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Browns want to position Jason McCourty for success, then worry about his position

AURORA -- For now, Hue Jackson isn't concerned with the exact position Jason McCourty plays in Cleveland's secondary. He just wants the unit at its absolute peak.

If that means McCourty has to move to free safety, so be it. If that means McCourty sticks at cornerback, a position at which he's logged eight seasons, and Jamar Taylor slides over to nickel, so be it.

Either way, McCourty will be prepared, and that's all Jackson is concerned with at this point in the offseason.

"Obviously he's played corner in this league and had success — we're going to put our best guys out there," Jackson said Monday at the 18th annual Cleveland Browns Foundation golf tournament. "We know that he has some flexibility, there's some other things he can do, we'll also have some other guys that can do some things as well.

"Our job is to make sure we find the best four guys to put out there."

Jackson confessed the McCourty signing, which was made official last week, was in the works for a while. Though it came shortly after rookie cornerback Howard Wilson suffered a significant knee injury, the two events weren't related.

McCourty, who instantly became one of the most veteran players on Cleveland's young roster, brings a boatload of experience to a Browns secondary that includes seasoned players such as Taylor and Joe Haden but will also feature rookies or second-year players at key positions.

It's why veterans like Haden and wide receiver Kenny Britt, a former teammate of McCourty's at Rutgers and with the Tennessee Titans, played such an important role in luring him to Cleveland.

"He's my sparring partner. I texted him that it was good to have my sparring partner back," Britt said. "I come in and try to show the young guys I still got it, I can still run around with them. Jason is a smart guy and he's talented and I know he can be a good mentor for the team. He's a guy with so much passion on the field and off the field. He's one of the guys that motivates every single guy he touches."

Jackson said he'd eventually like McCourty to have a set spot in the Browns' defense. For now, he's trusting the veteran to study up and acclimate himself well into a group that is ready to welcome him with open arms.

"Right now, I just don't ever think you can have too many good secondary players regardless of what the position is," Jackson said. "We were very excited to add him to our football team, you can't not be excited about adding good players.

"I'd like for him to show that he's one of the best guys out there and then put him out there and let him play."

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