National scout Charles Walls (5.1.21)

 

On LB Tony Fields II and how Fields compares to LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:

“First off, he is explosive. He is rangy. He can get sideline to sideline both faces. He just gives us tremendous versatility and flexibility in our linebacking corps. As far as how he compares to Jeremiah, they both run. We want to have guys who can come on the field and take stress off of the first level and third level. They both do that. We think he brings tremendous value to us.”

 

On the Browns adding versatile players like Fields:

“If you watch successful teams, especially when they get into the playoffs, if you look at Tampa last year, they had no lack of speed or lack of range anywhere on defense. The more you can add to the group, the better. It can never hurt you having faster, more versatile players who can play football, hunt the ball and make plays. It can’t hurt you.”

 

On how Fields can help the Browns on special teams:

“He is definitely a competitive kid. He carries a chip on his shoulder. I know he is going to be aggressive. Like we have said, he can run so those mixtures of traits should help us on special teams for sure. I know he is going to come in here and try to make a name for himself so I think he would be a good addition there.”

 

On if the days of the ‘traditional LB’ are over:

“I would not say it is over. I would just say the game is evolving. Good players are still going to be good players. You still have linebackers out there who might not be the fastest or the most rangy, but there is a place for everybody. I think really just in the same way that offenses have evolved with different players at different sizes and skillsets, I think defense is evolving the same way. We are just adding to the firepower. I do not think those linebackers who necessarily are not necessarily the fastest are completely outdated, but the game is evolving, that is for sure.”

 

On if the Browns are stout enough inside at the LB position, given the number of versatile players with speed the team has added:

“The one thing about these guys that we have taken and just our room in general, we are violent. That is what we are going to do. We are going to be violent and explosive. When you watch these guys, I do not think anyone would call them finesse players just because they have range, they do take off, they do hit and they seek that contact so I do not think that is going to be a problem.”

 

On desired traits for Browns LBs:

“You will hear from us tough, smart and accountable. Tough, smart, and accountable, that is what you will hear all day from us. We obviously want guys who are athletes, who can run and give us versatility on our back end and help our first level, as well.”

 

On how much the evolution of NFL defense is connected to the change towards more mobile QBs:

“I think it has more to do with the big picture. Not only do you have those kind of guys, but when you get down to the meat of it, you have tight ends who [run] a 4.4 or 4.5 and can get down the seam and attack you. Now, we have linemen who we have play against who have feet like linebackers so you have to be able to add pressure. If you can do that from your secondary and have linebackers that have the ability to rush, that helps, you as well. It is not just the quarterbacks. It is kind of a full picture. Running backs now, too. We look at these running backs now that are splitting out to the slot and they are running routes like a receiver, and you have to be able to cover it and match it. I think it is a full picture.”

 

On if there is concern that opposing offenses could run more power schemes against the Browns and if there is a concern the defense may be undersized:

“When I look at our roster, I would say that we have a mix. I would not say that we are siloed into or pigeonholed into one lane. I think that we just added versatility and speed to our toolbox. I would not look across the board at our defense and say that we are dramatically undersized or that a power scheme is going to be able to attack us. I would not say that at all.”

 

On LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and differentiating between an ‘undersized linebacker’ and a safety:

“If you look at where he was used also in college, he was used down in the box. He is not unfamiliar with taking on offensive linemen or crashing in blitz situations. Now, some of the drops they had him do are reminiscent of some of the things that you would ask the safety to do, but that is a good thing. That just adds to his versatility as a backer. To answer your question, the difference is usually these guys who are coming from college, you see them playing the post and you see him play off of half field. Jeremiah was used as a linebacker, and that is where we see him and that is where we projected him.”

 

On the reaction in the building last night after the Browns drafted both CB Greg Newsome II and Owusu-Koramoah:

“We were fired up. Everybody was, and we still are. The energy that is going in this building right now is positive. We are very proud of what we are doing, and we hope to continue to close it out and finish. To answer your question, we were definitely juiced up and super excited.”

 

On if he could have imagined the Browns getting both Newsome and Owusu-Koramoah before the draft started:

“No way. No way, no how. We are happy, though.”

 

On if there are ‘too many good defensive players’ on the roster now:

“I think that pressure creates diamonds, and competition can never be a negative thing, especially on that side of the ball. It is a positive when you can bring that energy into the building. The guys are grown men. They know what we are trying to do here, and we are trying to achieve a championship. Guys are going to compete, and I think that is what we are fostering here.”

 

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