Danny Shelton likes to keep himself on his toes when he's away from the football field, and his summer vacation plans provide the latest evidence.
Over the next couple of weeks, Cleveland's third-year defensive tackle will be across the globe in Samoa for multiple reasons. Though the headlining event is a much anticipated family reunion, Shelton will be putting in plenty of work with Pene Talamaivao, a former NFL defensive lineman with whom Shelton has worked in the past.
"I think it's going to be awesome because just being out with the family and being in a different environment and training out there, it will help me focus in more," Shelton said. "Being in an uncomfortable place and trying to train football-wise is going to be different. I'm excited for what I have planned."
Talamaivao played nine years of professional football, including stints with the Bills and Chargers. He's currently a defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at Riverside City College in California.
The sessions, Shelton said, will be position-focused, as he looks to build off a big 2016 season in a new spot of sorts in Cleveland's revamped, four-man front.
"I feel awesome right now," Shelton said. "We still have a lot of time left before training camp comes. I feel great about what the coaches did with the draft and I feel great about how our offseason program has been going. So I'm excited."
After two seasons of lining up as a true nose guard in the Browns' 3-4 scheme, Shelton spent OTAs in the middle of a four-man front that featured pass rushers such as Emmanuel Ogbah and Cam Johnson on the ends -- rookie Myles Garrett worked with the third team -- and fellow third-year player Xavier Cooper to his right as another tackle.
Defensive line coach Clyde Simmons said Shelton is being cross-trained at multiple positions just like every player on the defense, so he'll be able to work next to either the left or right end in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme.
"Danny's had a good camp," Simmons said. "He's buying into what we're trying to teach and he's motivated to be the best he can be. I think he's going to be pretty good.
"He just has to be more dominant in all of his stuff. He's starting to show it in practice. We want to get to a point where we have a guy like Danny Shelton, he's got to demand double teams and that's where we want to get him."
Shelton said his adjusted role in Cleveland's 4-3 allows him to play "more aggressively and violently," and that excites him. After an up and down rookie season, Shelton was a consistent presence in opposing backfields and mentioned by his teammates and coaches as worthy of a Pro Bowl invitation.
In a flash, Shelton has gone from a rookie to one of his unit's eldest statesmen, and he's embracing the change in roles.
"For me, I'm at the point where I'm a veteran and I need to do something about this and if we're going to change, it's going to start with the D-line," Shelton said. "I'm excited with what we have in the room."