When Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah began sliding toward the back half of the 2021 NFL Draft, Cleveland swooped in to stop his fall. The Browns already had a plan how to employ the do-it-all linebacker.
The rookie will get to test that plan right off the bat in Week 1 when the Browns face Kansas City and its boatload of weapons, including tight end Travis Kelce.
‘I’m definitely ready,” he said after Monday’s practice, via the Associated Press.
Owning the size, speed and coverage ability, the Browns view JOK as someone who can help slow pass-catching tight ends like Kelce, who ripped the Browns for 108 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions in Cleveland’s postseason loss to K.C. The Browns hope the rookie linebacker can provide at least a bit more resistance for the All-Pro tight end.
“A high-rated guy,” Owusu-Koramoah said of Kelce. “It is not foreign to me to have some type of matchup as such. Watched a lot of film and had to watch a lot of film to be able to be ready for a guy who is as talented as him.
“We will be ready. I will be ready. As a team, we are looking forward to game-planning correctly.”
JOK’s offseason hasn’t been seamless. He tested positive for COVID-19, and a gash on his head that required stitches kept him out for several practices and the club’s final preseason game. However, the rookie said that even though he missed on-field time, the mental reps will help him get off to a fast start.
“Same ordeal when I was in that COVID quarantine, same thing,” he said. “Doing everything that I can that’s off the field. I was still doing some individuals (drills) too, still running and doing things like that, making sure that I keep my stamina up.
“It wasn’t as big a setback as it may seem. We’ll be good.”
After watching Kelce explode on them during the postseason, the Browns hope their offseason changes on defense can help turn the tide among potential AFC powers. Owusu-Koramoah represents one of the most significant parts of that plan.
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