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Browns Defensive Line - Keep Rogers


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Cleveland Browns 2009 Positional Rankings: Nose Tackles

by Nicholas Galizio Contributor Written on March 28, 2010 Vote Now! - Author Poll

Should Cleveland keep Shaun Rogers for the 2010 season?


Yes—Rogers is simply too good of a player at a very important position. No—His age is a concern and Cleveland should get something back while they can. vote to see results In this second installment of Cleveland’s defensive rankings, we’ll take a look at one of the most unglamorous positions in the NFL…the nose tackle.


Often occupying both a center and a guard on every down, nose tackles do all the dirty work, take the most punishment, and receive the least amount of acknowledgment.


Nose tackles around the NFL such as Vince Wilfork and Casey Hampton have done their jobs well for a long time, but often times without much recognition…and certainly less than their counterparts—defensive tackles.


New England and Pittsburgh have both had great defenses the past decade, yet positions like outside linebacker and defensive end are commonly given most of the credit for their overall success.


One needs to ask…why is the NT often overlooked in a successfully-run 3-4? It’s because just like a left tackle on offense, if you don’t hear a peep about them—they’re usually playing well.




Note—Rankings are out of 21 NT’s and 87 combined NT’s and DT’s in the NFL with at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps to qualify. DT’s were also added in the rankings to achieve a better gauge on all interior defensive linemen.


Overall rankings


Shaun Rogers—2nd

Ahtyba Rubin—3rd


Out of 21 nose tackles in the NFL last year, Cleveland had the second and third best ones statistically on their team. That’s an amazing one-two punch the Browns have at this position.


Now, if you combine all the NT’s and DT’s in the NFL you’d end up with 87 players. Out of those 87:


Shaun Rogers—10th

Ahtyba Rubin—12th


When ranked with all interior defensive linemen in the NFL, both of Cleveland’s nose tackles were in the top 12. Rating slightly behind both Pat and Kevin Williams for Minnesota, and Albert Haynesworth and Lorenzo Alexander in Washington—the Browns boasted the third best NT/DT duo in the league last season.


Pass Rushing



Shaun Rogers—1st

Ahtyba Rubin—14th


NT’s and DT’s

Shaun Rogers—3rd

Ahtyba Rubin—64th


This tells us that Rubin was holding up his blockers for the linebackers more often than not, or perhaps Rubin just isn’t very good at getting to the QB. Even if pass-rushing isn’t his strong point, that’s not really what you’re looking for out of your NT—with Rogers, it’s something extra that he brings to the table.


Against The Run



Ahtyba Rubin—3rd

Shaun Rogers—12th


NT’s and DT’s

Ahtyba Rubin—8th

Shaun Rogers—39th


This is disparaging in comparison to their pass rushing statistics…almost night and day. This is really the only area Rogers was average in. You can attribute this to his apparent freelance style of play, whereas it seems like Rubin plays his position in more of a traditional style—but both are extremely good at their respective crafts.


Ahtyba Rubin can play more often during obvious running situations, but if the down is second or third and long, the Browns can put Rogers in and have another good pass-rusher in the game. It’s a luxury—can you believe it? The Browns having a luxury?


QB Hits



Shaun Rogers—1st (8)

Ahtyba Rubin—10th (1)


NT’s and DT’s

Shaun Rogers—5th

Ahtyba Rubin—49th


QB Pressures



Shaun Rogers—1st (23)

Ahtyba Rubin—17th (2)


NT’s and DT’s

Shaun Rogers—3rd

Ahtyba Rubin—77th


These are both tributes to their pass-rushing comparison. This is the one area where Ahtyba Rubin was extremely poor, but again…no one knows for certain what was always being asked of him on defense, so this is something that Browns fans can keep an eye on for next season.


Finishing in the top five in both QB hits and pressures while missing five games in 2009, Shaun Rogers was one of—if not the best—pass-rushing interior defensive linemen in the league.


