Menacing Taylor leads stout Browns D

Posted Aug 15, 2013

Cleveland defensive tackle Phil Taylor anchored the Browns’ effort in a 24-6 win over the Detroit Lions Thursday.

Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor was credited with only one tackle and a pass breakup in the team’s 24-6 preseason win over the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium, but those numbers told only part of the story.

When Taylor and the Browns’ starting defense were in the game, the Lions registered four first downs and managed three points on David Akers’ 48-yard field goal with 4:37 to play in the first half.

“Phil’s been playing some really good football, and it’s not a surprise,” said Browns coach Rob Chudzinski. “He’s been doing those things in practice. He’s been really focused this training camp, and since I’ve been here, he’s been focused. I think he’s carrying it over to the field, and that’s what you like seeing.

“I think that group is a high-energy, high-effort group, and they are coached by a high-energy, high-effort guy in Joe Cullen. You’re seeing it on the field.”

Taylor’s pass breakup came on the Lions’ third possession of the game.

Down, 3-0, with 6:31 to play in the first quarter, the Lions faced a first-and-10 from their own 20-yard line after Browns kicker Brandon Bogotay booted the kickoff through the uprights. On first down, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford looked to running back Reggie Bush with a screen pass, but Taylor got his hands in the passing lane and deflected it to the ground.

“It was just one of those things,” Taylor said. “I saw him pat the ball a couple times, so I just got ready and he threw it. I jumped up and blocked. It’s more of you can read the quarterback. Our coach always tells us to get our hands up, bat the pass and I did.”

In the first half, the Browns’ defense forced four three-and-outs in six Lions possessions.

“It’s just a win for us,” Taylor said. “Getting off the field on third down is really key. If you give them another set of downs, they can turn it into three points or even six points. Getting off the field on third down is key for us.”

Although the Browns’ starting defense has allowed just three points, their work has only just begun in Taylor’s eyes.

“We’re not going to settle with that,” Taylor said. “It’s preseason and we’re just going out there doing what we have to do. We’re not satisfied. We’re a lot better, and we’re going to go out there and do what we’ve got to do.

“We pride ourselves on getting to the ball, racing to the quarterback, and it’s showing. We’ve got a long way to go. Saturday, we’ve got practice and we’ve got to correct the mistakes and move on.”

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