Washington's pass rush has the attention of Browns HC Kevin Stefanski originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Through the first two weeks of the 2020 NFL season, the pass rush of the Washington Football team has been as good as advertised, if not better.
Washington has sacked the quarterback 11 times in just two weeks, the highest mark of any team in the NFL. Eight different players have notched at least half a sack for the Burgundy and Gold, with rookie Chase Young leading the way with 2.5, tied for the NFL's best.
During his opening statement when meeting with local media on Wednesday, Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski emphasized that his team is hoping to do whatever it can to slow Washington's pass rush come this Sunday.
"Defensively, 11 sacks in two games gets your attention immediately," Stefanski said. "They are just a really good front, a really good defense and defensive team. Speed across the board."
Washington's defensive front has earned many comparisons to San Francisco's from last year, especially due to the number of first-round investments both teams have made to that specific position group.
Last year, that 49ers defensive front had its way with Cleveland during their Monday Night Football matchup, as San Francisco held Baker Mayfield and co. to just three points en route to a 28-point victory.
Stefanski, who was not with the Browns last season, was asked if he saw any similarities between the San Francisco and Washington's pass rush groups.
The head coach replied by saying he doesn't care about comparing Washington's front to last year's Niners, stressing that Cleveland already has their hands full when watching the tape from Washington this season.
"I do not think about comparing them to other teams," Stefanski said. "I just know you turn the tape on and they are getting home to the quarterback over and over and again. We are going to have our work cut out for us."
The head coach was also specifically asked about Young, who is the early favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. Stefanski, like Mayfield, admitted that the 21-year-old rookie is already eclipsing the already high expectations placed on him.
"It is so early in the season and early in his career, but he has played on both sides, he has gotten home, he has applied pressure even when he does not get home and he makes plays in the run game," Stefanski said. "He makes effort plays. He makes plays just off of size, strength, power and quickness. I think it really runs the gamut."
Cleveland enters the matchup a touchdown favorite. But listen to what Stefanski and Mayfield said Wednesday regarding Washington, and you'll know the Browns are not taking their opponent lightly.
"This is a well-coached football team," Stefanski said. "[Washington] Coach [Ron] Rivera has been doing it a long time and doing it at a very high level. You can see they are not turning the ball over and they are getting takeaways. It is going to be quite the challenge for us Sunday."