Notorious defensive coordinator Gregg Williams speaks loudly and carries a big stick. In his first weeks with the Cleveland Browns, the fiery assistant has already made a positive change in his players’ attitude.
Former first-round pick Joe Haden said he’s been confronted and challenged by Williams early in offseason workouts.
“His energy’s crazy,” Haden said Tuesday, via Cleveland.com. “He definitely brings a different attitude. He’s very, very vocal, in your face and I feel like we definitely need that.”
Haden said when first meeting with Williams, the coordinator told him had he not played through injury last season Williams would have told team brass to cut the corner.
While that sort of revelation could lead to grimaces from agents and the media, Haden said Williams’ upfront attitude, accountability, and toughness was missing in Cleveland, especially when it comes to the star players.
“We need somebody that’s going to keep everybody accountable,” Haden said. “Me, (linebacker Chris) Kirksey, (linebacker Jamie) Collins, (defensive tackle) Danny (Shelton), he’s definitely going at us.”
Haden added: “It’s a shock, but that’s what we need. We need somebody that’s going to switch it up, change it up, tell us something, cuss us out, scream at us, let us know that we’re sorry right now and we’ve got to be better.”
Haden wasn’t the only player noting the Browns needed the brand of toughness Williams brings to the table.
“I think we did need that,” Shelton said. “I think that his mindset is what Cleveland needs in order for us to change and turn around the program … He’s an intense coach and you can tell that he wants to change the culture around here.”
It’s all well and good for Williams to improve the mindset in a Browns defense that was one of the worst units in the NFL last season. What Cleveland really needs is talent on defense. Next week’s draft in Philadelphia should bring in more than a few players for Williams to deploy in hopes they can be difference makers in Year 1.