Coming out of Florida State, Kamerion Wimbley was drafted No. 13 in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft. The Cleveland Browns had high hopes that Wimbley could be the pass rusher that they have not had in many years.
During his rookie season, Wimbley achieved that status of being one of the new and exciting linebackers in the league by getting to the opposing quarterbacks and sacking them 11 times.
Then after his promising rookie campaign, Wimbley hit the wall, and it was a very big wall. He only registered nine total sacks in 2007 and 2008 combined.
Many experts said that Wimbley's ineffectiveness was due to his inability to develop more than one move when he got off the line at the snap of the ball.
There could have been many different variables in Wimbley's decline since his rookie year, but the most notable was the inability of former head coach and former defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel's use of Wimbley on game day.
Now a new coaching staff is in place, and Eric Mangini knows he has something special in Wimbley.
Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan have seemed to unlock Wimbley's potential so far during Training Camp and pre-season, by using him not just as a pass rush specialist, but as an overall defensive presence on the field.
Wimbley's performance through three pre-season games has been very interesting since he has been lining up as a outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and on the defensive line (he used to be a defensive end at Florida State).
There were even several moments during Training Camp when Wimbley lined up as a tight end in goal line drills just like Mike Vrabel did when he was with the Patriots.
Wimbley's stats in three preseason games so far are:
vs. Green Bay - four tackles
vs. Detroit – 6 tackles (led the team)
vs. Tennessee – four tackles, one sack, and one QB hit.
Clearly, Mangini and Ryan know how to get the most out of Wimbley's skill set, and it looks like Wimbley will be lining up all over the field to throw off opposing offenses as Mangini has promised when camp began.
Even if Wimbley does not manage to lead the Browns in sacks in 2009, he will make a name for himself once again due to his versatility on the field.
(Article originally posted on Dawg Scooper: An Unofficial Cleveland Browns News Source)