Exclusive: Behind the Cousin Signing

It is time for perspective, not panic. The Browns are not going to trade Kellen Winslow or Derek Anderson just because Daven Holly got hurt. Team sources talk to the OBR's Lane Adkins about why the team signed Terry Cousin as their first step to deal with the challenges at cornerback. More exclusive info and analysis, only on the OBR...

To help solidify the cornerback position, the Cleveland Browns signed 12-year veteran Terry Cousin to a contract on Thursday.

The signing is not necessarily just a response to the injury of Daven Holly. Cousin was scheduled to meet with the organization later this week, prior to the injury suffered by Holly on Tuesday.

In Cousin, the organization lands a player with significant experience, and who played the last couple of seasons in a Jacksonville defense which has been one of the better ones in the league.

Cousin has been effective as a slot cover corner, which is the role that Browns envision the veteran playing in Cleveland, according to a team source.

"Terry (Cousin) is a veteran who has displayed the ability to play the slot. He can provide stability and depth as a third or fourth corner and can step in and help on the outside," a team source tells the Orange and Brown Report. "Primarily, his role is to provide depth, experience and help us in the slot, where we had some issues this past season."

Late in the 2007 season and in the playoffs, the Jacksonville pass defense began to struggle. Against the strong Patriots passing game, the Jags slot defender (Cousin at times) was a weakness Tom Brady exploited to help lead New England to victory. Heading into the 2008 season, the Jaguars appeared to head in another direction defensively, and let Cousin leave as a free agent.

"Cousin is a player we wanted to look at or sign a couple years ago", the team source told the OBR, "Our belief is he is a solid contributor, a player that we can put on the field and not have to worry about. Playing the slot defender is one of the toughest challenges and he has done well in that specific role. We have done our research on the player and he is a 'fit' in our scheme, or we would not have had him scheduled to come in and get this deal done."

The loss of Daven Holly to injury, the release of veteran Kenny Wright and the trading of Leigh Bodden leaves Cleveland without a veteran presence and leadership at the cornerback position. Prior to the Cousin signing, the team was looking at fielding two second-year players as the starters: Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald.

"We like our youth and talent at the corner and feel we may have something there. But, in this game you never know what is going to happen and we know that depth is essential," the team source said. "We have a long way to go until training camp and we will have the opportunity to get some of these young guys on the field and see what they got. Heading into camp we'll have a much better idea as to what players are going to help us now and those down the road."

Despite the Cousin signing, the Browns appear to be still looking for additional depth at the cornerback position.

"We have some feelers out there, we have a short-list, despite what many believe, hear or read, we are not backed in a corner or panicking. There is too much time for that to be a factor. If there is a player we really want to bring in, we will."

Much like the team has done with the signing of Terry Cousin. 


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