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Browns special-teams ace Johnson Bademosi embracing switch from cornerback to free safety

By Nate Ulrich Published: May 17, 2013

Johnson Bademosi made his mark as a rookie this past season playing special teams for the Browns, and he also showed promise in limited action as a cornerback.

But Bademosi, who went undrafted out of Stanford University, is now undergoing a position change with a new coaching staff in place. After spending most of his life playing cornerback, Bademosi has been working exclusively at free safety as of late. Tashaun Gipson is atop the depth chart at free safety, though Bademosi is hoping to push him.

Bademosi discussed his new role and more with reporters during the 14th annual Cleveland Browns Foundation Golf Tournament today at Westwood Country Club in Rocky River. Below are some highlights from the interview.

What are your thoughts on moving from cornerback to free safety?: “It was an idea some of our coaches had. I’m kind of up for anything. Anyway I can help the team I’m willing to. I’ve heard the more you can do in this league, the longer you’ll play in this league. Whether it’s long snapper, corner, safety, Wildcat quarterback, I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to learn.”

You’re built like a safety -- 6-foot and 200 pounds: “People have said that. The way the league is now there are a variety of sizes at positions. You’ve got big corners and small corners, big safeties and small safeties. It just kind of depends on what you prefer.”

What experience do you have at safety?: “Not too much. I’ve been a corner for pretty much all my life, and I’ve done a good job at corner. So now it’s just a means of learning safety. It’s a new thought process, new checks, new responsibilities.”

How tough is that transition?: “It’s different. I’d say physically, it’s not as demanding as corner. But it’s demanding in a couple different ways as far pre-snap reads and responsibilities to make certain checks and calls. At your job, sometime they put you in a new position and you have to learn how to operate in that fashion, and that’s what I’m doing now.”

There are some opportunities for starting jobs at safety and corner. What gives you the best opportunity to get on the field?: “It’s hard for me to say. We’ve got a lot of great players on the team at both the corner and safety positions. There’s a lot of competition at both positions.”

Are you confident specials teams can continue to perform well without Josh Cribbs, who recently signed with the Oakland Raiders?: “Cribbs was a really productive player, and he was special. It shows in what he’s done in the past. But like any other year, no year is the same, and the team is different every year. We’re just going to progress and get better as a unit.”

Cribbs and free agent Ray Ventrone took pride in being leaders on special teams. Do you look to do that?: “Bubba (Ventrone) was a leader and Josh was a leader, and I learned a lot from those guys. I’m going to try to take what those guys taught me and hopefully teach that to others and just build on what I did this past season.”


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