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Browns top pick appears to be all that

By Carlos "Big C" Holmes
Cox News Service

When you hear the name Wimbley the first thought that comes to mind for most people is the world renowned Wembley Stadium in London, England. Although the names are spelled differently, Cleveland fans are hoping that their Wimbley will carry the same prestige as the stadium that is best known for hosting world famous events, but in this case, the sack category.

Rookie first-round pick DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley is off to a fast start and has taken steps in gaining that prestige of becoming a dominate pass-rusher. Wimbley has accounted for 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble in three preseason games with the Browns. He will likely add to that total with one preseason game remaining on the schedule.

After drafting DE Courtney Brown, who was a major disappointment for the club, with the first overall pick of the 2000 NFL draft, the fans in Cleveland aren't quite ready to have a tickertape parade for Wimbley, but it's coming. Unfair to Wimbley, who may forever be compared to Brown unless his output is high.

That said, Wimbley is fully aware of what is expected of him and is ready to do big things.

"When the season comes and if I get in the game, and an opportunity to contribute, just go in there and make big plays and make this organization and this ball club happy," Wimbley said.

What was he talking about, if he gets in the game? I can assure you that not only will the rookie be in the game, but starting. You have to love the kid's modesty. Very humble.

Wimbley is making the switch to outside linebacker in Romeo Crennel's 3-4 defensive scheme after playing 4 years at defensive end while terrorizing quarterbacks at Florida State.

Talking to the prized pass-rusher in training camp, he was very optimistic about making the switch to outside linebacker in the 3-4.

"Initially it was a challenge," Wimbley said. But like now I'm starting to pick everything up and I'm getting used to the position. Every day I come out here I feel better about playing the position, so I'm happy with my progress thus far."

Great opportunity

Wimbley also touched on the subtleties and difficulties in making the transition from D-end to outside backer, and what it meant to play for a defensive guru like coach Crennel.

"I think the hardest thing would probably be the reading and recognizing formations. Where as at defensive end you really didn't have to do too much of that. We only keyed a couple of people maybe the tight end, the tackle and the backs in the backfield. Now at linebacker you have to give calls as opposed to receiving. At defensive we pretty much waited on our linebackers to give calls to the linemen."

"It's a great experience to be under coach Crennel and his staff. We have people who are very knowledgeable about the game and we're getting out there learning. Definitely with coach Crennel, and obviously with the success he's had with the teams he coached, it's a great opportunity for the Browns and this organization to get better," Wimbley said.

What you C, is what you get...

Wimbley is an explosive speed rusher off the edge with a quick first step and is relentless rushing the passer. He plays with more speed than power, but uses his speed and quickness to generate power and leverage, catching his opponent off guard. He reads and reacts well in pass-coverage and is solid in run support.

Expectations on Defense no Secret

The Browns coaching staff has been emphasizing stop the run and improve on pass coverage, which was ranked No. 30 and No. 4 respectively at the end of the season. The Browns were actually pretty good in the redzone last season, so there is little room for improvement there.