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Browns' roster rundown: Linebacker

6/27/2014

Linebacker

Then: Jabaal Sheard, D'Qwell Jackson, Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo, Craig Robertson, Tank Carder, Quentin Groves (injured).

Now: Kruger, Mingo, Karlos Dansby, Chris Kirksey, Robertson and in some situations Sheard.

Danbsy replaces Jackson, and based on size and attitude he could be an upgrade. That has yet to be seen, though. Kruger was a highly paid free agent a year ago and had a solid season but not a great one with just 4.5 sacks. The jury remains out on whether he is worth the big contract the previous regime gave him. Sheard will line up at linebacker, but said he's more of a defensive end this season. The new coaching staff has a lot of faith in Mingo, a guy they almost drafted in Buffalo the year the Browns took him. The most interesting thing to watch about this group is how they will be used. Mike Pettine promises a lot of different personnel groups and formations, all to cause deception.

The positives: Dansby brings a certain attitude and something something to the locker room that was lacking a year ago. The group is solid, if not spectacular.

The negatives: The Browns must find a second starter inside to go with Dansby. Initially it seemed that Kirksey might be the guy, but when Groves was released Pettine talked about using Kirksey more outside. The Browns must find that second starter.

Previously: Quarterback, running back/fullback, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line.

Coming: Secondary, coaching staff, front office.