Gregg Williams making strong impression on Browns D: 'His mindset is what Cleveland needs'

One week into offseason workouts, the Browns have a good idea of what to expect under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

"His energy," cornerback Joe Haden said. "His energy is crazy. He definitely brings a different attitude."

Indeed, that's part of the reason why head coach Hue Jackson tapped the 27-year coaching veteran to help mold a young defense that finished 31st in total yards last season.

"He's very vocal and in your face," Haden said, "and I feel like we definitely need that. We need somebody that is going to keep everyone accountable."

That dynamic has been made crystal clear this past week, as the Browns players on Monday reunited with the coaching staff for the first time since the end of the season.

"He is an intense coach. You can tell that he wants to change the culture around here. I think he is the perfect fit," defensive lineman Danny Shelton said. "Just in his demeanor alone, you can tell that he is a serious guy. It is exciting to come to work and know that he is going to have a challenge for you every day. It's going to be a lot of work this year."

Williams, who spent the past three seasons with the Rams and won a Super Bowl in 2010 with the Saints, has assembled five top-five defenses -- including the league's best unit in 2000 -- using a fiery approach centered around accountability and attention to detail.

"I am a competition-aholic. It will be from practice to meetings to games. I love to compete," Williams said in January. "There are a lot of things here that we have to stir the emotions and stir the culture on being more competitive."

Jackson said Williams brings an edge to Cleveland's defense. "There's a certain aggressiveness. There's a certain toughness. There's a certain accountability that he expects from his players," he said last month at the NFL's Annual Meeting. "

"And he's gonna get that, we're gonna get that. That's what we're trying to accomplish."

Haden said Williams has challenged the leaders of the Browns defense, including Haden, Shelton and linebackers Christian Kirksey and Jamie Collins.

"He is definitely going at us. I feel like everyone is on the same slate," Haden said. "He tells us that we have been losing here for a reason, and he is here to change it. Just his passion and the way that he is coming at us, we have no choice but to turn up." Added Shelton: "I think his mindset is what Cleveland needs in order for us to change and turn around the program."​

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