Skrine welcomes all challengers

BEREA, Ohio -- The more cornerbacks the Cleveland Browns acquire through free agency or the NFL Draft, the more fourth-year pro Buster Skrine embraces the opportunity to compete for playing time.

Rather than lose confidence in his abilities, the former University of Tennessee-Chattanooga star wants to prove he belongs on the outside of the defense at the cornerback spot opposite Pro Bowler Joe Haden.

"Do I feel it's my job to lose? Definitely," Skrine said after Wednesday's mini-camp practice in Berea. "I'm not thinking about losing it, but I feel it's my job. Every year, they bring in a corner, and I feel like I'm holding my ground.

"Getting all the corner reps, I definitely look at it as my job. In this defense, you play a lot of DBs, so really, the nickel plays a lot of plays. The X plays a lot of plays. It's just a different type of defense. Everybody plays.

"I mainly get first-team corner reps, and I go in the slot some plays depending on what the call is."

Earlier this offseason, the Browns selected cornerbacks Justin Gilbert and Pierre Desir in the 2014 NFL Draft, and those choices came on the heels of signing Isaiah Trufant in the first few hours of the new league year.

Prior to the final week of organized team activities, the Browns signed veteran cornerback Aaron Berry to compete for playing time.

"I just come to work every day, work hard, do what I need to do," Skrine said. "Everything's already pre-determined, so I pretty much come to work, do my job and hope for the best. I don't worry about (anything).

"It's a lot of competition, but it helps everybody."

Skrine comes into the 2014 regular season after a productive year in 2013.

Skrine started 15 games and played in all 16 for the Browns last fall, and registered 65 total tackles, including 55 solo stops, 10 assists, and one sack. He also defended a personal-best 18 passes, and intercepted another, which he returned for five yards.

That production came on the heels of Skrine's 85-tackle season in 2013, a year in which he collected 72 solo stops and defended 11 passes.

"I feel like I was more productive last year, got my hands on a lot of balls," Skrine said. "I learned a lot, and I'm just looking to get better this year."


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