Browns' Jadeveon Clowney out vs. Steelers after reportedly being sent home for criticizing coaching staff
Jadeveon Clowney's days with the Cleveland Browns appear to be all but over. The Browns sent Clowney home Friday, according to Mary Kay Cabot, just one day after the three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher criticized the coaching staff and revealed he was "95 percent sure" he wouldn't be back with the team next season.
Clowney, who won't practice with the team, was initially listed as doubtful for the team's season finale versus the Steelers, and he faces a possible suspension as well. On Saturday, the Browns downgraded Clowney to out for the Pittsburgh game.
"I just feel like I need to be around somebody that believes in me and my ability," Clowney told Cleveland.com on Thursday. "[It can't] just be me believing in myself. I believe in myself more than anybody."
Clowney says the issues began when the Browns beat the Ravens 13-3. He took exception to how the team planned to flip-flop him with Myles Garrett.
"We practiced all week, and we get in the game and they want to move me," he said. "I'm not doing that shit. I'm old. I done my job."
Clowney ended up choosing to play on third downs that game due to the switch, while defensive tackle Taven Bryan started in his place.
"I don't have time for that," Clowney said. "I've made my money. I'm doing this because I love the game, but keep [doing things like that] and making me not love the game."
As for splitting duties with Garrett? "Let's say it. Let's be honest," Clowney said. "[It seems to me] they don't want me to outplay nobody."
Clowney's 2022 season has been disappointing, having just 29 pressures and two sacks in 12 games. The pressure percentage of 10.2 is his lowest since 2018, while Clowney's four quarterback hits are the lowest since his rookie season -- when he played just four games.
Outside of Clowney's 2021 season when he had 53 pressures and nine sacks with 19 quarterback hits, Clowney has been held to three or fewer sacks in three of the last four years. He hasn't finished with 20 quarterback hits in a season since 2018 and has been held to under 30 pressures in a season two of the past three years.
Clowney's days in Cleveland are numbered, but it will be interesting to see what his value is worth on the free agent market. The former No. 1 overall pick turns 30 this year and his lack of productivity is concerning. Perhaps playing in the right system will benefit him.
This week the Pittsburgh Steelers need to find a way to get past the Cleveland Browns in hopes of keeping their playoff hopes alive. Plenty of other things must happen but if Pittsburgh doesn’t win this game, none of the rest of it matters. Here are the Steelers keys to victory.
Pittsburgh’s run defense has been a huge factor in the team’s turnaround and it has all been building for this. Browns running back Nick Chubb is the toughest challenge they have faced all year. No one expects the Steelers defense to shut them down completely but controlling Chubb on first down and those all-important possession downs will be key.
Pittsburgh has struggled to score touchdowns, particularly in the red zone this season. No one expects this group to suddenly put up 30+ points but this week Pittsburgh needs to see if they can solve the riddle of why they can’t score touchdowns in the red zone. One answer might be making better use of tight end Pat Freiermuth.
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