While there are yards to be had against Cleveland, tight ends haven’t been finding many.
The Browns are currently 28th in the NFL giving up 286.0 yards per game, but opposing tight ends are managing just a sliver of that with an average of 31.0. Those numbers include Dennis Pitta (Ravens), Scott Chandler (Bills), Jermaine Gresham (Bengals), and the Eagles’ Brent Celek, who leads the NFL in yards at the position through the first quarter of the season.
Sunday will be Martellus Bennett’s crack at the averages.
“Every tight end in the NFL is different,” Bennett said. “I think the guys they played against are all different from the way that I play and the things that we do here in this offense. It’ll be a battle.”
Bennett also credited Cleveland’s linebackers for limiting opposing tight ends, just like the Eagles did last week against him when he was held to one catch for two yards. Previously, Bennett, who has 187 yards on the year, had scored a touchdown in each of his first three games.
This week, Bennett expects to see a dosage of weakside linebacker Craig Robertson, who is tied for a team-high 27 tackles despite starting only once this season. Then there is the man in the middle, D’Qwell Jackson, who has two interceptions and 3.0 sacks this season.
“I think No. 52 is one of the best linebackers in the league in my eyes, watching him on tape and the things that he does,” Bennett said of Jackson, who led the NFL in tackles in 2008 and the AFC in 2011. “But we try to get and develop some mismatches out there and do some things where I get a chance to get more opportunities than I got last week.
“He reads the quarterback’s eyes and takes a lot away from the inside. They do a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes and following him. So it’s going to take good depth on routes to develop those levels. Then Eli is going to have to look guys off here and there. So whatever they do, we’ll have an answer for it.”
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