Training camp in an event of the past, preseason games have come and gone. The 53-player roster has been set and preparation for the Pittsburgh Steelers is at the forefront. Defensively challenged against the run in recent seasons, the Browns look to pull a fast one on not only the Steelers, but the entire National Football League.
During a 2006 season the
Entering the 2007 season, the make-up of the
Starting opposite of Wright will be Leigh Bodden. Fully recovered from off-season ankle surgery, Bodden is one of the better cover cornerbacks in the league and should help this improving defensive backfield. Bodden can be counted on to cover the number-one receiver of the opposition on a weekly basis. Teaming with Wright at the corners, this duo has the potential to be one of the better starting tandems in the league by the end of the season.
If either Bodden or Wright were to be lost for any period of time, the Browns are confident Daven Holly could step in and maintain a high level of quality play.
Holly, in his second season with the Browns was a long-shot to make the roster last season, but his quickness and tenacity kept him on the roster. Under the tutelage of defensive backs coach Mel Tucker, Holly is expected to see significant playing time in the nickel and dime defensive packages.
With many teams utilizing three receiver sets in their base offensive scheme, Holly could be the first cornerback coming off the bench.
Veteran Kenny Wright was signed by the team in the off-season to provide depth and insurance in the event the Browns suffered injuries at either the corner or safety in the 2007 season. By no stretch of the imagination is Kenny Wright a cover cornerback, but he does fit the bill as the type of cornerback this team looks for. He can be moderately physical and gets into position well, though he lacks overall speed and quickness to handle the upper-tier receivers on a consistent basis. In the nickel and dime packages, Wright can be effective covering a third or fourth receiver, as well as providing depth at free safety.
Rookie Brandon McDonald and Jereme Perry found a role on this team due to their special teams play. Both McDonald and Perry displayed energy in the kick coverage units, which added speed, quickness, and intensity to an already solid group. While McDonald is not expected to contribute much at all in his rookie season in the defensive backfield, his upside for the future is intriguing, as he cover much better in camp than many anticipated and he has the size and physical stature to grow into a large cornerback or possibly safety. Perry on the other-hand stepped in last season during the Browns injury woes in the defensive backfield and played reasonably well, all things considered. He can be counted on in the dime defensive packages and is a solid depth player.
Heading into the season, the depth chart at the safety positions
appears rather light. The starting strong safety is Sean Jones, who is coming
off an outstanding 2006 season, Starting along-side Jones will be Brodney Pool, entering his third season in the league and
first as a starter at free safety. Mike Adams is the primary backup for Pool
after coming over from the
Jones received plenty of recognition last season for his tremendous play.
Very quick and strong, Jones has the ability to make plays in the defensive
backfield, as he can close on a receiver quickly, deliver a punishing hit.
Rarely is Jones beaten in coverage, as he has become extremely reliable in the
middle of the
A wild-card for the
With questions surrounding the overall ability of the Browns to stop the run, the pass defense is easily the strength of the defense and should only improve with the talent added, as well as the Browns new found ability to rush the quarterback with Kamerion Wimbley and Antwan Peek.