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Training Camp

Cleveland Browns LB Scott Solomon's relentless practice habits paying off

Perhaps no player has embodied Mike Pettine's "words into action" mantra for the 2015 season better than Scott Solomon.

Really, Solomon's been following that path toward more and more meaningful repetitions ever since he joined the Browns in December 2014. His momentum hasn't slowed since OTAs and mini-camp, where he took most of the first-team repetitions on the opposite side of Paul Kruger while Barkevious Mingo recovered from shoulder surgery.

All the while, he's maintained a quiet, no-nonsense attitude about his individual prospects for the upcoming season.

"I am just trying to keep it up and keep it going," Solomon said. "I think I set a good edge and that is what I try to do every day. I am trying to work on my craft now."

Earlier this week, Browns coach Mike Pettine said he expected the battle for snaps at outside linebacker, a group that also includes second-round pick Nate Orchard and a platooning Armonty Bryant, to be one of the tightest competitions throughout training camp. Solomon's emergence, which dates back to his energizing performance Week 16 at Carolina, is one of the main reasons why the unit not only has a remade look entering 2015, but also why there's expected to be an increase in production.

Outside of Kruger's 11 sacks, only five others were credited to Browns outside linebackers in 2014. It's one of Solomon's top goals to change that ratio.

"I try to be a better player every day and every game and contribute to the defense," Solomon said. "Get some sacks. Make some plays and just do everything I can to help the defense."

Solomon's helped by being himself.

His voracious practice habits have been well-documented and continue to garner respect from his teammates and coaches. Through four days of training camp, Solomon has looked as fresh as he did when he peeled around the edge and dropped Carolina quarterback Cam Newton for the second sack of his NFL career.

This relentless approach to practices snugly fits into the original mantra Pettine and his staff introduced last year.

"He's really picked up where he left off from an effort and a mentality standpoint," Pettine said. "We talked about the 'Play Like a Brown' attributes, and he fits them all. What separates him this year where we feel like he's even better is that he's gone through a spring in our system. He's going through a training camp in our system.

"His knowledge base and experience in what we do is so much more this year. That's why we're very optimistic about Scott."

Solomon's optimism is similar.

The 26-year-old journeyman has bounced around the NFL since he was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. The former Rice standout played in 13 games as a rookie but saw the field in just nine over the past two seasons in stints with the New York Jets and Tampa Bay.

For a player who has gone through the waiver process more than a few times, Solomon understandably carries the "what if" in the back of his mind as he progresses through the best situation he's found since he entered the NFL. It just hasn't shaken the confidence he's built within a defense that has brought out the best in him.

"I feel like I have gotten better every year that I have played in the league, so it is definitely a progression for me," Solomon said. "With that comes experience and confidence, too."

Photos from Day 4 of Browns Training Camp

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