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Surprises of the 2012 Browns Season

One of the pleasant surprises of the 2012 season was the play of rookie defensive tackle Billy Winn.  Winn was a sixth round pick who fell due to concerns about his effort level and consistency and responded by having one of the better rookie years out of all the defensive tackles.  While Winn played well in the 4-3, there are those who feel that Winn is actually better suited for a 3-4 scheme.  He gives the Browns the first man off the bench as another athletic end option who can kick inside and rush the passer on passing downs.  Whether he plays next to Bryant or across from him, that combination could become a familiar one as the season goes on because they have such complementary skill sets.

Winn’s emergence last year was great and often defensive tackles really come into their own in their second seasons, but it was a smart move to bring in Bryant and keep Rubin as well.  First, the defensive line can never have too much talent and Winn’s rookie contract is peanuts right now with the Browns having a ton of cap room.  If he continues to play well and really breaks out this year, great, but should he have problems adjusting, they have options.  While Winn could and hopefully will be a good player, they are able to ease him in and use him in situations that allow him to excel because of the amount of players who can contribute and depth on the roster.

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