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Browns' pass rush emerged as strength in 2009

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Posted Feb. 25, 2010 @ 9:41 a.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Browns need to improve in many areas this offseason, but their pass rush isn't a major concern. Only the Steelers (47) and Dolphins (44) in the AFC racked up more sacks in 2009 than the Browns, who notched 40. Cleveland's surprising pass-rush pressure was a product of a full team effort, with 16 different Browns notching sacks. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan dialed up some effective blitzes, but Cleveland also got good pressure throughout its front seven, with defenders stepping up — and especially late in the season — to help the cause. Former Dolphins OLB Matt Roth emerged as a key contributor during his late-season stint in Cleveland, notching four sacks in six games, and figures to be retained as a restricted free agent in an uncapped year. Cleveland also got a surprising contribution from former practice-squad player Marcus Benard, who racked up 3½ sacks in the final four games of the season and impressed late in his rookie campaign.

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