Mack Wilson has been putting in work this offseason, but a photo of the Cleveland Browns linebacker in the gym is making some noise for all the wrong reasons.
Browns reporter Brad Stainbrook posted a photo of Wilson working out, writing that he had spoken with the linebacker’s trainer, who said he added 10 pounds of muscle this offseason — an impressive and massive gain.
But as many in the comments pointed out, the photo with the post looked wonky in more ways than one. While Mack is certainly in shape and looking solid — as evident in the other photos he has posted — this photo appeared to exaggerate his gains in some areas.
— Brad Stainbrook (@BrownsByBrad) April 15, 2021
“Did the wall gain muscle too,” one commenter wrote.
“Bro if you’re gonna photoshop, hire someone to do it,” another said.
With the outpouring of comments, Stainbrook clarified: “To be clear: the picture I received is the one I posted. I made no adjustments.”
Mack Wilson Has Been Active on Social Media
Wilson is one of the more active Browns players on social media, showing off his training, putting out inspirational messages during the season and responding to fans.
“Deaf ear to the doubters. Let’s elevate 5ive1! I’m right where I belong,” Mack tweeted earlier this offseason, along with a highlight reel.
— Mack Wilson Sr. (@5mackwilson1) March 22, 2021
Wilson looked like a promising prospect his rookie season after being selected in the fifth round. He took over a starting role for the majority of the year after Christian Kirksey went down with an injury, notching 77 tackles, one interception, a forced fumble, four tackles for loss and seven passes defensed.
But his second season started out rocky with a hyperextended knee during training camp. When he did get on the field, it wasn’t pretty. Wilson graded out 94th out of an eligible 99 linebackers in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Wilson played in 13 games with eight starts, recording just 39 tackles.
Mack Wilson Has Opportunity to Learn From Anthony Walker
The Browns inked linebacker Anthony Walker to a free agent deal this offseason and he’s expected to take over a starting role on the defense. BJ Goodson was the team’s leading tackler from the middle linebacker position a year ago but remains an unrestricted free agent.
“We are adding another smart, tough football player to the fold,” Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said of Walker in a release. “This is a guy that plays hard, plays fast, plays nasty. He can be a quarterback for the defense out there. Really intelligent, heady player.”
Like Wilson, Walker was a fifth-round selection but quickly carved out a role as a full-time starter in Indianapolis. He amassed 105 tackles in 2018 and a career-best 124 in 2019. Walker had 92 tackles last season as he started all 16 games for a second consecutive season.
“You come in and you be yourself. You do not try to be anything other than yourself. For me, I am not really a rah-rah guy or anything like that,” Walker said in his introductory press conference. “I come in every day with the same mentality to come in and get better, come in and get better with my teammates. Just come in and go to work, honestly. I think that is the most important thing your peers respect, the way you come in and grind with them every day.”
Judging by the comments from his former teammates with the Colts, Walker was a strong locker room presence in Indianapolis. He’ll have plenty of time to take Wilson and the other young Browns linebackers — like Sione Takitaki and Jacob Phillips — under his wing.