OBR Q-&-A: Todd Grantham

The Browns defensive coordinator was made available to the media on Sunday. Here are some of the key questions put to Todd Grantham, and his responses...


Q: How is the safety competition shaping up between Brodney Pool and Sean Jones?

A: Neck and neck. Both of them have improved over last year. Both do good things in practice, both do things we are trying to correct. I think it will be a good competition as we move forward.

Q: Are the safeties' responsibilities in the 3-4 different than in the 4-3?

A: When you play safety in the National Football League, you have to be able to play the ball in the deep part of the field. Because you gotta go play cover-2. So they've got to be able to show they can do that. You may want to get a guy down in the box to play the run more than another guy, but there are so many different formations now with offenses what they're doing, those guys have to be similar guys. The more you can get them similar, the better it is.

Q: How's Kamerion Wimbley look?

A: I've been very pleased with his performance. You're going to enjoy watching him play. He can rush the passer, he's going to show speed off the edge. He has the ability to play in coverage. The thing he's got to continue to work on, because he's been a defensive end for so long, he's always moved forward. Now that he's an outside linebacker and he moves away from the ball, he's got to find out where he fits in the coverage aspect of things.

Q: How's the competition at inside linebacker?

A: Chaun Thompson's got the edge 'cause he's been here for a year and understands the system. He's done good job inside. D'Qwell Jackson's a guy that really improves every day. He does a good job of taking what happens on tape and improving on it the next time he sees it.

Q: Can Thompson make the move inside?

A: He's done very good in there. He's shown the ability to be physical in there. He's run well.

Q: What kind of leap do you expect the defense to make this year?

A: I think we're further ahead, but I wouldn't say gigantic. We know the system and have improved athletically on paper. We still have a ways to go.

Q: How does Ted Washington help you as a defensive coordinator?

A: You've got size in the middle, that's for one thing. The first thing you've got to do is you can't let people run the ball inside on you. By having a guy like Ted inside, and you have some stoutness in there, it allows you to play more split-safety coverages - cover-2, quarters, whatever. When you can do that, you are less prone to give up big plays. And that kind of goes back to the philosophy of being hard to score on.

Q: How's the competition at cornerback between Daylon McCutcheon and Leigh Bodden?

Both those guys are competing in practice, working hard. They give us flexibility. I think both those guys make each other better, which in turn makes us better as a team. They are neck and neck.

Daylon's probably a little quicker in the short area. Leigh is a little longer, gets hands on guys because of his height and stuff like that. Leigh's a little bit faster down the field. Leigh shows excellent ball skills, as far as playing the ball when it's thrown. Both of them have shown the ability to play in the National Football League.

Q: Is the pass rush better?

A: Anytime you add speed off the corner, you're going to improve the pass rush. Adding Willie (McGinest) and Kamerion (Wimbley) improves our ability to rush the passer off the edge. In turn, I think we'll have more production. We really didn't do a good enough job rushing (only) four guys last year.

Q: How do Washington's backups at nose tackle look?

A: Ethan Kelley - He's improved off his surgery. He's shown stoutness in camp and is getting back to where he was last year.

J'Vonne Parker - He played some for us last year. He's shown improvement in practice, now we just have to see how he is in games.

Babatunde Oshinowo -- He'll flash plays at times.

I think the big thing with all these guys, as we move forward, is their ability to be consistent with stoutness inside. That will be the key to who's going to back up Ted.

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