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Browns LB D'Qwell Jackson Is a Tackling Dynamo, but Is He Versatile Enough?

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IMay 24, 2010

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 04:  Daniel Coats #86 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball against D'Qwell Jackson #52 of the Cleveland Browns during their game at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Browns 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Said to be one of the best young and talented linebackers in the NFL after leading the league in tackles in 2008, Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson may get supplemented for not being versatile enough.

The defensive scheme that Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan runs is one that looks like chaos at times,  but the reality of the defense is that it is highly orchestrated and executed.

One of the biggest keys to Ryan properly running his scheme is having the right kind of linebackers who are very versatile and can play either inside or outside.

Jackson is just an inside linebacker due to his smaller size comparing him to the "standard" of NFL inside linebackers.

This puts Jackson at a disadvantage because the Browns are loaded with linebackers that can play both inside and outside.

Scott Fujita, David Bowens, Jason Trusnik, and Chris Gocong all are capable of switching from inside and outside like it is nothing and even 2009 rookies Kaluka Maiava and David Veikune saw some time both inside and outside last year.

Cleveland.com corroborates this and has reported several times that several linebackers including both Fujita and Gocong have been switching between positions at OTAs.

Jackson seems like he could be the out man out right now, and his no-show for everything this offseason (because he wants a long-term deal as promised by the old front office regime) is not helping his cause.

He may be a great on-field general and leader, but so are Fujita and Bowens, as both proved in 2009. Bowens played inside for the Browns after injures forced him to become the defensive leader and Fujita helped lead the Saints to a Super Bowl victory.

Another Cleveland.com report said that Jackson will retire as a Brown, but unless he can put aside his contract squabble for one more year, he may not get that chance to retire in an orange helmet.

Old regimes do make empty promises, especially when they get fired, so grab a pen and sign the one-year deal now in order to get on the field—then with a solid 2010 season you will get your long-term deal.

The one thing that Jackson does have going for him over versatility is that he is a tackling machine on Sundays and that alone could be more relevant.

(Article also posted on Dawg Scooper: THE Cleveland Browns Blog.)

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