C.J. Jones: Cornerback?

There have been murmers in the Watercooler and Ask the Insiders about the possibility of the Browns "Gambling" with C.J. Jones and having him try his hand at playing cornerback. Is there something to the whispers? David Carducci gets the scoop and BerniesInsiders.com subscribers find out first...

BEREA - Cleveland Browns rookie C.J. Jones hasn't played cornerback in an actual game since his high school days in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Even after an impressive preseason at wide receiver, Jones may end up getting his shot in the NFL playing defensive back.

"I've been working at it in practice," said Jones, who had his uniform number re-assigned this week from No. 83 to a defensive back's No. 23, and has his locker switched to the secondary's corner of the locker room. "They decided to try me out at cornerback ... partly because we have two guys down there right now."

Cornerbacks Lewis Sanders (hamstring) and Michael Lehan (calf) are listed as probable for Sunday's season opener with Indianapolis. Lehan said he expects to play and would have seen some action in last week's preseason finale had he not tweaked the injury during practice.

While he is not officially listed as a defensive back on the updated Wednesday depth chart, Jones said he is behind McCutcheon and Sanders at right cornerback. He will continue to work at wide receiver as well.

"My coaches have always told me I should know how to play two positions," said Jones. "Coaches always like guys who are versatile ... I've been working on my stance at cornerback and backpedaling. It's been so long since I've done it, but it'll come back."

After coming in as a longshot to make the team as an undrafted free agent, Jones earned a spot on the Browns' 53-man roster by finishing second on the team in the preseason in both catches (9) and receiving yards (132). He also averaged 28.8 yards on 11 kickoff returns.

Whether it is as a receiver, a cornerback or a kick returner, Jones is just looking forward to living a dream of playing in a real NFL game.

"It is going to be amazing," said Jones. "I am so excited to run out of the tunnel and just have that feeling that I've made it. I remember that feeling when I played my first game at Iowa. I was so nervous in that game (against Miami of Ohio), I dropped my first pass, and it would have gone for a touchdown. I was too busy looking up at that big crowd."

The OBR Top Stories