Randy Starks found out he was released from the Miami Dolphins just like the rest of us – on Twitter and television.
We relayed the news on how Karlos Dansby!(/team/roster/karlos-dansby/8733516f-36b7-42a2-aed9-32b8c91e2552/ "Karlos Dansby") laid the groundwork for recruiting the defensive lineman to Cleveland. But there's more to the layers to the story.
In his first public interview since becoming a Brown, Starks told Sirius XM radio he's accepting the organization's challenge to become a vocal leader with his Cleveland defensive line teammates. Starks was flattered the Browns had that in mind.
The 31-year-old becomes to most senior member of the unit. And outside of Desmond Bryant (29), the Browns' defensive line is a rather young grouping. Phil Taylor, Armonty Bryant, Calvin Barnett, John Hughes and Ishmaa'ily Kitchen are an average of 24.8 years old.
"One of the things I'm going to do in the d-line room is show my leadership – things I've learned through the years," said Starks on Wednesday. "I'm going to pass it on to these guys. I don't know everything. I'm still learning. At the end of the day, I think I have enough knowledge where I can come in and help.
"I'm not trying to come here and take over the whole defense. I'm just trying to take care of the defensive line, and that will help take care of the defense itself. Because we have Dansby and Joe Haden to take care of their respective positions."
Starks recalled his visit with the Browns last month and said it was coach Mike Pettine who captured his attention. Families were discussed and jokes were told. But Pettine communicated his plan to Starks is to improve upon the Browns' 7-9 record last season.
"That's the same thing I told him: I'm trying to win games. I'm trying to get to the playoffs," said Starks. "And we're on the same page."
Winning games will rely heavily upon Starks and the improvement of his unit. Cleveland ranked 32nd in the league in rushing yards allowed per game. And although Starks is known as a haughty pass rusher, he said he's figured out the key to fixing Cleveland's unit – communication.
Now the hard part comes in implementing better ways to talk amongst each other on the field.
"You can't have half the guys getting one call and the other half playing another call," said Starks. "Everybody has to be on the same page. Once you get that done, everything will take care of itself."
Starks understands there will be a rotation on the defensive line, but his goal is return to his Pro Bowl form. Pettine and Jim O'Neil's scheme will highlight his pass rushing ability. They will likely use him at both the three- and five-technique positions, because of his brute strength.
Starks' goal is to play at a level where he's on the field nearly every play.
"I'm trying to be very productive. I'm not just trying to be a role guy," said Starks. "They have a very good defensive line, linebacking corps – it's all around. I just think the Browns have a chance to do something special. I have no problem being a part of it."