Cleveland Browns linebacker Craig Robertson appears to be the front-runner to win the starting job next to D’Qwell Jackson for the 2013 season.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal reports that Robertson and fellow second-year Brown James Michael-Johnson form a two-man race to join the starting unit. Robertson appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, recording 93 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions. He earned a lot of fanfare with a solid training camp and even better preseason campaign. Johnson started eight games in 2012 before ending the season on injured reserve with a minor knee injury.
When it comes to their defensive styles, Johnson typically excels in the run game while Robertson excels in coverage. As outlined previously at WFNY, the nickel defense used by Ray Horton typically replaces a lineman with a defensive back as opposed to the standard set which removes a linebacker. Being a linebacker who thrives in the passing game will only serve to benefit how many snaps Robertson sees on a going forward basis.
[Related: Browns thoughts on the heels of the raid of Pilot Flying J]