5 things we learned from Andrew Berry’s end-of-season press conference
2. Praise, optimism for the recruits
Berry had high hopes for his top two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, and it’s safe to say both have delivered in their respective productive rookie campaigns.
Rookie CB Greg Newsome II, the Browns first-round selection, struggled with a few injuries but definitely looked at the role as a starting cornerback in 12 games. LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, whom the Browns traded for selection midway through the second round, became an electric playmaker and finished second on the team with 76 tackles despite three games missed with an ankle injury .
“These two guys played well. They have grown over the season. There is still a lot of things that everyone can improve, ”said Berry. “We’ve obviously had this conversation with the two individuals as they enter the offseason. Happy new year rookie, but they’re heading out in the next few months with some focused areas they can work on so they can take a step. forward and be a big part of what helps us reach the playoffs in 2022. “
Berry also spoke about third-round progress WR Anthony Schwartz and fourth-round T James Hudson III, both of which were pushed into expanded roles down the home stretch. Berry was particularly complimentary of Hudson, who experienced a “baptism by fire” just a few years after moving from the defensive line to the offensive tackle.
“These guys now have the year under their belt in the NFL. Great conversations with both of them before they leave yesterday,” Berry said. “They are very focused and know the areas they need to improve, and we look forward to seeing the progress they can make when they return in the spring.”
Veteran DE Jadeveon Clowney ended his first season with the Browns with a flurry, collecting four sacks in the last two games to give him nine for the year.
Clowney’s disruption also went beyond the stat sheet, as he partnered well with All-Pro Myles Garrett, who set the Browns sack record in a single season with a career record. of 16. The much-vaunted duo have combined 25 of Cleveland’s 43 sacks.
The Browns have the next few months to deal exclusively with Clowney, who will be an unrestricted free agent in March, if they want to bring him back for the 2022 season.
“JD has had a really good season for us, has been very productive in passing and assists and a disruptive player,” said Berry. “He teamed up well with the other guys we had up front, obviously with Myles at the forefront. He had a good year. He did the things we envisioned when we signed him. . Have a good season. Fits in well for us. The in the coming weeks we will see what the future holds with all of our guys on the team. “