There's a new regime in Cleveland, but linebacker Matt Roth doesn't seem to be on board.
"I feel the Browns are on the right track. But going into my seventh season, I want to play for a winner," the potential free agent told The Plain Dealer. "I do feel the Browns are right there. They've done a good job. I'm not sure what's going to happen."
When the Browns hired Pat Shurmur to replace fired coach Eric Mangini in January, Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator, announced he was leaving with one year left on his contract to join the Dallas Cowboys. Roth, who played defensive end in a 4-3 scheme in college at Iowa before converting to linebacker in a 3-4, didn't sound enthused about switching back under new coordinator Dick Jauron, who told the Chronicle-Telegram that he wants to run a "very aggressive" 4-3 defense.
"I challenge you to (find) one player who wouldn't run through a wall for him (Ryan)," Roth told The Plain Dealer. "I love playing that style. I know Dick Jauron's a good coach, but I don't want to have to deal with no nonsense. Just want to come in and play, do my job and have fun. That's a big factor in wherever I go."
Roth played in all 16 games for the Browns last season, registering 3½ sacks and a career-high 86 tackles. Much like Ryan, Roth had complimentary things to say about his former coach.
"I think Mangini was a great coach," Roth said. "I don't think anyone ever quit in either of those years (the Browns' back-to-back 5-11 seasons). We beat up on some pretty damn good teams. We didn't have an easy schedule."
Roth also said youth played a large part in the team's record, saying "if we could have added a veteran to that mix and (gotten) those wide receivers going, I think we could have won at least eight games, easily."
Fullback Lawrence Vickers, also a potential free agent, recently alluded to his time in Cleveland being over as well, saying he understands business but hopes "I don't have to come to Cleveland in a different uniform, because it's gonna be bad (for the Browns)."