BEREA - In the course of a long NFL season, one-on-one player matchups tend to become a blur.
That could change Sunday for Browns rookie offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz when he lines up against Denver Broncos talented outside linebacker Von Miller, who's a legitimate candidate to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Miller, the 2011 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, has 16 sacks this season and 27.5 in his short career. That's enough to get the attention of Schwartz.
"His signature move is his athleticism and ability to move so well," Schwartz said. "He does a good job of taking what the linemen give him. He's able to do everything, which gives you a lot of challenges. You can't hone in on one thing."
The Broncos probably present the biggest pass-rush challenge of the season for the Browns. Defenses like Pittsburgh's use confusing zone blitzes, but in terms of the raw talent of two defenders, no one comes close to the duo of Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
Dumervil was drafted in 2006 and burst on the scene a year later with 12.5 sacks. In a 2009 game against the Browns, Dumervil switched sides when he couldn't get by Browns tackle Joe Thomas. He proceeded to blow by John St. Clair and harass then-Browns quarterback Brady Quinn.
Dumervil, who has nine sacks this season, should line up opposite Thomas to present him with another in a long line of challenges he faces each season.
"It's tough to say definitively, yes, they are the best (pair of rushers)," Thomas said. "They're certainly at the top couple of tandems. They're different than a lot of the guys we've faced. We have a lot of respect for the guys in Cincinnati and some other groups that have outstanding defensive ends.
"But when you're talking about 3-4 outside-type linebackers and get-after-the-quarterback-on-third-down guys, it's tough to find anyone that's better."
Schwartz has been up to most challenges this season. It's started in meeting rooms, where he takes intricate notes. He makes sure he knows everything possible about each player he faces.
"You're going to remember it better if you've written it down," Schwartz said. "I don't have a photographic memory. I write stuff down to be able to grasp it a little later. It's usually the smaller details you forget, and they're the most important ones.
"You never know what's going to come up in a game that maybe you talked about on a Wednesday and you haven't covered the rest of the week. You don't want to have lost sight of that."
When Schwartz and Thomas took notes this week, the first thing they must have written about Miller is his incredible speed.
"He may be the fastest guy on their defense," Thomas said. "I don't know if he runs a 4.5 or a 4.4. All I know is there's no one quicker or faster at outside linebacker for sure. You talk about his quickness and then you put him out there rushing the quarterback at 240 pounds or whatever he is, that's a tough challenge."
Miller lines up at different spots, which means he could be facing Thomas, Schwartz or a tight end. The Browns will probably slide their protection at times to give help on one side, and they may deploy some chip blocks from running backs to slow down Miller.
Then again, Thomas is capable of holding his own against the best of pass rushers.
"Joe Thomas is as good as it gets," Miller said. "You want to go against the best guys out there, and this weekend we can gauge ourselves against one of the best in the league."