BEREA - There could be no player on the Cleveland Browns defense to reap the benefits of the offseason acquisitions more than the man who wears No. 95.
Third-year linebacker Kamerion Wimbley had 11 sacks as a rookie, but his sack totals dropped off to five in his second season. Part of the reason was because of the attention he garnered as a rookie.
“Generally, a person improves from the first year to the second year just because they know more about how to play the game, but also their opponents know more about them, they recognize what abilities he has,” Romeo Crennel said. “I know that he has worked extremely hard in the offseason to work on his pass rush and maybe add a move or two to his repertoire.”
Even though Wimbley had just five sacks, he did have 20 quarterback pressures.
“In the sack area I didn’t have as many as I’d have liked,” Wimbley said. “As a football player overall, I felt I got better, so I wasn’t disappointed in last year.”
Crennel isn’t concerned about WImbley.
“When you watch the tape, even though he didn’t have sacks, he is always around the quarterback,” Crennel said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to get him a step closer and maybe he’ll knock a ball out of the hands, he’ll sack a guy. I feel confident about him as a pass rusher.”
The addition of Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams, along with a healthy Antwan Peek and Willie McGinest are expected to free up Wimbley to get after the passer.
“It definitely takes some pressure off of us when you have guys like Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams inside,” Wimbley said. “Teams have to be prepared and look out for those guys, which leaves some one-on-one situations for the outside linebackers. Hopefully, I can take advantage.”
Peek was hobbled throughout the season with a leg injury and was never able to be the serious pass rushing threat he was brought in to be opposite Wimbley. The Browns also added Shante Orr in the off-season, who also has pass rushing ability.
“Hopefully, people will still pay attention to me, but this time I have some more people to come along with me,” Wimbley said. “I’m eager to get back out there and try to prove I can still be productive in the sack area.”
In the early going of training camp Wimbley has shown flashes that he could really have a big year.
The Browns hope so.
QBs Continue to Improve: QB Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn continue to work on running the offense. Anderson said his primary goal this year is to manage the game better. He threw several passes away near the end zone when no receiver was open.
I want to minimize the mistakes and give our team a chance to put points on the board,” Anderson said. “I want to do a better job of managing the offense.”
Quinn, who threw interceptions in Friday’s team drills is working on the same thing.
“I’m working to make better decisions,” Quinn said. “I feeling more comfortable in the offense and was able to get a lot work in OTAs with the starting group.”
Injury Update: Crennel said there were no injuries to report.DL Corey Williams (back), RB Jason Wright (hamstring), TE Steve Heiden (knee) and WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring) were limited in practice. Kasper and Williams did not participate.
Catching the Eye: Crennel mentioned two rookies that have caught his attention. He said that seventh-round pick Alex Hall and undrafted running back Travis Thomas have done some good things. Hall is a outside linebacker from St. Augustine College, while Thomas is from Notre Dame.
“Those guys have done some good things", Crennel gushed.