Dansby, Whitner aim to be Browns' bruisers

There was no shortage of bravado as the Cleveland Browns introduced the three new members of their defense on Wednesday.

Donte Whitner, Karlos Dansby and Isaiah Trufant were sincere and upbeat about joining the Browns, which is a positive. But there’s nothing that stirs the souls of Browns fans more than free-agent signings and draft picks. At least there won’t be until the Browns win. And Whitner, Dansby and Trufant all believe they can be the guys to change the vibe.

“You really have to change the culture,” Whitner said. “You have to change the mindset and you have to change the feel within the locker room.”

Dansby, an inside linebacker, said his forte is “raising the play of the guys around me.”

“That’s what I’ve been able to do everywhere I’ve been over my career,” he added. “That’s what I am known for. ... If I’m able to do that, then I have a lot of success as well.”

Dansby said he’s on a mission to be the best player in the league, and he came close last season. He added all he knows “how to do is win” and he believes he can double his numbers from 2013, which he called the best season of his career.

“Playing at the toughest position in the NFL, and you get a chance to dominate at that position, it says a lot about you as a person, as character, and as a player,” Dansby said.

Whitner talked about coming home; he played at Glenville High School in inner city Cleveland, and has family and two children in town. He also talked about his high hopes for the 2014 Browns, saying he and Dansby believe they can contribute to a dominant defense.

“That’s what we believe,” Whitner said. “That’s why we teamed up together.”

He said the key to defense is understanding the scheme, then playing physical. As he said, “Somebody is going to get hit.”

“Are you a defense that is feared by offenses around the National Football League?” he asked.