Mack Wilson learning from Anthony Walker and getting first-team reps.
Mack Wilson has not been the most popular player in the Cleveland Browns‘ organization, at least as far as the fans have been concerned. He had an up-and-down rookie year, but one that showed promise, even if it wasn’t the most productive according to Pro Football Focus. His second year in the NFL, however, was a mitigated disaster and saw him get benched a few times during games.
His future was in doubt after Jacob Phillips started to play better near the end of his rookie campaign, and the team then went out and signed Anthony Walker. With Joe Woods’ defense utilizing five defensive backs for a majority of defensive sets, there wasn’t a lot of hope that Wilson would make the team, let alone end up as a starter.
That seems to be something Wilson was cognitively aware of, as he’s been working directly with Walker since camp opened.
According to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, Wilson is doing good in camp so far and even has Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski praising his effort.
"He’s working really, really hard. He had a great offseason. Both physically and mentally what he did within the scheme, I thought he did a nice job. …Mack is doing a nice job."
Mack Wilson succeeding is only good news for the Browns
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The Browns have made moves to improve their defense but the team is in a holding pattern to see if those improvements are in fact that. The team acquired two-hybrid linebacker/safeties in the draft with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Tony Fields II, while bringing in the aforementioned Walker. That doesn’t mean the linebackers are all of a sudden fixed.
With Walker, Owusu-Koramoah, Fields, Wilson, and last year’s returning starter Sione Takitaki, the Browns have a lot of options to wade through but none have guaranteed themselves a spot just yet. Even Walker, a “big” free agent, only signed a one-year deal due to his perceived limitations defensively.
If Wilson can improve leaps and bounds, then the Browns will only be better for it.