The number "17" stands out prominently for the Browns, and it has nothing to do with Brian Sipe or Braylon Edwards.
It's the number of sacks the Browns defense generated last season, which was a big reason why they won just four games and went looking for a new coach.
If that number doesn't increase this season, the Browns might have trouble adding to their win total. Ask coach Eric Mangini if an increase in sacks is his top defensive priority, and he'll immediately shake his head in disapproval.
"My biggest goal is to play good, coordinated defense," Mangini said. "To get a sack in rush lanes, you need to have good coverage. The front doesn't work without the coverage, and the coverage doesn't work without the front. If it's all not coordinated, you can have the best plans in the world and it doesn't work."
Coordination is fine, but there are times when an individual pass rusher can dominate a game without the slightest help of defensive concepts. There's nothing quite like having consistent pressure applied to the back side of a quarterback by an end or outside linebacker that can't be stopped by one blocker.
Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley appeared to be developing into that type of player when he registered a team record 11 sacks in 2006. His totals slipped to five in 2007 and four last season.
First-year coordinator Rob Ryan is doing everything within his power to tap into Wimbley's skill set. Wimbley is lining up at multiple spots. There will be times when he might be used on an inside rush instead of simply lining up on one side and relying solely on quickness.
The dirty little secret the last two years in Cleveland was that Wimbley was an easy read. Opposing defensive coordinators figured out the one move he used successfully in 2006 beating the tackle to the edge and found ways to neutralize him.
The previous coaching regime never got a handle on adding to Wimbley's array of moves. Ryan and Mangini need to change that in a hurry.
"I could be lined up anywhere in some of our things," said Wimbley, a first-round draft choice in '06. "It kind of keeps the offense off guard a little bit so far in the reps that I've had. I think it's going pretty well."
As Mangini will point out, Wimbley can't do it by himself. Second-year linebacker Alex Hall flashed potential in limited work last season, but he's been quiet to date in training camp. David Bowens is the likely starter opposite Wimbley, but he's never exceeded seven sacks in 10 previous NFL seasons.
If recent history is an indication, Mangini might be capable of coaxing more sacks out of this group. The Jets were seventh in the NFL with 41 sacks last season, and the leader, end Shaun Ellis, led with just eight.
Ryan is also known for his ability to get the most out of players.
"Coach Ryan is an experienced guy," Wimbley said. "He brings a lot of energy to the defense. A lot of the players respond well to him."
In the end, all signs point to Wimbley. He has to shake off the last two seasons and show the ability to become a more diversified pass rusher.
"Teams became more aware," he said. "Offenses and other coaches study like we do. They pretty much game plan for certain things, and that's what they game plan for. In watching film there was more slide protection and chip blocking or a tight end in front of me. In the NFL every team is going to try to stop the things they think will hurt them."
Seventeen sacks don't cut it in the NFL.