Jadeveon Clowney issues indirect challenge to Joe Thuney, Trey Smith

Jadeveon Clowney. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Jadeveon Clowney. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

If you’re an interior lineman in the National Football League, you might not want to pay attention to today’s quotes coming out of Cleveland—specifically from Browns pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney. That’s because he basically just threw shade at everyone who plays the guard position.

This offseason, the Browns are experimenting with the sort of inside/outside usage for Clowney and even Myles Garrett along the defensive front that the K.C. Chiefs are employing with Chris Jones and Turk Wharton. In recent comments to reporters from practice, Clowney noted that he relishes the chance to play inside against opposing interior linemen saying, “They’re not real athletes down there.” The full quote:

"“We love that matchup,” Clowney said. “We feel like they’re the unathletic guys. That guard position, they’re not real athletes down there. So they’re just physical and maulers. But we try to get in there and create those matchups for certain guys, and hopefully we get some wins."

Clowney represents one of a couple big free agent splashes on the defensive side in the hopes of being able to stave off the sort of frustrating losses that plague them in big games—such as the Chiefs’ ability to send them packing in the postseason last winter. (Just a note there that Andy Reid is 4-0 against them since arriving in 2013, so it’s not as if the results were surprising to anyone from Cleveland.)

Jadeveon Clowney has issued an indirect challenge to Joe Thuney and Trey Smith

Together with Garrett, the Browns are looking sharp up front and the team overall looks to be the primary AFC team on the rise alongside the Buffalo Bills. The pecking order in the AFC North has definitely changed in the last year and the Browns have a real chance to reset expectations going forward with another strong season, especially if Baker Mayfield can make another leap in his development.

As for Clowney, he’s hoping to do his part by putting together a strong season for the first time since 2018, when he made the last of three consecutive Pro Bowls. However, he’s doing a lot of trash talking for a guy who has 3 total sacks to his name in the last two seasons. That’s 19 starts and 3 sacks, including zero sacks—zero—in 8 starts last year for the Tennessee Titans.

The first team out of the gate for the Browns is the Chiefs in a hopeful revenge game for Cleveland after losing in last year’s postseason. The Browns visit Arrowhead on September 12 in the season opener, but perhaps Clowney should have checked his opposing roster before deciding to mouth off. The Chiefs aren’t exactly the same old team at guard that they were before.

Not that Clowney even played in the postseason last year, but the Chiefs started Nick Allegretti and Andrew Wylie at guard the last time they faced each other in January. Since then, the Chiefs made a big free agent splash of their own in Joe Thuney and they’ve upgraded with a draft steal at right guard with Trey Smith out of Tennessee. If Clowney salivates at the idea of facing a “mauler”, he’s likely going to find himself rethinking things after the game.

The Chiefs are focused on the bigger picture and need zero motivation going into each game. They’re well coached and know they simply have to stay consistent in their excellence game after game—and that includes the Browns. That said, we’re pretty sure the likes of Thuney and Smith will feel some extra incentive to show Clowney what a guard can do, especially when they’re part of a punishing offensive unit ready for a third straight trip to the Super Bowl.

Next. 10 Chiefs who merit HOF consideration. dark