Michael Campanaro - USA Today Sports

Quotes to Note

Improved quality and depth throughout the roster should prove beneficial to the Cleveland Browns, with the acquisition of talent along the defensive line possibly of the biggest impact.

* On how we will see rookies Danny Shelton and Xavier Cooper incorporated into the defensive line scheme - 

“ Having quality and depth along the defensive line was something we thought was critical heading forward. A season ago we struggled with injuries, we had players playing roles that maybe weren’t the best for the player and unit and those issues needed remedied for us to improve as a unit.

We are going to mix it up quite a bit, we won’t specifically be a 3-4 team, we won’t be a 4-3, a 5-2, whatever — what we will be is an aggressive unit that is going to come after you. Adding Shelton, a big guy that we believe will help us against the run and provide an element of pressure we didn’t see a season ago. We can line him up with (Phil) Taylor, we can line him up with (Randy) Starks or (Xavier) Cooper — a young guy that has the burst/motor to create pressure.

The opportunities we have with those guys inside can let us be creative with the package groups and philosophy of scheme. We can get wide, gain leverage, push outside in, needless to say, we have more looks now with the roster we have in place.”


* With guys like Barkevious Mingo, Armonty Bryant and rookie Nate Orchard in the fold, what can we expect to see from Scott Solomon

“ It depends on where we line him up. He’s a little different than the other guys, he can play out there (OLB) but we believe he is an end and he’ll see plenty of looks there. One thing is certain with Solomon, he’s relentless, he’ll run through anything in his path and come back for more if he can. If it moves, he’s going to hit it.

What we like about him is that he is always pushing his man back, film from last season shows he has the ability to get under the pads of a blocker and drive.”


* On how the staff plans on correcting the poor punt return game from a season ago - 

“ While our coverage unit did its job, we sacrificed too much in the return game. We had gotten to a point where we had problems fielding kicks due to mental errors and wanted to secure the ball first and foremost. Coming off a serious knee injury, (Travis) Benjamin had an up and down year and he’ll be the first to admit he didn’t perform. He’s healthy and determined, but we also added (Duke) Johnson while (Taylor) Gabriel and (Jordan) Poyer will field kicks in camp. We may also take a look at Darius Jennings and Charles Gaines Jr., but we’ll see where we are.”


* Will the changes with the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball prohibit the team from success early - 

“ I don’t see it, honestly. The coaching staff is in a better place today, the communication has been terrific and there is plenty open-ness regarding player utilization and evaluation. What I do see is a group on the offensive side which is very confident and looks to be unconventional, which has been a breath of fresh air.

The philosophy has gone from not working/utilizing talent due to whatever the reason to working players to improve specific aspects of their game to improve the opportunity and versatility of the unit. The RBs are a perfect example, a season ago they wouldn’t get a look, this season we are working them to achieve at the level needed — reps and experience can only enhance or prove if a player can achieve at the required level.

The blinders have come off and we’ll be a better team going forward.”


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