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The one thing that Browns fans should take away from the first two moves of the team is this: GM Ray Farmer is working closely to head coach Mike Pettine to put a team together that will be able to do what Pettine wants. That is a major step forward for the organization.
I like both SS Donte Whitner and Karlos Dansby. Both fit the Pettine system better than T.J. Ward and D’Qwell Jackson although the new players are a little older and more expensive than those they replaced. Whitner is a better cover guy than Ward. Ward was a little better against the run at the line than his replacement. Whitner is a better fit for Pettine than Ward but the advantage is slight.
The move of Dansby for Jackson makes much more sense. Anyone that has watched Jackson play knows that far too many of his tackles are 5 yards down field against the run. Jackson is not a guy that makes a lot of plays at or behind the line. The Pettine system requires one of the two MLBs to attack the line. Jackson was also a huge liability in pass coverage. Dansby is a solid zone backer but does not have the speed or hips to cover a TE or RB man to man.
Due to the age of both players, they are a two year stop gap solution at best. The Browns will likely select an inside backer and a safety in the draft to further bolster the roster. But the moves are the first indication in years that everyone at Browns headquarters are on the same page. For the win starved Browns fans, that is a huge positive.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
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