expendable when the Browns signed former Bengals defensive lineman Frostee (Rucker) and Eagles stand out defensive lineman Juqua Parker. Browns G.M. Tom Heckert said, Parker give the Browns the metal edge the team was looking for.. He went on to say this guy plays hard on every down and will help the Browns defense both physically and mentally.

In his NFL career Parker has appeared in 146 regular season games with 46 starts during his NFL career. He has registered 354 tackles, 36.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 16 passes defensed and one interception. Parker spent the first four seasons of his career with the Titans before signing with the Eagles in 2005. In 2011, he saw action in 12 contests, recording 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one pass defense, while tying a career-high with two fumble recoveries, both of which he returned for touchdowns. He was a member of a defensive unit that ranked in the top 10 in total (8th) and pass defense (10th). With his two fumble returns for touchdowns in 2011 (56 yards – 9/11 at STL & 47 yards – 12/18 vs. NYJ), Parker joined Jason Taylor as the only two defensive linemen in NFL history with three touchdown returns of 40 or more yards. Parker’s first touchdown came on a 55-yard interception return in 2008. Parker will be a great addition to the Browns defense that needed additional help stopping the run last season.

The Browns also re-signed Dimitri Patterson who head coach Pat Shurmur said was an important part of the teams defense last year. Patterson has appeared in 64 career regular seasons with 10 starts, registering 107 tackles, 25 passes defensed, five interceptions and one sack. In 2011, he appeared in 14 games with one start, notching 26 tackles and a career-high 12 passes defensed for a defense that ranked second in the NFL against the pass.

Now the Cleveland fans are hoping the Browns start to improve their offense. It seems defensively the Browns on paper should be very solid. Offensively the Browns certainly have huge holes to fill.

Filed under: NFL