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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Here are the Browns' top offensive, defensive and special-teams players in Week One.
Offense: TE Evan Moore
This was a tough call. There were plenty of solid performances but no standout ones. So we'll go with Moore, who caught three passes for 34 yards and a two-yard TD on a slant pattern. Moore's speed and size make him a challenging matchup for shorter cornerbacks, as he proved Sunday when he beat both Leon Hall and Nate Clements in one-on-one matchups.
Defense: MLB D'Qwell Jackson and CB Joe Haden (tie)
Both were very good Sunday. Jackson led all players in the game with 11 tackles, notched two sacks and forced a fumble. Those who believed he would be a better fit in a 4-3 got plenty to bolster their arguments Sunday. Haden, meanwhile, defended five passes and provided tight coverage on A.J. Green for most of the game. One negative: Haden was supposed to be covering Green on the wideout's 41-yard go-ahead TD catch, but the Browns, as a defense, were caught off-guard. Head coach Pat Shurmur said the Bengals "quick-snapped" the ball. Said Shurmur: "My understanding is when the offense changes personnel, my understanding is the defense is allowed to do so as well and have time to do it. That's my understanding. Now we'll all see, I'm going to have to go back and watch the tape, but we'll all see if that actually happened."
Special teams: RS Joshua Cribbs
He's back. A critic of the kickoff rule change that moved the line of scrimmage from the 30 to the 35, Cribbs reminded all he's a top returner no matter the guidelines in place. Cribbs brought back a deep kickoff 51 yards, his longest return since 2009. Cribbs also returned a punt 21 yards, which was longer than any of his 20 returns in 2010.