Total Tackles



Shaun Rogers—7th (26)

Ahtyba Rubin—7th (26)


NT’s and DT’s

Shaun Rogers—25th

Ahtyba Rubin—25th


Both playing about half a season, Rogers and Rubin tied with 26 tackles apiece. Adding up total tackles by team from the NT position, the Browns finished third behind only Jacksonville (65) and New England (58). 52 total tackles from the NT position is great production even if it doesn’t look like much at first glance.


QB Sacks (A lot of ties)


Shaun Rogers—(2)

Ahtyba Rubin—(1)


Major Moves


So far, no moves have been made at nose tackle—and don’t expect any. There have recently been rumors about Shaun Rogers being moved for draft picks, but now with the recent trade of Corey Williams this scenario seems highly unlikely.


The only perceived “move” that could be made is pairing Shaun Rogers and Ahtyba Rubin on the defensive line at the same time—either as a NT and DE, or as a DT duo in a 4-3 alignment. Browns fans have been clamoring about this particular defensive look for months, and it appears it may come to fruition.


Draft Outlook


Only anticipate Cleveland spending a late round pick on a NT or DT in this draft, as it’s currently one of their strongest positions on the roster. If one is drafted earlier than expected, the Browns may be looking to move Shaun Rogers at a later date, or would be looking to have one of the most dominant 3-4 defensive lines in the NFL.


Fun Facts


Some Browns fans believe that the defense played better after Shaun Rogers was injured. Although the numbers support this opinion, there is one statistic that is more telling…and that is time of possession.


In their first three games, Cleveland averaged a paltry 27 minutes per game in time of possession, while their opponents averaged 33. This number got even worse as mid-season approached putting Cleveland right near the bottom of the league.


On the other hand...in Cleveland’s last three games, they averaged 33 minutes per game in time of possession—placing them sixth overall during that span. The defense was simply on the field much less resulting in better all-around statistics and play. The Browns eventually finished the season ranked 22nd in time of possession.


In 2008, Cleveland finished dead last in overall time of possession with a measly average of 26 minutes per game for the entire season. It’s no wonder the defense has appeared to be lackluster, because the offense can’t stay on the field. When they do, the defense seems to play better. This isn’t rocket science.


The nose tackle is one of the most important positions in football and teams don’t generally part ways with a good one or trade them for draft picks. The New England Patriots…a team that is often times said to be very frugal with its money recently signed Vince Wilfork to a 5-year $40 million extension.


Not So Fun Facts


Let’s take a look at Shaun Rogers’ career win/loss record.


Detroit Lions

2001 2-14

2002 3-12

2003 5-11

2004 6-10

2005 5-11

2006 3-13

2007 7-9


Cleveland Browns

2008 4-12

2009 5-11


Are you ready for this? Shaun Rogers’ career record in the NFL is 40-103. That’s an average of right in between 4-12 and 5-11.


The poor guy has never played on a team with a winning record in all nine of his NFL seasons. In fact, he’s never even been part of a team that finished 8-8. If this defensive monster actually received some assistance, there’s no telling how great he can play, or how much he can dominate at the line of scrimmage and wreak havoc in opponent’s backfields.


Closing Thoughts


Going by the numbers, right now you’d have to think that Cleveland has one of the best NT situations in football. Does this make Shaun Rogers expendable? Absolutely, but Cleveland also shouldn’t unsettle a team strength because they finally have legitimate depth at a very important position.


Suppose they do trade Rogers, and Rubin gets hurt or can’t handle the load…where does that leave them? Right where they were defensively three or four years ago. Does anyone really want to go through that again?




Shaun Rogers played 569 snaps and Ahtyba Rubin played 358. This ranks them 33rd and 60th respectively among all 87 interior defensive linemen.

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Thanks for the post. It's been quiet here on Rogers for ages. I say we keep him if his fitness is good, I love to see the big fella break through the line and put pressure on the QB. 1st in QB pressures and only dropping to 3rd when considering DTs in the mix is a beastly score. Rubin's stats sees him better on the run, there is certainly depth going on down in the trenches.


I haven't heard an update on Roger's injury last season - any updates known?



