Throughout the Browns’ training camp in Berea, Bernie’s Insiders will focus
on players’ thoughts as they get ready for the 2005 National Football League
We will bring you periodic bytes as the players conclude practice and meet
with the media. These will include the words of veterans and rookies alike as
coach Romeo Crennel and his staff puts together the best 53-man roster.
Q – It seems that from what coaches are saying, there’s wide-open competition
back where you play at safety?
A – I’m just trying to go out there and do what I’m supposed to do, know what
I have to do first. And when you know what you’re doing, you’re able to play
fast and your ability is able to be shown. I just go out there when my group is
called and try to have no mental period and try to make plays on the ball and go
from there. The only we can do as athletes and players is push each other to get
better and play and let them (the coaches) handle how they want to handle it.
Q – How spirited is that competition?
A – It’s real spirited. In the meeting rooms looking at film or out here on
the field, we’re high-fiving each other. We all just want to win. It hasn’t been
that way for a long time around here and I just want to win. I’ve been here
through the lows and a couple of highs and I’m tired of the lows and whatever it
takes to win, man, I just want to be a part of it.
Q – How does the new (3-4) defense impact on what you do?
A – We’ve got more coverage calls. We can make more adjustments to certain
formations. All in all, it’s still football. It’s X’s and O’s and the faster we
can get down how they want us to play our techniques and things like that, the
better we’ll be able to run the defense.
Q – What do you think you have to work at the most to impress the coaches?
A – They just want guys to play hard, show great effort, know what you’re
doing. We’re not always going to get everything. But if you play hard, show good
effort, hustle to the ball, they can coach you on everything else. They want
physical guys, aggressive guys, smart guys. You can go on out there and show
them things, then I think you have a good chance of making the team.
Q – And you’re all of the above?
A – I’d like to think so.
Q – What’s been the hardest part of the transition (from defensive end in
college to outside linebacker)?
A – Going from a three-point stance to a two-point stance, learning how to
bend at the knees, stuff like that. The whole transition of covering (receivers
out of the backfield). Getting good technique. Just try to be the best at your
Q – Do you see a difference between the two positions?
A – It looks a lot different. You have to learn all the formations, the
routes, stuff like that. Know which zone you have to protect.
Q – Knowing that you have a chance to be a pass rusher on this team, does
that help you work into that position?
A – Oh yeah. That’s one of the things I got recruited for, being a good pass
rusher. That will add more to what I’m capable of doing.
Q – Did other teams besides the Browns look at you as an outside linebacker?
A –A lot of teams were talking about that because of my size (6-3, 262) and
my speed. That’s why they had me do outside linebacker drills at the
(Indianapolis) combine. They weren’t the first to act on it.
Q – Can you run with the backs? How fast are you?
A – They had me clocked at 4.5. Plus, I was 260 when I ran it and I’ve
slimmed down a little bit. I’m hoping for the high 4.4’s.
Q – Were you a track man?
A – In high school. Did sprints and the triple jump.
Q – How would you categorize your comfort level?
A – It’s really high, but it’s not too high. I don’t think I know everything
and that I can do everything. I know I can do what the coach asks me to do. I’m
just going out there and play hard and do what I’m supposed to do. I’m not the
messiah on defense.
Q – What about you as a football player do you bring to your position that’s
going to make you that much better and make this team that much better?
A – One, I hate to lose. Two, I’m not going to give up. Three, I’m going to
run to the ball. I’m going to play hard and know my assignments. Everything else
will take care of itself.
Q – Do you feel more comfortable at outside linebacker as opposed to inside?
A – It’s hard to say. This is the first time I’ve been in a 3-4. To me,
everything is going to be comfortable. They gave me the opportunity to play
outside. I like it, I enjoy it, I have fun out there.
Q – What about it is so much fun for you?
A – Because for the offense, it’s a guessing game. You never know where the
blitz is coming from, you never know where the rush linebacker is coming from.
(The coaches) make everything look the same.