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Courtney Brown 1-on-1

Top pick of the Browns looking forward to helping team

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Posted: Sunday April 16, 2000 04:57 PM

  Courtney Brown Courtney Brown isn't afraid to take on a leadership role in the Browns' defense.

Courtney Brown was the first defensive lineman to be taken No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft since the Bengals chose Dan Wilkinson in 1994. The Cleveland Browns had an NFL-low 25 sacks last season, and they made no bones about the fact that they wanted to improve that defense. They wasted no time in selecting Brown with the No. 1 pick of the 2000 NFL Draft.'s Mark Morgan caught up with Brown after the draft Saturday.

Mark Morgan: Courtney, a lot of very talented players could've gone No. 1 -- your teammate at Penn State, LaVar Arrington, and Peter Warrick, his name was bandied about -- is there a sense of pride that among all those talented guys, you were selected No. 1?

Courtney Brown: Well, I'm just very thankful that I was the first player picked, and I'm thankful to go to Cleveland. Like you said, there are a lot of talented young men in the draft that could've gone No. 1, and I'm just thankful that I was the one picked.

Morgan: Now, the Browns did the same thing with you that they did with their No. 1 pick last year, Tim Couch -- working in the last 24 to 36 hours to hammer out a deal -- how quickly did that process come together, and when did you officially sign a contract?

Brown: Well, we had a meeting this morning and agreed on a contract, and after this morning, it was a done deal. We just wanted to wait until the draft and let it play out, and here we are.

Morgan: Always with the top picks in the NFL Draft the inevitable comparisons come. You've heard them -- the one with you is who? Bruce Smith. Do you welcome that, or do you say, "You know what, just let me be me and not worry about that"?

Brown: Well I'm honored to be mentioned in the same breath as Bruce Smith, but he's been in the league for a long time and played a lot of year, and I'm just getting started. I haven't played one down of football in the NFL yet. So he's there and I've got a long ways to go.

Morgan: Last year, as we said, the Browns took Tim Couch and made him the cornerstone of that offense. They did the same thing with you this year, as the cornerstone of a defense that obviously needs a lot of help as an expansion club -- how much pride does it have that they are putting that pressure on you, and do you see that as pressure?

Brown: Well, like I said, there are a lot of responsibilities that come with being the first player picked. It comes with the territory. I just have to go out there and do my best to help the team as much as possible and I'm looking forward to it.

Morgan: Congratulations and good luck.

Brown: Thank you.

Related information
SI's King: Cleveland agrees to terms with Brown
Browns take Penn State DE Courtney Brown with first pick
Browns thrilled to get Penn State's Brown to lead their defense Draft Day Diary: Redskins' Chris Samuels Draft Day Diary: Wake Forest's Fred Robbins
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