BEREA - The Browns named Mel Tucker the defensive coordinator on Jan. 12 to replace Todd Grantham and he met with the media for the first time since the promotion.
"Getting the opportunity right here in my hometown is one of those dreams that come true," Tucker said. "I feel very confident that I'm ready."
"I've been around some very good coaches and very good players and feel I've paid close attention and feel pretty confident we can get the job done."
Tucker said his time with Ohio State as a coach helped him greatly.
"We were able to win and win a championship and that has been invaluable."
He was given a two-year contract extension that keeps him under contract with the Browns through the 2010 season.
"We are excited to have Mel as our defensive coordinator," Romeo Crennel said. "He has a football plan, life plan, coaches the fundamentals and relates well with the players. I believe he will be successful in this new role.
"Mel is a good, young coach," Crennel said. "He will do a good job as we move forward and we're excited to have him leading the defense."
Tucker, 36, has been the defensive backs coach, which was 24th in the league with 230.1 yards passing allowed. He was primarily responsible for the development of young defensive backs, namely Brodney Pool, Sean Jones, Daven Holly, Eric Wright, Leigh Bodden and Brandon McDonald.
The Browns had 17 interceptions this past season, 16 by members of the secondary. Bodden led the team with six and Jones had five. Bodden also led the team with 14 passes broken up, while McDonald and Wright each had 11.
"If you look at the numbers, we're a long way away," Crennel said. "First of all, we have to stop the run and we have to rush the quarterback.
"I think we have talent on the defense and we just have to channel it properly," he said. "We have to get a lot better at stopping the run."
Tucker agreed with Crennel about stopping the run is the top priority.
"First of all, everything defensively is predicated on stopping the run," Tucker said. "The first thing we have to do is solidify that.
"Stopping the run is about being consistent," he said. "As you get better players and better in the system, you have to be more consistent."
Tucker said he isn't sure how many more impact players the Browns need.
"I don't know if that number is three or whatever," he said. "We just have to get the defensive players to all play together within the system."
Crennel said the structure of the defense will stay the same.
"It's an honor and privilege to coach the defense with Romeo," Tucker said. "To have a guy like Romeo alongside of me is invaluable."