The Cleveland Browns decided to move on from linebackers Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey this offseason.
After their departures, the Browns linebacker group became a concern going into 2020.
Second-year player Mack Wilson was the only player left of the group that even saw significant playing time.
Wilson started 14 games, while Sione Takitaki saw 105 total snaps, but is expected to be a starter.
The Browns also signed B.J. Goodson who is a linebacker with four years of experience.
However, he never topped 47 percent of his team’s snaps during his career.
On paper, the Browns appear to be in trouble, but Wilson says otherwise.
Wilson Trusts His Teammates
Wilson does not agree with those who think they have one of the worst linebacker groups in the league.
“You’re basically saying, ‘He’s crap.’ To me that’s how I’m taking it, because you say we’re (the worst) linebacking corps in the National Football League, that’s just total disrespect,” says Wilson.
I’m choosing my teammates over any other player in the league idc who you is.
— Mack Wilson (@5mackwilson1) August 6, 2020
Wilson goes on to say that he’s ready to prove everyone wrong and he’s going to continue to work hard and focus on the task at hand.
“I make sure that I remind those guys what these people think of us,” said Wilson.
It’s easy to see why people have low expectations for the Browns linebackers, but Wilson sounds determined to prove everyone wrong in 2020.
What To Expect At Linebacker
Wilson has been working alongside Takitaki and Goodson during two open practices this week.
“They all can run. They’re all athletic. There’s great effort from that group,” head coach Kevin Stefanski said.
It sounds like the Browns plan to cross-train most of their linebackers during camp.
Doing that will give the Browns plenty of versatility at linebacker, so they can use more than just three players.
Wilson mentioned that he wants to be a vocal leader and motivator for the defense.
He was a fifth-round pick, but stepped up and made an impact as a starter last season.
Wilson finished with 82 tackles, four tackles for loss, and one sack last season.
The team is hopeful he can do it again, but who knows about the other linebackers.
Pro Football Focus has the Browns ranked as the second-worst linebacker unit.
Wilson was not a fan of that and made sure to head over to Twitter and let everyone know.
They gone say what they wanna say.. But they really don’t understand! 🤷🏾♂️
— Mack Wilson (@5mackwilson1) July 21, 2020
Wilson had the eighth-worst PFF defensive grade in the league last season at 41.7 overall grade.
Goodson finished with a 62.2 defensive grade, which is a little bit better.
Takitaki didn’t really play enough last season, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s up for the challenge.
I love that a lot of people doubting me. 🙇🏾♂️
— Mack Wilson (@5mackwilson1) July 3, 2020
“It’s totally disrespectful when you talk about guys being the worst linebacker corps. They’re gonna to see eventually,” says Wilson.
Multiple outlets have the Browns ranked near the bottom at the linebacker spot.
It’s a young group without much experience that is going to be forced to learn quickly.
“I don’t feel like we’re the worst,” Wilson said.
It sounds like Wilson is ready to prove that Cleveland came to play, but time will tell if he’s actually right about the Browns linebackers.