Grading the Browns linebacker room heading into the 2023 season

The Cleveland Browns linebackers come into the season with a lot to prove and some injuries to shake off

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Browns reserve Linebackers: Grade C

The depth in this unit will be what determines the room's production this season. Although injuries were a major challenge in the 2022 season, they are bound to happen, and the unit needs to have sufficient depth to withstand those injuries. Behind Owusu-Koramoah and Walker, Jacob Phillips, Tony Fields, and Matthew Adams are expected to start the year if Takitaki is unavailable.

Jordan Kunaszyk was released and re-signed this offseason but is primarily expected to contribute on special teams.

The way last season unfolded created a golden opportunity for Phillips to step up and establish his role on this team. Phillips was even entrusted with the green-dot duties for games when Walker was sidelined.

However, his season was cut short after just seven games due to a pectoral injury. His multiple injuries have played a part in his underwhelming performance thus far, despite showing glimpses of potential at times. Putting together a healthy season could greatly contribute to his development.

Takitaki has been a reliable second-string linebacker throughout his tenure with the Browns, and hopefully, he can regain his health in time to provide depth. Tony Fields was the only linebacker on the team to play in all 17 games last year, although he primarily saw action on special teams.

Matthew Adams had a solid season with the Chicago Bears last year but is also predominantly used on special teams. The effectiveness of the second unit heavily relies on Takitaki's health and improved performance from Jacob Phillips.

Overall, the Browns' linebackers are a talented unit that is in desperate need of health and consistency. Although the starters may not include perennial All-Pro players, their skills and understanding of the game can greatly enhance the performance of the front seven compared to the previous year, provided they can stay on the field.

With healthy linebackers and the addition of new players on the defensive line, the Browns' defense as a whole could see significant improvement.

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