BEREA — Last year, David McMillan was one of those second day draft choices from the 2005 NFL Draft that nobody knew much about. General Manager Phil Savage called guys like McMillan, Nick Speegle, Antonio Perkins, etc. "redshirts".
Both Savage and Romeo Crennel talked about McMillan in the off-season as a guy they thought could be the third-down pass rusher.
The soft-spoken McMillan opened some eyes with his performance in the first preseason game against the Eagles with back-to-back sacks on plays against former Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia.
McMillan received the start as the Browns held out veteran Willie McGinest from the game.
"I'm happy with my performance for the first time out," McMillan said.
In addition to the two sacks, he also had two hurries.
McMillan talked about the two sacks.
"One was an up-and-under move under the guard," McMillan said. "The second one I just came off the edge. I was pretty ecstatic about it afterward."
McMillan, (6-3, 250 pounds) was selected by the Browns in the fifth-round out of Kansas. He played in four games as a rookie, mostly on special teams.
"I think McMillan has improved and I've mentioned that before," Crennel said. "This year he looks more like a linebacker. Knowing what we do and what we expect has really helped him."
McMillan made the switch from being a defensive end in college to a linebacker with the Browns, similar to what top choice this year, Kamerion Wimbley is doing.
"It's a pretty tough switch," McMillan said. "I had a lot of obstacles to overcome. I allowed myself enough time just to learn as much as I can mentally and get myself ready to make those adjustments."
Crennel thinks McMillan can help the Browns now.
"When we drafted him, we knew he had a quick first step," Crennel said. "I think he's more comfortable with his role and position. I think that allows him to show up more than he did last year."
McMillan has tried to take advantage of the opportunities that he has been given when the coaches have rested McGinest.
"I just think that every opportunity I have I need to take advantage , just basically do my part and play hard and leave the rest up to the coaches to make their decisions."