Like many Cleveland Browns fans, at the start of the season I felt that veteran cornerback Sheldon Brown was nearing the end of his lengthy NFL career. There was even talk about how Brown should be moved to the free safety position. However, in the last couple of contests, Brown has played at a high level and earned his keep.
During yesterday’s battle against the Oakland Raiders, the crafty veteran played lights out and turned the momentum of the game. The black and silver had Cleveland on their heels driving for a go ahead score when Brown stayed with his man on a stop-go route and picked off Carson Palmer inside the Cleveland 10 yard line. This play alone changed the entire complexion of the game. Brandon Weeden and the Browns’ offense went on to drive 94 yards for a score and take a 20-10 lead with a little over three minutes left in the game.
Now in his third season with the orange helmets, Brown quite possibly played his best game as a Cleveland Brown yesterday. Palmer, not wanting to test out Joe Haden‘s side of the field, consistently threw at Brown. Answering the call, no. 24 had five tackles, four pass break ups and a huge interception to kill the Raiders’ most important drive of the afternoon.
What makes Brown so crucial to the defense is his veteran toughness, leadership and experience. Guys like Haden, Buster Skrine, Trevin Wade and Johnson Bademosi are grateful to have a player like Brown to learn from. Without hesitation, Brown has been happy to teach too.
For the season, the 33-year-old has three interceptions and 47 tackles. This is Brown’s 11th season in the league. With four games left, Brown needs to build on these last couple of performances and play football the way he knows how. He is one of the “good” guys in the NFL and wants nothing more to win these last four games.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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