BEREA, Ohio (AP) -Mel Tucker, Cleveland's defensive backs coach the past three seasons, is the club's new defensive coordinator, replacing Todd Grantham, who was fired by the Browns on Friday.
Tucker inherits a defense that could look radically different at the start of the 2008 season. The Browns are expected to focus on fixing their defense during free agency and in the draft.
Cleveland's defense was among the NFL's poorest in 2007. The Browns finished the season ranked 30th in overall defense, allowing 5,753 yards - fifth most in club history - and 382 points.
Still, Grantham's dismissal was a surprise since the unit showed improvement down the stretch, and it was Cleveland's offense, not the defense, which failed to deliver in a crucial loss at Cincinnati on Dec. 23 than ended up costing the Browns a playoff spot.
A Cleveland native, Tucker was an assistant defensive coach at Ohio State from 2001-04 before joining Romeo Crennel's staff in Cleveland.
In his first year, the Browns ranked fourth in the league in pass defense. In 2006, Cleveland's secondary was ravaged by injuries but managed to rank 15th despite the loss of starters Gary Baxter and Daylon McCutcheon to injuries.
The Browns had trouble defending the pass this past season, allowing 29 TD passes. But Cleveland's secondary continued to get better with rookie cornerback Eric Wright, cornerback Leigh Bodden and safety Sean Jones, in particular, showing future promise.
Tucker was also an assistant coach at LSU and Miami of Ohio. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State in 1997.

Recent NFL Discussions

Super Bowl 51 Betting News and Notes on Mon, Jan 2017 by Blade
Books survive Title 'chalk' on Mon, Jan 2017 by Blade
NFL / NBA .. Timmy learns no lessons on Mon, Jan 2017 by sharkey11
2nd Half pitt/ ne on Sun, Jan 2017 by JBoppa
2nd half on Sun, Jan 2017 by JBoppa

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail SBLI: Patriots favored over Falcons Following their victory in the AFC title game, the Patriots have opened as small favorites over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Game Prediction Are the Steelers a good bet to cover versus the Patriots in tonight's AFC Championship Game at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail AFC Title Spread Holding Steady Kickoff of tonight's AFC Championship Game is set for 6:40PM ET between the Steelers and Patriots. Where is the point spread currently?
Thumbnail Public Bettors backing Patriots Are public bettors backing Tom Brady and the Patriots today in the AFC Championship Game, or the underdog Steelers at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail NFC Title First Player to Score Pick Who will score the first touchdown in the NFC Championship Game today at 3:05PM ET? Let's take a look at the odds first.

NFL Team Pages