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Gregg Williams: Browns D full of players 'I wanted to draft'

New Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams estimates he watched five or six games of Cleveland's defense before hopping on a plane to Northeast Ohio to meet with head coach Hue Jackson and owner Jimmy Haslam.

And in the coming weeks and months, he'll have the chance to meet the group's members as they check in and out of the team's facility before offseason workouts.

"Then, in all honesty," Williams said, "I may not watch another clip and I don't care. Until I get a chance to be in the meeting room with them, talk, move around, get on the field with them, that is when the true evaluation is made."

Indeed, Williams is still trying to get a feel for a defense that finished 31st in total yards and points surrendered. But he'll also get the chance to get his hands on the like rising players like linebacker Christian Kirksey, defensive lineman Danny Shelton, cornerback Jamar Taylor, and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. He will, of course, also work with veterans in Joe Haden, Tramon Williams Sr., Desmond Bryant and potentially Jamie Collins, who is set to be a free agent this March.

"There are several guys on this defensive roster that I wanted to draft. Several," Williams said Thursday in a wide-ranging press conference. "And I don't know whether I'm going to like them, I don't know whether they're going to like me – I think they will, and I really do, and I care about every one of those guys."

Williams also of a "Cleveland-based" defense that'll play toward and accentuate the strengths of its personnel. He outlined what players and fans can expect under the guidance of the 26-year NFL veteran who helped New Orleans win a Super Bowl in 2010.

"There have been several guys that have stopped by already, and I told them I would not tell you who they are, but several guys have. There have been several guys that have called, but one of the things that I have done with all of them is [ask them] 'Who do you know on a team that I have recently coached?' Call, talk, get a scouting report on me. Find out," he said.

"The more you know, the less that we have to get clear when we get here, and some of them have done it already and they have already started talking to me or texting me about some of the funny things that have happened, some of the real fun, but they have all said, 'We understand coach about when we start OTAs about coming there with a mindset and coming there with being in shape and do not think we are going to get in shape at the end of offseason, we better come to offseason in shape,' and so it has been fun to see that. The best form of advertisement is the people that you are around all the time."

The Browns, who own the first and 12th overall picks and five of the top 65 selections in this year's draft, will also have the chance to add more talent to the roster. Williams said his charge is to get players to fulfill their potential.

"I have to butt their head up against the cap of what the genes say that they can do and can't do," he said.

"And how do I simplify their world and how do we go about doing things and how do we go about doing things here?"

Williams added: "I just want to help them. I really do. I am addicted every day to coming in to seeing if there is a way that we can get better today."

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