Browns planning “open competition” for linebacker spots

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The Browns have a new head coach, new defensive coordinator and they’re going to have a new look at linebacker this season.

Joe Schobert left for the Jaguars as a free agent and Christian Kirksey was released, which leaves Mack Wilson as the only returning linebacker who played more than 10 percent of the defensive snaps last season. Wilson looks to be a good bet for one starting job, but linebackers coach Jason Tarver says the team isn’t determining anything before seeing the players on the field.

“It’s an open competition,” Tarver said, via Scott Petrak of “All of our guys have a chance. It’s open. That’s what’s exciting. . . . A lot of our linebacker positioning is interchangeable. They’re all going to have to do certain things. We’re going to rush them, we’re going to drop them. They’re all going to have to be in situations and do similar movements. A lot of that is to be determined. In our room there’s great competition.”

Sione Takitaki played 105 snaps as a rookie last year while Tae Davis and Willie Harvey return after playing on special teams. The Browns also drafted Jacob Phillips in the third round and signed B.J. Goodson as a free agent. There’s been some talk about adding to that group, but Tarver said “we do think we have the pieces” to run coordinator Joe Woods’ defense.