Browns could be defensive with post-lockout moves
The Browns are expected to focus more on the defensive side of the ball, and will try to acquire starting caliber players. Apart from its thinning linebacking corps, Cleveland will also focus on its needs on the defensive line and in the secondary.
Berea, OH, United States
July 22, 2011 11:12 am EDT
Sports, American Football, National Football League
With reports that a new collected bargaining agreement between the owners and players will finally be reached, many organizations, including the Cleveland Browns, are expected to be busy in free agency as they make major changes to their roster.
The Browns are expected to focus more on the defensive side of the ball, and will try to acquire starting caliber players.
Under the 4-3 defense, Cleveland needs help in its thinning linebacking corps, with Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong as the only certain starters.
D’Qwell Jackson is considered a shaky option as third starting linebacker.
Jackson underwent operations on both shoulders the past two years. He has played in just six contests in two years, and missed all of last season.
Linebackers Titus Brown, Jason Trusnik and Eric Alexander, on the other hand, are all listed as backups.
Meanwhile, Shawn Lauvao, a third-round pick last year, could be ready to start at right guard.
There is also the issue at right tackle, with many believing that tapping the 30-year-old Tony Pashos for the position would be not a good choice. Pashos saw action in 11 contests (four starts) last season.
Jason Pinkston, drafted in the fifth round from Pitt, is another question mark to immediately start at either at right tackle or guard.
In order to bolster the defensive line, the Browns are expected to retain Floyd Womack, who is a solid backup at guard and tackle. “Pork Chop” Womack would be at left guard next to tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack.
The safety spot is another area Cleveland is expected to pay attention.
Hard-hitting T.J. Ward, who played next Abe Elam last season, is an expected starter at one safety spot. But Elam, who is now a free agent, may not be re-signed by the Browns.
Though they still have Michael Adams, a reliable utility man in the defensive backfield, the Browns will still seek additional need help for Adams and Ward.
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