OBR Q&A: Justin Hamilton

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram's Scott Petrak talks to the Browns seventh-round pick, who is still learning the safety position....

Q: Are you surprised by the number of reps you've been getting?

A: A little bit. I felt like coming in I'd be asked to contribute as a backup at safety and to show what I can do on special teams and have the opportunity to make the team through special teams. But to have an opportunity to be on the field with these guys and learn every day and to get the great coaching that I do get, you know I'm very fortunate. There's a lot of other guys around the league as rookies that don't get the opportunity to get as many reps and learn like I've gotten. So I feel very fortunate for that and it's helped me a whole lot.

Q: Do you think you have the No. 2 free safety spot locked up?

A: I don't think that I would say that. Obviously the No. 2 safety today might not be the No. 2 safety tomorrow. That's just the way it works. Every day I'm just trying to get better. Wherever that puts me, that's where I'll be. If they ask me to do this, then I'll do that. If they ask me to do something else, then I'll do that. In my mind, there's no No. 2. Brian Russell is the starter, but behind him I'm not worried whether I'm the two, I'm the three or I'm the four. I'm worried about getting better and learning from him, to hopefully be able to compete at the level he competes.

Q: Were you open to the position switch at Virginia Tech?

A: I actually asked. I went to the coach and asked if he would move me to safety. It worked out. If I could do it over again, I would play safety from my first day in college. I was stubborn, I wanted to play running back.

Q: Why did you want to switch?

A: We had two good running backs who were both seniors with me, and we didn't have any experience coming back (at safety). So I saw a need on the team there, also saw a chance to get on the field. And I thought I could play the position. I put in the work and I got better every day in college and that's my goal right now.

Q: You have a safety's body. Did you have to drop weight?

A: I was about 228 when I played running back. My coach told me I'd never see the field if I weighed that. I got down to about 215 and my report weight here was 219.

Q: How is Russell to work with?

A: He's been great. He's not a guy who holds your hand and walks you through things, but he's also a guy that will tell you. If you make a mistake, he'll tell you. If you do a good job, he'll tell you. If you just watch him every rep, he never makes a mistake. He knows where to be, he knows what to call and he gets everybody on defense on the same page. And I really look up to him, because he's another guy who never played safety until he got to this level. He's been a great example for me.

Q: It looks like you'll play a lot Thursday.

A: I hope so. I'll play until the wheels fall off.

The OBR Top Stories