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Greg Newsome II clarifies role concerns from 2022, exciting Jim Schwartz plans

Almost NFL drama with Greg Newsome II due to how he was used last season

Cleveland Browns Offseason Workout Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns offseason has been mostly a peaceful one from a drama perspective. While the Buffalo Bills try to figure out why WR Stefon Diggs showed up but didn’t show up and a myriad of other teams deal with holdouts and hold-ins, the Browns had a smooth offseason outside of DT Perrion Winfrey’s (now dismissed) assault charge.

There was a time when CB Greg Newsome II seemed like he was going to be the drama storyline for the team. Before the 2022 season ended, Newsome noted that he wanted more flexibility in his role. He seemed to double down on his desire to play outside when he responded to a tweet just under a month later.

At one point, Newsome had to refute a report that he wanted to be traded.

The third year cornerback went on The Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show to clarify his concerns with his role last season:

In many ways, Newsome is right. Last year, according to Pro Football Focus, he was a run defender 392 times and rushed the passer 16 times. PFF’s alignment numbers had him as a box player 135 snaps and lined up in position as a defensive lineman 19 times.

Playing slot corner, at a base level, also requires a lot more involvement in the run game. Replacing the third linebacker, offenses tend to run toward the slot corner instead of in the direction of the linebackers.

The exciting news for Newsome and Cleveland fans is that DC Jim Schwartz has a much different plan for the cornerbacks. No longer is Newsome, or any of the corners, going to be stuck playing in one position. Instead, as Newsome notes, Schwartz will have his defenders matchup with players that he feels they can defend best. Sometimes that means Newsome will be back in the slot but he will travel inside and out far more often.

CB Denzel Ward shared similar intel on Schwartz’s system earlier this offseason while noting he will be playing more in the slot more often this season.