Linebacker Mack Wilson was just a rookie, but he understood what was going on with the lack of camaraderie, which is something the Browns new regime told him was visible on tape.
“They feel like we weren’t having fun last year,” Wilson said during an appearance on 92.3 The Fan’s Bull and Fox. “When they watch film they see us not really celebrating after one of our teammates make a play. They say that’s something we’ve got to change. I was all in for it. That’s something we are going to try to work on this year. We are going to try to have fun.”
Wilson expressed that he is confident in the Browns new staff, headlined by head coach Kevin Stefanski and defensive coordinator Joe Woods.
“I feel like coach Stefanski is going to get this thing rolling for us. And coach Woods coming from the 49ers, their defense was very successful,” Wilson said. “I feel like he’s going to put guys like me and the rest of my teammates in position to make plays. I’m fired up about it. We got some great coaches and can do some great things this year.”
Mack Wilson Heaps Praise on WR Jerry Jeudy
Wilson’s former Alabama teammate Jerry Jeudy is one of the top receivers in the draft and he issued a glowing review the pass-catcher. Wilson said Jeudy reminds him of another former Crimson Tide WR Calvin Ridley, who is now with the Atlanta Falcons.
“I just feel like Jerry Jeudy is different, though,” He just does everything smooth. It’s nothing you really can explain.”
Another prospect Wilson had high praise for earlier this week was linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who is an interesting player due to his versatility. Wilson was asked by a fan who he would want the Browns to add on defense from the draft and he responded: “Simmons from Clemson. His versatility is insane.”
“Simmons is built for today’s NFL, and his role could change week to week, depending on the opponent,” said NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah told the Associated Press. “So with a guy like Isaiah Simmons, whether you want to list him as a linebacker or safety, I know you plug him into that defensive scheme and week by week you can deploy him in different ways depending on what the strength of your opponent is. … That’s why he has so much value.”
Mack Wilson Ready to Step up for Browns
Wilson, a fifth-round pick, was forced into action after an injury to veteran Christian Kirksey. In 14 starts, Wilson racked up 82 total tackles from his inside linebacker spot to go with an interception and sack.
While there were some rookie moments, Wilson’s athletic versatility established him as a key piece of the defense going forward, so much so that he earned $415,296 in performance-based pay from the NFL. That was the second-highest number, behind only Kansas City cornerback Charvarius Ward, who received $428,335.
While Wilson played middle linebacker last year, there’s a chance he could shift to play outside LB in defensive coordinator Joe Wood’s 4-3 system.
“As far as position-wise, he really didn’t say what I was going to play,” Wilson said on the Browns Working From Home series. “But he was like, ‘You’re interchangeable.’ I can play wherever, so I’m just going to go in, do whatever it takes to win, whatever position they want me to play, play it to the best of my ability and just work.”