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Browns vs. Chargers: Jabaal Sheard trying to build on impressive rookie sack total

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jabaal Sheard is tired of being stuck on one sack in 2012.

Matt Sullivan

Cleveland Browns second-year defensive tackle Jabaal Sheard burst on the scene during his rookie season in 2011 with 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles, but through seven games in 2012 he only has one sack and zero forced fumbles. Sheard is hoping to bust out of the slump very soon, and the drought has bothered him particularly because the team hasn't been successful. Here is what the 23-year-old pass rusher told the News-Herald:

"If we were winning and I had only one sack it wouldn't bother me. But I feel like I'm not contributing because we aren't winning. At the same time, I'm playing as hard as I can.

"I'm trying to figure out why I haven't had more sacks. I feel more technique sound playing the defense. I'm staying in gap when it's a run play. I'm getting close to the quarterback. I'm just not getting all the way there."

Cleveland's defense ranks No. 26 against the pass and No. 24 against the run, so nothing much has gone right on that side of the ball so far this season. However, the defense did play well in Week 7 against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, as they held the Colts offense to just 17 points and limited Luck to 186 yards passing on 29 attempts.

The Browns face the San Diego Chargers in Week 8 at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.