Browns look to Billy Winn to fill in for injured Phil Taylor
The Browns drafted Billy Winn out of Boise State University in the sixth round (205th overall) because they knew they needed to improve their depth in the trenches. The coaching staff believes the defense struggled mightily last season against the run (ranked 30th, 147.4 yards allowed per game) partly because Taylor and fellow starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin were not spelled enough during games.
After Taylor suffered a torn pectoral muscle while lifting weights in May, it became obvious Winn was in line for more playing time this year than originally anticipated. Billy will try to strengthen his case for a starting role Friday night, when the Browns visit the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener for both teams.
Winn is listed second on the depth chart behind starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. He worked with the first-team defense last week when Rubin and Schaefering were sidelined with injuries.
“I feel like I made a lot of progress,” Winn said. “There’s been a lot of plays that have been installed. There’s been a lot of work that’s been done out here. There’s been a lot of competing. In the team periods and the one-on-ones, everybody’s competing against each other. That’s what you want on a team, and I feel like every single one of us out here has been out there getting better.”