However, Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods wants to see Billings get in a little better shape heading into the season.
“He is a grown man. He is strong,” Woods said. “have talked to him, he said he is not as strong as he could be, but he said give him a month and he will be back to squatting 900 pounds. I do not think he is in the ideal football shape that he wants to be in. Again, that is why you go through OTAs, summer working out and come back in training camp just to get yourself where you need to be. He is definitely part of our plans.”
The Browns have lots of slick, athletic weapons up front, but Billings gives them something different.
“Definitely a first and second down run-stuffer type of player,” Woods said. “I am excited about him. He has a great personality and fits in great with the guys. He will definitely play a role for us this season.”
Andrew Billings Opted Out of Last Season
Weight was a concern for Billings, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 328 pounds. Billings sat out all of last season due to COVID-19 concerns, so he knows he has to kick it into an extra gear this offseason to get in-game shape.
“I noticed the difference in not being beaten on, but I also noticed the difference of not taking any snaps, too,” Billings told the Browns official site earlier this offseason. “It’s a bit of a give-and-take, but I’m planning on getting as many reps as possible to get ready for this season.”
Billings collected 35 tackles and one sack as a starter with the Bengals in 2019. He’s eager to find his place on the Browns defense and will have more opportunity with Richardson out of the picture.
“I wanted to be out there in practice. I wanted to be in those meetings. I wanted to be in those games. Coming into next year, it’s even more important for me to get out there and work harder because there’s a team out there that I want to be a part of, so I have to find my place.”
Billings said seeing Myles Garrett struggle with the effects of COVID-19 made him feel like he made the right decision for himself.
“Myles Garrett is an A-plus player, so if that were to happen to me, at my position and at my size, I don’t know if I could’ve handled that,” he said. “I know he had it kind of bad, but you never know. I could’ve had it worse, or I could’ve had it easier. I could’ve had it for a day or I could’ve had it for three months. I just wasn’t willing to take that bet.”
Jadeveon Clowney Pumped About Browns Defensive Line
Billings has some company as a new face on the Browns defensive line, with the team bringing in Takkarist McKinley, Malik Jackson and Jadeveon Clowney this offseason to play significant roles in the rotation.
Clowney said that he’s excited to see what the unit can do this season.
“When they put the highlight tape on the other day, I was like ‘Oh, these guys making a lot of plays across the league.’ For them to be on the team with me, I am very excited about the rotation of the group that can rotate and guys can get in,” Clowney said. “The backups can come in and play just as good as the ones, and that is even better.”
Billings has some time to get back into game-shape. The Browns begin their season on September 12 against the Kansas City Chiefs.