Join Date: Jan 2010
Section: Fort Kickass
Browns LB Fujita Discusses New 4-3 Scheme and Preperations
My second favorite team after the Texans is the Cleveland Browns. So I like to keep up with them here and there by reading the local papers online and some Browns forums. Found this article interesting given comments that were made about Rick Smith in regard to the one day the lockout was lifted. I don't recall if they confirmed that Demeco or Cushing got a playbook yet, but Fujita says he did and has shared it with teammates. Seems kind of stupid that they only have 1 playbook among the players. Anyways, I thought this was an interesting read.
AUSTIN, Texas -- New Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron will happy to know that getting a defensive playbook into the hands of linebacker Scott Fujita on the one day the lockout was lifted was well worth it.
"Based on what we did this weekend and what we have, we could play a game next week if we had to," said Fujita on Tuesday's conclusion of Camp Colt IV. "It's not an ideal situation, but it's basic enough where we can just go play."
Fujita has been to the Browns' new 4-3 defense what Colt McCoy has been to the new West Coast offense: a player-coach. On the one day this off-season that players were permitted to receive coaching materials, Fujita called a friend in Cleveland who went to the Browns facility in Berea to pick up an abbreviated version of the defensive playbook.
"I then came into town a couple of days later for a charity event and got my hands on it," he said. "It was important to get it because it's a whole new defense for us. Some guys on this team have played in the 3-4 their entire careers, so it's definitely a transition."
Over the past several months, Fujita -- a member of the NFL Players Executive Council -- has alternated between keeping players informed on the lockout and his defensive teammates apprised of the new 4-3 scheme.
"At times, it can be a burden to have the one and only playbook, but it was important for one of us to have it," he said. "We're all just trying to make the best of a crappy situation."
During this camp, the first one that included defensive players, Fujita was able to put some of the new scheme up on the chalkboard and on the field. He also enlisted the help of cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong, who ran the same scheme in Philadelphia.
"It's one thing to talk to guys on the phone and tell them what to expect in the transition, but to actually get in and draw it up on the board for the first time and pass out some materials, it was invaluable," he said. "With me, Sheldon and Chris, we were able to put our heads together and say 'this is how it will play out.' At one point we were going through some of our coverages and someone had a question and Chris immediately jumped up on the board and said this is how you do it, this is a possible check."
Fujita said he sent a playbook to fellow linebacker D'Qwell Jackson just a few weeks ago, who dug right in.
"He came in and he already knows it from front to back, so it just makes it so much easier," said Fujita, who predicts Jackson will shine in the new front.
"I think a system like this is tailor-made for a guy with his skill set, his body type," said Fujita. "It lets guys just play fast. I'm talking about the hybrid Eagles/Chicago Bears defense. That's the kind of system I think [Jackson] was born to play in because his range sideline-to-sideline is so good.
"He doesn't have to two-gap and take on offensive guards who outweigh him by 120 pounds sometimes. He's going to have a chance to use his athleticism, run around, avoid blocks, shoot gaps, and make way more plays than he's ever made before -- and he's already a tackling machine."