NOTE: For more on today's OTA session, listen to Lane Adkin's OTA Podcast
BEREA - To say Shaun Rogers has a big role is not a joke.
Undoubtedly, the biggest man on the roster at 6-4, 350 pounds. He is being counted upon to help the young secondary, particularly the cornerbacks.
You see, if Rogers can do the job of collapsing the pocket and plugging the middle of the defense, it should free up the likes of Kamerion Wimbley and Antwan Peek to get after the quarterback. And if the opposing quarterback has no time to throw the ball, the cornerbacks will look better, no matter who is out there.
“Shaun is a physical specimen,” Romeo Crennel said. “He has good size and strength. He is hard to handle one-on-one.
“If we can get a push from the middle of the defensive line, it will help our rushers on the edge.”
Rogers feels comfortable already with his new team.
“The guys have welcomed me with open arms,” Rogers said. “I feel there are a lot of good guys with team goals. I can see good camraderie building.”
Rogers, 28, is entering his eighth NFL season, having gone to the Pro Bowl several times.
“I hope that I’m in my prime,” Rogers said. “I keep myself in shape and play good ball.”
Rogers is much more mobile and younger than his predecessor Ted Washington. In fact, the only similarity between the two is their size and the number 92.
“I’m encouraged by what I see,” Crennel said. “He’s working hard and he has a good attitude.”
Rogers has jumped head first into learning the new defense.
“This is a very unselfish defense,” he said. “A winning defense and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Rogers played in the 4-3 in Detroit, but thinks he’ll have no trouble making the switch to the 3-4. He’s expected to play the nose tackle position, but don’t be surprised to see him line up at end, as well.
“I want to get the nose down first and then work outside.”
Rogers was playing mostly nose tackle at the OTAs.
Braylon Edwards, who watched Rogers while playing in high school and college at Michigan is a big fan of Rogers.
“He’s a Pro Bowler on the field,” Edwards said. “I think he has a chip on his shoulder coming in, kind of like Jamal (Lewis) did last year.”
Kissin’ Cousin: CB Terry Cousin seems to have fit right in with the Browns and is expected to be the third cornerback.
“He’s an experienced defensive back, who has played with several teams,” Crennel said. “He should help the young guys and seems to be a good fit for his role as a third down guy.”
Cousin, 33, said he had been talking with the Browns prior to Daven Holly’s injury.
“This is a chance to come in and do what I’ve been doing for a long time,” Cousins said. “I can help out the young corners.
“I had been in contact with the Browns and almost signed with the team in 2006,” he said. “Phil Savage stayed in contact and remembered me.”
Cousin says his specialty is third down.
“I knew I eventually would sign,” he said. “I’ve been around long enough (12 years) to know.”
He doesn’t think he’s lost anything in his career.
“I’ve played 11 years and the slot is second nature,” he said. “I feel I’m pretty young at 33. I feel great physically.”
Injury Update: OL Ryan Tucker (hip), DB Daven Holly (knee), TE Steve Heiden (back), WR Joe Jurevicius (knee) missed practice with injuries. Crennel mentioned that the plan is now for Jurevicius to be ready for training camp. LB Shante Orr suffered back spasms during practice and S Sean Jones was held out of some drills with an ankle injury.
Crennel said Holly is still in the hospital and had surgery to repair cartilage and “more than one ligament”. He was place on injured reserve last week and will miss the entire 2008 season.
It’s Personal: Crennel mentioned four players who were absent for personal reasons: LB Willie McGinest, WR Braylon Edwards, DL Corey Williams and RB Jamal Lewis. Also, still missing were TE Kellen Winslow and OL LeCharles Bentley.
Good for Travis: WR Travis Wilson has taken advantage of the absence of Edwards and Jurevicius.
“I think Travis Wilson has done a good job at this camp,” Crennel said when asked who has done well.
On Colvin: LB Roosevelt Colvin said he was in contact with the Browns, but Crennel didn’t deny nor did he confirm the rumor.
“We’re always looking for good football players,” Crennel said. “Our priority is at cornerback.”
Crennel said Colvin is a friend of his, but he hasn’t spoken with him recently.
Four More Days: Crennel said the Browns have four more OTAs. They have one Thursday and three next week. The next official practices will be the mandatory minicamps in June.