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Senior Bowl gives retooled Browns staff jumpstart on building chemistry

Browns coach Hue Jackson spent the past week leading the Senior Bowl's South roster. He also didn't miss any chances to playfully jab at his newly appointed defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, during intrasquad scrimmages in practice.

So when Jackson was asked of that dynamic last Tuesday, he chuckled.

"I can tell it's going to be exciting. Every day. It's going to be a lot of fun," he told reporters.

"He's very competitive like I am and I think that's what good teams have. They have guys that compete. We compete against each other which ramps up practice a lot, the players compete, and we've just got to continue to do that. He's one of the best there is, I know that, that's why we brought him here."

This time in Mobile, Alabama, also served as something of an opportunity for Cleveland's retooled coaching staff to get to know each other before offseason workouts in March.

In addition to Williams, the Browns earlier this month tapped five new assistants in Jerod Kruse (assistant defensive backs), Clyde Simmons (defensive line), DeWayne Walker (defensive backs), Blake Williams (linebackers) and Bob Wylie (offensive line).

"Anytime there's new coaches that come aboard, it's like going to school again for the first day, you're meeting new classmates, how do they do things, what do they like to do, what's the best way to communicate," special teams coordinator Chris Tabor said, "and I think it's given our staff an opportunity to go through those things, to see how the defensive staff communicates with their players, communicates with you and it's been a really good first starting point."

Indeed, Jackson said there wasn't much of a learning curve needed to be had for Williams, a 26-year NFL veteran who worked closely with Jackson while bringing in those new faces, and getting on the same page.

"He's outstanding that way. This guy has seen so much football there's nothing I'm going to surprise him with or being to the the table as far as schedule or anything like that," Jackson said,

"This is the Senior Bowl and it's a chance for us to get out here but me and him, we have a lot of work to do between now and getting our team back and getting our team to where it needs to be."

Now, as the Browns prepare for the league's annual combine in a month, they'll have time to continue to feel each other out.

"We've had a lot of meetings, we've had a lot of this is how we do this is how were going to go about it," Jackson said.

"A lot these guys are not new to me … (the ones who are will) get to know my style, I'll get to know theirs. But I think we all understand what we're trying to do."

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