Safety John Johnson III says Browns new defensive huddle format helped secure win vs. Steelers

A defensive meltdown in Week 3 was enough to have the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff re-evaluate their gameday strategies ahead of their matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers last night. Communication was becoming an issue, and the team was ready to try anything that might help them avoid another collapse.

As it would turn out a simple adjustment to how play calls are sent in from defensive coordinator Joe Woods to the unit on the field was all they needed to get on the same page. Starting safety John Johnson III told reporters after the game about the new approach and was emphatic in his assertion that it helped with a very specific matchup choice.

“Usually, it is like seven or eight guys, but all 11 were in the huddle,” He explained. “It was a little different because (CB) Denzel (Ward) was traveling with No. 18 (Steelers WR Diontae Johnson) so everyone definitely had to stay in the middle, and it helped out with the play.”

With everybody working in concert, the Browns’ defense was able to limit Pittsburgh to just 17 points, and they even managed to score a touchdown on the final play of the game. Johnson continued his comments by saying he was hopeful the change would stick around, and seemed to imply that the results of the subtle change speak for themselves.

“I think it has to [help],” Johnson said. “I think you have to get the call and communicate. It was sending and receiving. It was a lot better than last week so I think we have to [stick with it.].”

Cleveland will need to build on this win if they want their success to continue through the rest of their rigorous schedule. As they continue to improve, the Browns will continue making waves on both sides of the ball.

Story originally appeared on Browns Wire