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News & Notes: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah played 'fast' in starting role

Cleveland’s 2nd-round rookie started in place of Sione Takitaki in Sunday’s win over the Bears

Kevin Stefanski hadn't had time to review the tape when he fielded questions shortly after the Browns' 26-6 win over the Bears. It'd been less than 15 minutes since the final whistle, after all.

So when he was asked about the performance of rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the Browns coach had to base his answer on what he thought he'd seen.

"I would have to look at it," Stefanski said, "but I am going to guess he was running around making plays."

Stefanski's review of the game confirmed it. Owusu-Koramoah, who started in place of an injured Sione Takitaki, was "fast" and disruptive in his 23 snaps of work, a performance that included his first career sack — albeit a half of one — two passes defensed and four tackles.

"I thought he played fast," Stefanski said. "I really thought his ball disruption was really good. We didn't take the ball away yesterday but we had a bunch of passes defended. JOK, in particular, on some balls to the running backs, he was able to get his arm on the ball, so I thought he did a nice job there."

Owusu-Koramoah has been eased into the Browns' defensive plans by design. 

Defensive coordinator Joe Woods has said he doesn't want to put too much on his plate because he doesn't want the second-round pick out of Notre Dame to play slow. Ultimately, Woods wanted to protect Owusu-Koramoah "from himself."

Injuries within the linebacking corps — first to Anthony Walker and then to Takitaki — have taken a toll on the unit's depth. On Sunday, Owusu-Koramoah played the second-most snaps of any Browns linebacker, trailing just Malcolm Smith.

Owusu-Koramoah said he liked how he performed Sunday and expects to be even better in future games.

"I felt like I played good on my snaps," Owusu-Koramoah said. "It's always good to get more of a feel for the game. As it slows down and as I prepare more, it will get better hopefully."

Greedy At The Ready

Stefanski didn't have an update on rookie CB Greg Newsome II, who exited Sunday's game in the fourth quarter with a calf injury, but lauded the recent work of Greedy Williams, who would step in for Newsome if he needed to miss some time.

Williams, a 2019 second-round pick who started 12 games as a rookie, played the final eight snaps of Sunday's game in place of Newsome. He also played a number of snaps on special teams, an area at which he's made his biggest impression since missing all of 2020 with a shoulder injury.

"He would definitely be ready if need be," Stefanski said. "Greedy was outstanding yesterday on special teams. Greedy, Troy (Hill), Grant Delpit, A.J. Green were outstanding."

Newsome, who has impressed in his first three NFL starts, underwent an MRI on Monday. Stefanski said he hadn't yet seen the results but would provide a full update Wednesday.

New Range For McLaughlin?

K Chase McLaughlin had room to spare on his 57-yard field goal in Sunday's second quarter. He also made a 52-yarder with more than enough distance in his best game as an NFL kicker.

Asked if he would re-evaluate McLaughlin's potential range, Stefanski said it's a week-by-week decision.

"One of his strengths is his leg strength," Stefanski said. "When you go and play in a dome like we are this week, you go through pre-game and you see where the number is. (Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer) and I talk, and I know the yard line we got to get to to feel good about it and I know the yard line we've got to get to where we're going to have to make a decision.

"Prief was confident in that moment. The kid is confident. We'll see how it goes by the conditions."

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