Steelers Versus Browns Sack Breakdown – Week 17

By Alex Kozora

Breaking down the lone sack allowed in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over the Cleveland Browns.


1. 3rd and 3, :31 1st. Shotgun, 11 (1 RB/1 TE) personnel. Steelers keep five to block plus Le’Veon Bell on a block/release. Cleveland rushes four.

Route concept at its core is a simple flat for Jerricho Cotchery.


But the design is solid. Tight split between Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders, forcing the Browns to play off coverage (as an offense, you force either soft man or zone). Corners are vulnerable to rub routes (think slant/flat, slant/dig) if they’re playing tight against a bunch set.

Sanders also gets an outside release, not allowing the nickelback the room to work to Cotchery. All in all, a good design that left Cotchery open to move the sticks. Ben Roethlisberger was about to pull the trigger before being sacked by Billy Winn.



Along the offensive line, it was clear after the play, Marcus Gilbert was expecting help from David DeCastro. Stared him down. And the play seems to back that notion up.

Immediately after the snap, DeCastro looks to his right and is seemingly only half-interested in his “double” of Ahtya Rubin.



And at the last moment before the sack, turns to start to run to Gilbert/Winn.


Gilbert does look bad on this play, getting turned sideways by Winn. But if he’s expecting help to the inside, he’s going to let the defensive end “win” inside and force him to the guard. Better than letting the end win to the outside where there is no help. That’s why Gilbert looked as bad as he did and it’s no fault of his own. It appears DeCastro screwed up his assignment. All it takes is for one lineman to fail on a play. Difference between moving the sticks versus a sack.

Blame: David DeCastro

Sack Counter (Game)

David DeCastro: 1

Sack Counter (Season)

Kelvin Beachum: 7

Marcus Gilbert: 6

Ben Roethlisberger: 4.5

David DeCastro: 4.5

Ramon Foster: 3

Mike Adams: 3

Defensive Scheme/Coverage: 3

Guy Whimper: 2.5

Todd Haley/Bad Playcall: 1.5

LaRod Stephens-Howling: 1

Fernando Velasco: 1

Wide Receivers: 1

Felix Jones: 1

Cody Wallace: 1

Heath Miller 1

Isaac Redman: .5

Le’Veon Bell: .5

Penalties (Game)

Clean this week.

Penalties (Season)

Marcus Gilbert – 7 (4 false start , 1 trip, 1 hold, 1 illegal formation)

Kelvin Beachum – 4 (3 hold, 1 false start)

Guy Whimper – 2 (1 hold, 1 false start)

Mike Adams – 2 (1 hold, 1 personal foul/hands to the face)

Cody Wallace – 2 (1 false start, 1 personal foul)

Ramon Foster – 1 (1 hold)

Fernando Velasco – 1 (Illegal block below waist)

David DeCastro – 1 (false start)

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