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'Happiest' he's ever been, Rahim Moore embracing fresh start, Browns lore

Ask Rahim Moore about the history of the Cleveland Browns and he'll recite a list of some of the franchise's greatest players as if he had to memorize them yesterday for a pop quiz.

"If you don't know your history," Moore said, "you won't be a part of it."

And for the former UCLA star, who joined the Browns in March as a free agent after one season with the Texans and four with the Broncos, coming to the shores of Lake Erie has been something of a fresh start under head coach Hue Jackson and a coaching staff he said makes football fun.

"I'm happy to be here, I really am. I'm not just saying that to say it. I really am. This is the happiest I've been and a lot of it has to do with coach Hue and the opportunity he's given everybody to play and the competition and overall infrastructure we're trying to build here," Moore said last month.

"We're trying to build an identity. He's very strict but at the same time he's fair and he levels with us. He gets the best out of his players, so I think he's the perfect man for this job and I'm excited to work for him."

Indeed, Moore finds himself a crowded defensive backs room as he competes for a roster spot and, potentially, significant playing time as he enters his sixth NFL season since being drafted in the second round in 2011.

Moore, who has notched 54 starts, 212 tackles, 22 passes defensed, nine interceptions, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and one sack over that span, said he's welcomed that competition in Berea with open arms.

"Everywhere you go it's competition. Whether it's on the team or out in the NFL, every day you come in this building, you better have your thinking caps on, you better be ready to play, because somebody's trying to take your spot, somebody's pushing you," he said.

"That's what makes sports and athletics so great because there's so much competition. You see guys at each position just battling. That's what it's about. If you can get everybody to compete every single day so when it's time to actually compete on Sundays, you have a better chance at winning. And the great teams compete, they practice hard, they play fast and they make plays."

A look at new Browns DB Rahim Moore over the years. (All photos by AP Images)

With just under a month until the Browns reconvene for training camp July 29, Moore said he's focused on bolstering his strengths as a player and shoring up weaknesses.

"That's what I'm doing in these OTAs and minicamps. And I think I've done a great job at it," he said. "The game is slowing down for me so I'm being a leader when I can, and leading by example. The chips are going to fall where they may, and the one thing about competition is the best players are going to play."

And trust that Moore is doing all he can to put himself in a position to do just that in Cleveland.

"I really feel like I found a home. And people thought, 'Oh, Cleveland?' But that's the thing, this is the NFL. People don't talk about the Cleveland back in the 90s and back in the 50s and guys like Eric Turner and Thom Darden and those guys, they came here and had great careers. You know? From guys like Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon, even back in the days of Don Paul," he said.

"It's a great tradition here, and I want to be a part of it."

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