Browns' Joe Schobert amped to be part of 'darn good' D

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Ahead of one of the more anticipated Cleveland Browns seasons in many an autumn, there's seemingly a galaxy of stars on both sides of the ball from Baker Mayfield to Odell Beckham to Myles Garrett and more.

Joe Schobert isn't one who's going to garner star status, however.

That doesn't mean he doesn't produce like a star.

Quietly going about his business, Schobert is entering the fourth season of his NFL tenure with consecutive 100-tackle seasons to his credit along with a Pro Bowl appearance.

"I just want to do my job in the defense," Schobert said via the team website's Nick Shook. "My goal I set every year is to get 100 tackles and affect the game in a positive way. And if I can do that, things are going to align where they are and life will be good if you just do your job."

Bringing in top-tier talents like Beckham and pass rusher Olivier Vernon via trade with the Giants, signing notable free agents such as Sheldon Richardson and doing the most with no first-round picks, such as brining in cornerback Greedy Williams, have stoked the fires of promise for the Browns during a much ballyhooed offseason. The hype for 2019 truly began in 2018, though, as Mayfield garnered headlines, Garrett truly began to showcase his superior talent and Cleveland started winning en route to producing a 7-8-1 campaign -- it's most successful (via winning percentage) since 2007.

Nevermind a hamstring injury that sidelined him for three games, Schobert was a major, if not overlooked, contributor. He racked up 103 tackles, six passes defensed, three sacks, two fumble forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

"When you get those wins, the whole attitude of the team definitely takes a nice upswing," Schobert said. "I think we've got a lot of talent that we should be able to get some wins this year."

Things have definitely progressed.

Evidence enough came in Week 3 of the preseason.

Vernon, Richardson and Garrett led a defensive onslaught that saw the Browns terrorize quarterback Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers with seven sacks. Schobert contributed a game-high five tackles.

"When you are a linebacker and you get back into your drop, and as soon as you get to your landmark, you turn around and the quarterback is on the ground and you just drive back to the huddle every play. It makes you feel better," Schobert said. "You feel like you are in much better shape when that happens instead of chasing receivers around all play if they cannot get the quarterback down. Live in person, right behind them, those guys can really get after it."

In many ways, Schobert is an old-school linebacker. With a head for the game, he knows what he's supposed to do along with his teammates, he goes to work every day and he gobbles up tackles. While Baker and OBJ and Garrett draw the headlines, it probably wouldn't surprise many if Schobert brought a lunch pale to work (aka practice and games).

"Since I've been playing football, I just try to do my job, do what the coaches tell me, listen and be productive and everything's worked out so far," said Schobert, who posted 142 tackles during a 2017 Pro Bowl season.

Akin to the aforementioned old-school-linebacker-type, Schobert is likely to let his play, or perhaps his work, on the field do the talking. But as a player who was a Pro Bowler after a 0-16 campaign, he knows the potential for something special lies ahead.

"If everybody stays healthy and can play all 16 games this year until the playoffs," Schobert said, "we're going to be a darn good team with a darn good defense that a lot of teams are going to have to take notice of and prepare for."

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