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Center of attention: Saints C Max Unger struggles against Cleveland

Myles Garrett was shutdown, but Drew Brees was still feeling the pressure

NFL: New York Jets at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns found a variety of ways to make Drew Brees’ uncomfortable in the pocket on Sunday. The marquee match up of Myles Garrett vs Terron Armstead ended up being one sided in the latter’s favor. It was the battle on the interior of the line that proved to be the match up to look at where Larry Ogunjobi gave Max Unger all he could handle.

The Browns used a variety of blitzes and stunts to bring pressure and the first sack the Browns had on Brees came in the 2nd quarter. The Saints are in shotgun facing a 3rd and 7. Cleveland has 3 down lineman and will run a stunt.

Ogunjobi is playing the 0-tech and will penetrate through the weak side A-gap while the defensive end will loop around to the strong side A-gap. The stunt prevents a double team by Peat on Ogunjobi, who is able to key off the ball and uses a club/rip technique to get by Unger. As Brees reaches the top of his drop, he is swallowed up the defensive tackle for an 11-yard loss on third down and the Saints settle for a field goal.

Ogunjobi got his second sack on another 3rd down in the third quarter. The Saints will line up in shotgun once again. Cleveland has 3 down lineman and will blitz the middle linebacker through the A-gap.

Off the snap, Ogunjobi will attempt to use the club/rip move once again, but this time Unger is ready for it and prevents the defensive tackle from going around him. He then resets his feet and uses a long arm punch that knocks Unger out of his stance and he is unable to reset his anchor. Off balance, Ogunjobi is able to gain leverage and walk Unger back into the quarterback for another sack.

On the sack that was wiped away by a flag, Ogunjobi is able to get by Unger using a “hump move”. This is where you start the pass rush with the club/rip move, but before following through on the rip the pass rusher will pull the outside arm of the lineman downwards, while simultaneously coming across the body of the lineman with a hard inside club.

This move is best used when you have been beating the lineman with a rip move as it will use the lineman’s momentum against him as he tries to get outside in order to prevent the rip move up field. After beating Unger, he loses his footing but crawls to finish the play and bring down Brees by the ankle.

Unger has been a solid center piece on the line since he arrived in the Jimmy Graham trade back in 2015. His normally sound technique was tested in this game, but the Cleveland defense is much better than their record indicates. Grady Jarrett and Terrell McClain of the Atlanta Falcons will be another tough match up, especially if Adrus Peat is unable to play.

The Saints quick passing game led by Drew Brees’ quick release can help negate the pass rush, and will most likely be more prominent if Peat isn’t able to go.