Browns safety T.J. Ward and cornerback Joe Haden returned to work today. Both players met with their coaches, worked out and took conditioning tests at the team's training facility in Berea.
They're relieved the NFL's lockout is finally over. And they're excited about switching to defensive coordinator Dick Jauron's 4-3 scheme.
"It's not gonna be as difficult as our defense was last year," Ward said. "We had a bunch of schemes and a bunch of techniques and calls that I think at times confused some of the guys on the defense. Maybe our cohesion wasn't there as well last year. But I think this year is more basic. Use your athletic ability and your skills as a football player to make plays.
"I think the more (comfortable) you are with your role, then you can play faster. If you're out there kind of thinking too much and not sure about this or that, it can hinder you. Just being able to go and play fast is gonna help us all."
"One thing that (defensive backs) coach (Jerome) Henderson said was, '(We're) just gonna put you in position so you make the play,'" Haden said. "It's more you versus your opponent, you versus the man across from you more than trying to beat them mentally. Just basically, you line up and if you can make the play, then you make the play. Basically it's one-on-one battles. It looks like a whole lot more of that. I think I like my chances. I like T.J.'s chances. I like Sheldon (Browns') chances."
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