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Great article and comparisons of our 2 killer NTs...a lot of people want to see rogers traded because he is aging and pretty average against the run but i believe both rogers and rubin are being asked to do different things and both have their place and function on the team they offer an incredible one two punch option while keeping the position relatively fresh legged at the same time, we should only consider trading rogers if its an offer that cant be refused and the scout team has already found a potential high octane replacement...i believe we should rebuild the defense around this tagteam tandem...;)

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Thanks for the post. It's been quiet here on Rogers for ages. I say we keep him if his fitness is good, I love to see the big fella break through the line and put pressure on the QB. 1st in QB pressures and only dropping to 3rd when considering DTs in the mix is a beastly score. Rubin's stats sees him better on the run, there is certainly depth going on down in the trenches.


I haven't heard an update on Roger's injury last season - any updates known?



I was curious about his injury myself. I looked everywhere but couldn't find an update so I assumed he is fine and ready for the season. If anyone has an update I would love to know for sure. Thank you.

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These two make a great duo. They both are great situational players. Play Rubin on run downs and Rogers as a 3rd down pass rusher. We already know Rogers isnt a every down player so keepem both. DONT TRADE ROGERS!!!!!



I'll add to that,


Play Rogers at end and Rubin at Nose on run downs. Play Rogers on passing downs.

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The problem with Rogers is that he freelances and doesn't keep to his assignments. He plays when he wants to. Not saying we should trade him but we played better defense without him. Kris Jenkins in NY was an ANIMAL for Mangini because the dude gave it his all every down and was a leader on and off the field. Shaun Rogers needs to grow up and be a leader. Then his worth to the Browns will be maximal.

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The problem with Rogers is that he freelances and doesn't keep to his assignments.


That's a problem for the coaching staff only in the sense that they have to cover their ass for the guy playing behind Rogers. Put in a LB that guesses right on his own freelances and you have a group of play makers in the middle and not just a big guy working it and a bunch of unlucky turds behind him that only make tackles when someone runs into them.


I'd keep both Rogers and Rubin. It's not the year to over look play makers (is it ever?).

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DT Corey Peters on Browns’ draft radar

By Carlos "Big C" Holmes | Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 11:58 AM


The Cleveland Browns are proving that they’ll leave no stone unturned in their search of defensive tackle prospects in this year’s NFL draft. University of Kentucky defensive tackle Corey Peters is the latest prospect to be linked to the club.


Peters worked out for Cleveland a week ago and impressed members of the coaching staff. He has generated some interest around the league working out for New England as well. He is scheduled to visit the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans this week.


In a draft class deep at the D-tackle position, the underrated tackle won’t take a back seat to anyone.


“I’m extremely confident in my abilities,” Peters said. “I feel like I’m better than a lot of the guys out there. I’m on the cusp of being everything I can possibly be as a player. I have a lot of upside and have been training for the NFL since I stepped on campus.”


The 6-foot-3, 302-pound Peters led the SEC in tackles-for-loss and sacks among his peers this past season. He was first-team All Conference Coaches and second-team AP.


Peters is gifted athletically, aggressive and can do a lot of things in the trenches. He’s a good overall player but does have some flaws. Peters must improve on his upper body strength and finishing plays. His strength has improved, which was made evident at the school’s Pro Day when he banged out 26 reps of 225 pounds. He put up some pretty good numbers during the workout to increase his draft stock.


The Browns play a 3-4 defense, which could be a challenge for Peters, who would likely line up at nose tackle.


“I talked to several teams about playing nose and it’s something I’m open to,” he said. “I’ve never played the position before, but I feel like I’m an extremely smart player who can pick up on anything.”


Making the transition to nose tackle shouldn’t be too difficult for the two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll student. His versatility, physical tools and intelligence should help him become an impact player. He has often been compared to Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko for his play.


“I pride myself on leading by example,” Peters said. “I’ve never been a hype man or rah-rah guy and took my academics very seriously. I just want to be a professional player and take care of business on the field.”


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