BEREA: Browns cornerback Tramon Williams has had to deal with emotions spurred by a demotion.
Williams has started every game in which he’s appeared during the past six seasons, but Jamar Taylor bumped him out of the starting lineup during training camp. Now Williams is the nickel corner who’ll cover the slot when the defense faces three-receiver sets.
He’ll play the role Sunday when the Browns visit the Philadelphia Eagles for the regular-season opener.
“I have been in this league for a long time, and I have been starting for a long time, so you know there is definitely an adjustment for me,” Williams, who signed with the Browns last year after spending his first nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers, said Thursday after practice.
“But I feel like I can make an impact in any role I play, though. Once you sit down and think about [the situation] and you think about the team goals, then it’s really not about what you think anymore. I am all in with these guys right now, and I am going to try and play my role.”
Williams expects to cover Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews a decent amount. Matthews had 85 catches for 997 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He had 67 catches for 872 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2014.
“Typically, a smaller receiver plays on the inside. That’s the guys who are considered slot receivers,” Williams said. “But this guy here, he’s 6-3 and 215 or 220 pounds, and he plays in the slot. You don’t get that too often. That’s what really separates him from other guys.”
Nickel corner isn’t the only new wrinkle involving Williams this season. He’s also listed as the primary punt returner.
“You haven’t seen me in my earlier days,” Williams, 33, said. “I can return.”
He hasn’t returned punts on a regular basis since 2010, but he loves doing it.
“There’s nothing like it,” he said. “I like to live on the edge.”
Rookie receiver Corey Coleman had a disappointing preseason, but the Browns are still confident the first-round draft pick can hit the ground running in his regular-season debut.
“He is ready to go,” coach Hue Jackson said. “He has now had experience in two different games, and I think he needed that. He will be fine.”
Coleman missed the first two exhibition games with a hamstring injury he suffered while dominating a scrimmage Aug. 5 at Browns headquarters. He played in the final two preseason games, but he pressed in both of them.
So Jackson said he would probably sit down with Coleman before the opener and try to calm him.
“Our rookies will feel some anxiety,” he said. “It’s the first regular game of the season. Corey being a first-round draft pick, a lot of responsibility comes along with that. What I would say to him is, ‘Let’s not worry about that. Let’s just play the best you can play. Everything else will take care of itself.’
‘‘We all know he’s very talented. Just play the game and let’s not get tied up about all the other thought processes that could go through your head.”
Coleman has always been extremely hard on himself.
“It’s not about being a first-round pick. It’s about I put a lot of pressure on myself because I want to be great,” he said. “I put a lot of pressure on me, the way I do stuff, the way I critique myself.”
Receiver Terrelle Pryor expects Coleman to break out of his funk, based on recent practices.
“This whole week he’s been an awesome,” Pryor said. “He’s been handling his business. He’s been on point on everything. He caught a lot of balls today and yesterday, and it’s exciting to see. It’s really coming together for him, and it’s starting to slow down for him.”
Outside linebacker Nate Orchard has been supplanted by rookie Joe Schobert as a starter, but the second-round pick in last year’s draft has responded the right way.
“He has been great,” Jackson said.
“When we talk to our players, we talk about performance. It is not a niceness competition. It is who can get the job done. When we make decisions, it is not like the other player doesn’t know or know what he needs to do to get back.
“I think everybody knows we try to be fair about the decisions we make, but it doesn’t mean that the door is closed. You can go earn it back by how you play. It is all about performance.”
Orchard still expects to have a significant role.
“It doesn’t really matter who starts,” he said. “We’re going to have a three-man rotation, four-man rotation. So everyone’s just got to be ready to play.”
He had a slow start to his rookie season but played better in the second half of it. Although he’ll be coming off the bench behind Schobert and rookie second-round pick Emmanuel Ogbah, Orchard believes he can maintain the momentum he built last year.
“I know I can,” said Orchard, whose three sacks last season came in the final four games.
“It’s been preseason, so the rotation’s been kind of funky, but once I start to get back into a groove consistently, I know I’ll pick up where I left off last year.”
•?Williams is giddy about starting quarterback Robert Griffin III and other weapons the Browns have on offense. “It is going to be a nightmare for guys preparing for us,” he said.
•?Williams responded to former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick saying he can’t find a win for the Browns on their schedule. “He can’t find one we can win, but I can’t find one we can lose, either,” Williams said. “It’s the NFL, and they are all up for grabs.”
•?Cornerback Marcus Burley (groin) is the only Browns player who didn’t practice Thursday. Ogbah, whose hamstring tightened, was added to the injury report as a limited participant. For the Eagles, receiver Bryce Treggs (knee) didn’t practice. D-end Vinny Curry (knee) was limited.
Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.