Lee Saw Ryan's Defense As Good Fit

No surprise inside linebacker Sean Lee came by Valley Ranch the minute Rob Ryan was hired in January, looking for some film on Ryan's 3-4 scheme with the Browns.

Two reasons: First, Lee's a gym rat. He loves football, almost to a fault. He admittedly has been too hard on himself at times. Second, he met Ryan and new linebackers coach Matt Eberflus at his Penn State pro day and came away impressed.

"That was one of the guys I said going into the draft, 'I want to play for this guy,'" Lee said Monday. "It just so happened it was down here. I knew when he was going to be coach, it was going to be really fun to play for him and really exciting."

So did Ryan's old film give him a head start before the lockout?

"It helped from a certain standpoint," Lee said with a grin, "but not as much as I thought it would just because there's so much defense."

Ask any defensive player about learning Ryan's scheme, and they'll tell you it takes reading and digesting overtime. Bradie James says he's carrying around three separate playbooks.

Lee is getting first-team reps next to James while Brooking recovers from a strained hamstring. Last year's second-round pick might not become a starter this year, but expect him to be on the field quite a bit. Health is key; he battled quad, hamstring and shoulder injuries as a rookie.

"My goal is to be part of the defense," Lee said. "But I know Brook and Bradie are going to a big part of the defense also. There are a lot of packages. Whatever role they have for me, I just want to maximize it."

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