Shaun Rogers is determined to leave a checkered past behind him when he leaves Detroit for good and starts working for the Browns when the offseason program begins on March 17.
The Browns acquired Rogers for a third-round draft choice and cornerback Leigh Bodden last week because beefing up the defensive line is a priority this offseason. The players they would want in the draft would not have been available when the Browns picked 56th overall, so they traded their second round pick to the Packers for defensive tackle Corey Williams and then went after Rogers.
Rogers did not get along with Lions head coach Rod Marinelli. After the trade, reporters from various news outlets in Detroit ripped Rogers. One likened the move the Lions made to taking out the trash to the curb, claiming he was lazy at times.
The Browns are hopeful a change of scenery and the coaching of Romeo Crennel will help return Rogers to Pro Bowl form. Rogers made 66 tackles and a career high seven sacks last season.
"My ability to disrupt the offense has been duly noted," Rogers said Tuesday during a press conference. "Given the right situation, I can definitely do that on a more consistent basis.
"Whatever happens in the past, stays in the past. I'm excited to be here and get a new look, develop a new reputation and move on."
Rogers played in a 4-3 defense his entire seven-year career with the Lions, but switching to nose tackle in the Browns 3-4 defense will not be a problem, he said. He will line up off the guard's outside shoulder when the Browns go to a four-man line on passing downs.
For the Browns, the biggest help Rogers can give is to improve the run defense. The Browns now have some real beef on the line with Rogers, Williams (313 pounds) Shaun Smith (325) and Robaire Smith (320). Training camp will sort out which three start, but all four will play extensively.
"He's a strong, dominant player at the line of scrimmage," Coach Romeo Crennel said, referring to Rogers. "He can win the one-on-one battle, which will force the double teams. He can hold his ground against the double-teams as well, which will free up whoever is behind him. I think they will appreciate him."
The Browns were 27th against the run last season. They ranked 30th overall defensively.