Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 10/3/12

One of the nicer stories in an otherwise disappointing year so far for the Browns has been the defensive line. Much-maligned John Hughes and surprising late-rounder Billy Winn have been surprisingly good filling in for Phil Taylor. While it is a nice story, there’s no doubt that it would be an even better one if they were coming in to spell Taylor rather than filling in for him completely due to a torn pec sustained lifting weights this off-season. He’s getting closer and is eager to play, but he and the Browns also seem to be eager not to rush.

“I want to get back, but I’m not going to push it,” Taylor said in the locker room Monday. “My body will let me know when I’m ready to play.”

You hate to look too far ahead, and the Browns are expected to compete week-in and week-out despite injuries. That being said, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to the second half of the season when the Browns will hopefully have both Taylor and suspended corner, Joe Haden, back on the field. While nothing is guaranteed, you have to look at it as at least an opportunity for things to really come together for the young, inconsistent defense.

[Related: “Cleveland ’95: A Football Life” will be mandatory viewing for me]

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