Berea—Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is truly excited about the prospects of the Cleveland Browns defense. He met with the media for the first time and showed a little of his personality in a half hour segment with the local media.
He was asked right off about the differences between the defense under Romeo Crennel and him.
"I'm not here to farm anybody else's land," Ryan said. "We want to be multiple in what we do and have players who can cause confusion. We want to have players play with good technique."
The key statement delivered in his time was that he intends to be aggressive.
"We're going to have an attacking defense and play great football," Ryan said.
The Browns have not been able to stop the run in recent years and it has been the single most troublesome part of the defense.
"You have to be well coordinated in whatever scheme you're in," Ryan said. "I didn't do a great job at stopping the run in Oakland, but I've stopped the run everywhere I've been. We'll get it done. There's talent here."
Besides stopping the run, the Browns had just 17 sacks last season. Ryan thinks there are many factors that figure into that.
"A lot of things with pressuring the quarterback play into that," he said. "I'm not sure what the problems were, but the numbers might not be so high. It's a work in progress."
Ryan's father, Buddy, was the famed architect of the Bears' 4-6 defense.
"Growing up around the Bears and setting record for sacks was great," he said. "What pressure does do is it causes teams to turn the ball over. The most important part of (defense) is keeping the opponent off the board."
Ryan mentioned several players that he is excited about.
"I like our corners here," he said. "In Oakland, it was our style of play. Our team is built a little different. I'm impressed with Eric Wright and his style of play."
He talked about Kamerion Wimbley and tapping his potential.
"Kamerion is playing all over the place," he said. "He has a lot of roles and we look forward to expanding it.
"I think the young man has great ability to rush the passer," he said. "Sometimes, numbers don't paint the right picture. We've asked him to push the pocket and bull rush. I think he'll only get better and I think he'll have a great year for us."
Another linebacker that has caught Ryan's eye is D'Qwell Jackson.
"D'Qwell Jackson is very impressive," he said. "I watch the young man run all over the field and make plays. He has lots of speed and tons of talent. I believe any scheme would feature someone like that."
Ryan also sees a lot of potential in the defensive line.
"Shaun Rogers is so athletic and I've been around some of the best in football," he said. "Shaun Rogers is tremendous. Any system he plays in he's going to be dominant. Corey Williams and Robaire Smith are a couple of good looking players, as well."
Ryan said he plans on employing the 4-6 defense in the Browns arsenal.
"We do run the 4-6," he said. "You'll see that. The 4-6 was designed to be a nickel defense. Eric (Mangini) is a huge fan of the 4-6 defense. It's definitely going to be in our package."
Ryan is confident the defense will turn things around, hopefully sooner than later.
"We have some fine players here and I think we can turn things around," he said. "If everything was rosy, we wouldn't be here."
Ryan said he will get everything out of his players.
"My guys play hard," he said. "They don't quit. In all my years, I can count on one hand the number of times my players have quit."
Ryan said that he is very impressed that Mangini will turn the Browns into a winner by getting the most of not only his players, but his coaches, as well.
"He can motivate you to do things you don't want to do," he said. "He'll bring the best out of everyone here. He's so relentless, he makes you win. I think he had more to do with our success in New England than anyone (with the exception of Tom Brady—I'll give him his due)."