Terrance Mitchell was promoted to the first-team defense Wednesday after an impressive first week of training camp. While that might have been a surprising development to some, it was no big deal for one of the Browns' new cornerbacks.
After all, Mitchell — who signed with Cleveland in free agency this past spring — is coming off a breakout campaign in Kansas City, where he finished with four interceptions and a whopping 18 pass breakups in nine starts.
Even so, the fourth-year veteran has been overshadowed in a secondary full of new faces. The Browns overhauled the back end of their defense this offseason, signing vets like Mitchell, former Raiders starter T.J. Carrie and former Bills starter E.J. Gaines. A month or so later, they tabbed former Ohio State star cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth-overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Lost in those headlines was Mitchell, who looks poised to start opposite of Ward in the team's first intrasquad scrimmage since opening camp. But first and foremost, he made clear he's here to contribute in any way possible.
"I came here to Cleveland and I've been blessed to play for this great organization. If the opportunity is there to do that, I am going to do my best job in helping us win games," he said. "I'm here to just do my job, make my plays when the plays come. I really believe with the system we have here, opportunities will be there."
Don't conflate that team-first approach for a lack of confidence, though. Mitchell described himself as a playmaker who enjoys to take the ball away from the other team. And for a team that finished second-to-last in interceptions a year ago, that particular skill set is a valuable one.
"In order to be a great defense, you gotta take the ball away," he said. "I like to play press man and be in your face and stop the opposing receiver."
The Browns are Mitchell's fifth team since Dallas selected him out of Oregon in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In his first two seasons, he spent time with the Cowboys, Bears and Houston Texans before then-Chiefs general manager and current Browns top man John Dorsey added him to the roster in 2016.
Mitchell said he's grown on and off the field at each stop. "I look at it as more of a positive thing. I meet a lot of players and I know a lot of people around the NFL," he said. "It's not too much of a difference for me.""Sometimes, in the media, they don't really know me," he said with a smile.
Though he's running with the first-team defense right now, Mitchell said now is hardly the time to sit back and rest.
"Every day is an opportunity to establish yourself and things like that," he said. "It's a long season and we are still real early. A lot of things can happen still."