Chris Kirksey moves to OLB, Jason McCourty could get look at free safety

Chris Kirksey will begin offseason practices with the Cleveland Browns at outside linebacker.

That means Kirksey will move from inside, where he played very well in 2016, to the weak side.

It's one of three positions that became less cloudy as the Browns take the field for the first time in offseason work on Tuesday.

"I played outside in college, so I'm pretty familiar with playing outside," Kirksey said Monday at the team's charity golf tournament. "Last year playing inside was a big year for me. I think I took some strides forward. But I'm adapted to any position they want to play me at, so I don't think I'm too frustrated at thinking about going to outside from inside."

Kirksey far and away led the Browns in tackles last season with 148. Demario Davis lined up next to him inside and finished second with 99.

But new coordinator Gregg Williams uses a 4-3 base, which means that someone had to shift. Given Kirksey's experience at Iowa and that he played some outside early in his career, he makes the move.

"A linebacker is a linebacker," he said. "You gotta be in a lot of positions to make a lot of plays. Gregg, he knows what he's doing on defense. He knows the best spot to put me. So I'll be ready to play wherever he wants me to play."

Two other positions came into more focus. It sounds like newly signed defensive back Jason McCourty eventually will get a look at free safety.

"He could play nickel, he could play corner, he could play safety," coach Hue Jackson said.

Jackson said Ed Reynolds would open OTAs as the starter at free safety, but the team would line up its best four in the secondary. Conceivably that could include Joe Haden and Jamar Taylor at cornerback and rookie Jabrill Peppers and McCourty at safety.

"I think he'll get an opportunity to do it once we determine that that's where he's needed," Jackson said of free safety.

The one position on offense that is unsettled is at right tackle. Joe Thomas said Shon Coleman "is probably the guy they're expecting to be out there starting."

Coleman was part of the 2016 draft class. He played sparingly as a rookie.

"I think he's got all the ability to to do it, but there's just a matter of him going out there and proving that he can," Thomas said. "Because he hasn't had a lot of NFL action yet and there is a difference between showing in practice that you can do it and being able to show in a game that you can. So I think the jury is still out, but he's definitely the favorite."