You hire a coach, you hire a system

Posted by Vic Carucci on January 31, 2013 – 12:28 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Ted – The team has four quality defensive linemen. Why switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4, and where are the linebackers for this defense?

The simple answer, Ted, is that the 3-4 is the base concept that new Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton knows best. When you hire a coach, you hire his system.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it is the only configuration the Browns will use. In fact, the plan, as Horton said Tuesday during his introductory news conference and on “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford,” is to use multiple fronts.

That makes perfect sense. One, it helps make the defense less predictable, which is a primary part of Horton’s coaching philosophy. Two, it helps with transitioning from the 4-3 that the Browns have played the past two seasons to the 3-4.

As Horton pointed out, the talent of the defensive linemen on the roster was a large part of what attracted him to Cleveland. He sees this group has having the ability to not only rush the passer and stuff the run, but also drop into coverage. Those are the qualities that he wants in a defense that will be highly aggressive and feature a lot of variations and disguising of looks in an effort to fool the quarterback and keep him off-balance.

I think the Browns could utilize some of the linebackers already on the roster, such as D’Qwell Jackson, who has played in the 3-4 and is a versatile enough athlete to make either scheme work. Craig Robertson is another linebacker whose superb athleticism should allow him to be effective in any front because he is a pure playmaker.

But the Browns will certainly look to find more linebackers via the draft and free-agency, and perhaps through a trade.

Matt – I’m looking forward to Billy Winn, Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor as the D-line starters. Beastly!

Matt, I think it’s reasonable to assume that Winn, Rubin and Taylor will have significant roles in the Browns’ defense in 2013 and beyond.

And I wouldn’t leave John Hughes out of that equation.

They are highly talented, physical, dynamic players who should be good fits regardless of the scheme. They do a good job of moving the line of scrimmage and making plays.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at or by e-mail at or by calling 855-363-2459.

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