Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome is a fan of the island life.
Newsome found himself playing in the slot for a large percentage of his snaps last season. He’s been vocal that it was not his preference and it even led to some unfounded scuttlebutt about the Browns moving on from the former first-round pick.
There’s no certainty that Newsome won’t be spending some time playing inside next season but heʻs made his stance clear.
“I would say the most difficult part about playing inside is really not even run fits, I would say just knowing like you aren’t in man too much,” Newsome told Brad Stainbrook of TheOBR.com. “It’s just really the competitive nature. I feel like it’s less competitive. There’s not a lot of one on ones and things like that. I feel like my body type is not fit to be in the box for half of the game. Just me being a competitor, I feel like I’m helping the team a little bit more.
He added: “I just feel like being on an island more is what I prefer to do.”
Greg Newsome Wants to be Among Best in the League
Newsome has started 26 games since being selected by the Browns and has made an impact. He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team during his debut season and earned an overall grade of 69.1 via Pro Football Focus last season — slightly up from his rookie campaign.
“This year I just feel like I just have to prove to myself exactly where I feel like I’m supposed to be, and I just think that is one of the best in the league,” Newsome said. “I just feel like I have to do it game in and game out. Stay consistent. Just proving to myself that I am that type of player that I’m expected to be especially after coming in a strong rookie year and then I feel like last year obviously position-wise and things like that, kind of maybe take a little bit of a step back I feel like, but just to get back to where I was. Im just going to continue to grow.”
Newsome has a good mentor in Denzel Ward, who when healthy is one of the best in the league at his position. Ward has a pair of Pro Bowls on his resume and is able to lockdown one side of the field for the Browns.
Greg Newsome a Fan of New Browns Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz
“Jim Schwartz is amazing,” Newsome said. “He is more of like a leader-coach. He wants things to be done a certain way. He doesn’t care who you are. At the end of the day, he’s going to coach you harder which I like. Just his scheme I feel like it fits us so well.”
That being said, Schwartz has made no promises that Newsome won’t be playing inside next season.
“He’s been willing to do whatever we’ve asked. But the happiness of players is not my concern, and that’s not going to be the determining factor of how we play guys or anything else,” Schwartz said during minicamp. “We’re going to do what’s best for our team. We’re going to play guys in the best matchups.”
The Browns are set to kick off training camp on July 22 at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.