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Browns likely transitioning to 4-3

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Posted Jan. 22, 2011 @ 1:53 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

The Browns have not employed a 4-3 scheme as their base defense since 2004, but they seem likely to transition back to the "40" front after hiring Dick Jauron as defensive coordinator. The obvious question is how the Browns, after looking for players to fill roles in a 3-4 scheme for six years, will build their front seven. For starters, NT Ahtyba Rubin, one of the Browns' more valuable players in 2010, would seem to fit well inside in a 4-3. However, it's likely the Browns would be in the market for defensive ends, considering age is a real concern at the position and more pass-rush ability in those spots is usually preferred in a 4-3. The Browns have quite a few options at linebacker, with Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita having previously played outside linebacker in 4-3 schemes. There has been some sentiment that ILB D'Qwell Jackson, who's missed the last two seasons with pectoral injuries after a promising start to his career, would be best as a middle linebacker in a 4-3, but he's a free agent, and it's unclear whether he'll be back in Cleveland.

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