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Damon Hack
September 05, 2011
SCOTT FUJITA, Linebacker
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September 05, 2011


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SCOTT FUJITA, Linebacker

The Browns have swapped out defensive coordinators and schemes, bringing in Dick Jauron's 4--3 to replace the 3--4 of Rob Ryan. For help during the transition Jauron can rely on 10th-year outside linebacker Scott Fujita; among Cleveland's position players only cornerback Sheldon Brown has as long an NFL tenure. "I've had friends play for [Jauron], and they have so much respect for him as a man and as a coach," Fujita says of his new coordinator. "His reputation precedes the work he's done with us. Now it's just confirming everything I thought I knew about him."

Fujita missed the last seven games of 2010 with an undisclosed left knee injury but is back at full strength. In July he took it upon himself to get his unit up to speed on the new scheme, leading defensive workouts at Camp Colt in Austin and introducing younger players to Jauron's system. In the 4--3, Fujita will relish some added freedom. "When you look at this [scheme], you can compare it to the Philly, Chicago, Tampa Two style defenses," says the 6'5", 250-pound Fujita, who started for the Super Bowl champion Saints in 2009. "It's kind of a hybrid of those three. It lets athletes make a lot of plays. We were in a 3--4 last year with so many checks on a play-by-play basis that it was mentally exhausting. This year you line up, you might have a check or two, but for the most part it lets guys play fast."