Thursday, September 20, 2012
Browns make changes at cornerback
By Jamison Hensley
The Cleveland Browns will start two different cornerbacks than the ones who began the season. In the midst of Joe Haden's suspension, Cleveland apparently has decided to bench Sheldon Brown.
Buster Skrine, who struggled last Sunday, will start in place of Brown against the Bills, according to ESPN Radio in Cleveland. “I just come in in the nickel package,” he said.
The timing of the move is odd. Many expected Dimitri Patterson to take Brown's spot this offseason after he re-signed with the Browns for $16 million over three years (including $6 million guaranteed). Brown was the worst starting corner in the division last year and regularly got picked on by quarterbacks.
But Brown surprisingly worked with the first team through spring workouts and training camp. It also helped Brown that Patterson was sidelined for most of the preseason with an ankle injury. Brown, though, earned his spot by forcing two turnovers in the preseason.
When Haden began serving his four-game suspension, it was assumed Patterson would start alongside Brown. Now, it looks like Skrine will join Patterson in the starting lineup and Brown has been demoted.
The hope is that cutting Brown's snaps by nearly in half will lessen the wear and tear on the 33-year-old corner.
“Yeah, I mean, it really doesn’t matter,” he said. “I told you from Day 1 I’m a team guy. Whatever they want to do I’m going to roll with it.”
Skrine has potential and a lot of speed. The biggest knock on him is he grabs too much, which often leads to pass interference penalties.