BEREA, Ohio -- New Cleveland Browns inside linebacker Karlos Dansby is a man on a mission, a mission to make everyone playing around him better and to turn the team into a winning franchise.
And after last season with the Arizona Cardinals, Dansby knows a little bit about both tasks he has assigned to himself after signing a four-year, $24 million contract with the Browns last Wednesday.
"It's a new era," Dansby said at an introductory press conference. "It's a new day, and I was chosen. I'm coming on a mission, and that's to win. That's all I know how to do, win.
"(I have) to just try and raise the play of the guys around me. That's what I've been able to do everywhere I've been over my career. That's what I'm known for, and if I'm able to do that, then, I'm able to have a lot of success as well."
Dansby comes to Cleveland after what he considers to be the best of his 11-year NFL career.
In his second go-around with the Cardinals, Dansby started all 16 games for a team that went 10-6 in the same NFC West Division that produced the Super Bowl champions (Seattle Seahawks), as well as the other NFC Championship Game participant (San Francisco 49ers), and narrowly missed the postseason.
He registered 122 total tackles, including 114 solo stops, 6.5 sacks, 19 defended passes and four interceptions in his return to Arizona. The 114 solo tackles, 19 passes defended and four interceptions, along with two defensive touchdowns, were career bests, while the 6.5 sacks were the second-highest single-season total of his career.
"Last year was definitely my best year in the NFL, by far," Dansby said. "I was able to raise the play of the guys around me, and it gave me the opportunity to play at the level that I needed to play at. I feel like it's going to be the same type of situation (here).
"The Browns have a strong front, D-line, and we've got the hard-hitter on the back end (safety Donte Whitner) just to ensure everything over the top. We keep adding pieces and I think we're going to do something real special this season. I didn't have any choice. I had to come."
While Dansby had a successful season in 2013 in his return to Arizona after a three-year stint with the Miami Dolphins from 2010 to 2012, he believes his best football is still ahead of him.
"I think I might double my output here just by the positioning in this scheme," Dansby said. "I think it's one of the better schemes in the NFL. I'm on a mission. I'm on a mission to try to be the best player in the league, and that's the mission I was on last season. I came close. I came real close.
"Playing in a tough division in the NFL, if you get a chance to dominate at that position, it says a lot about you as a person, as a character, as a player. In the process of doing that, you're raising the play of the guys around you. It says you're a special person, a special player as well. I'm trying to double my output here, make the guys around me better, try to win a lot of ball games and try to be one of the best teams in the NFL."