New Browns S Juan Thornhill believes ‘all the pieces are here’ for Cleveland to win Super Bowl

Newly signed Browns guard Juan Thornhill knows a thing or two about what championship teams are made of.

Having played in two of the last three Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs, Thornhill’s rich playoff experience has made the 27-year-old an intriguing free agent target in 2023.

Cleveland swooped in and signed a former second-round pick as part of his defensive upgrade this offseason, and Thornhill arrived confident he would join a Super Bowl-ready team.

“All the details are here,” Thornhill said. through the team website. “They have a really good quarterback, receivers, super strong defense. I feel like all the pieces are here and we have the opportunity to get in there, make a splash in the playoffs and make it to the Super Bowl.” “

Thornhill is having what is arguably his best season as a professional with 71 tackles, three interceptions and nine passes defended in 16 starts, a career high. This marked Thornhill’s second consecutive season as a full starter and proved once again that he had long since survived the ACL rupture he suffered as a rookie, ending his chances of playing in Super Bowl LIV.

In the 2022 playoffs, Thornhill was called upon to help lead a young, minor team, the Chiefs, with little playoff experience, through the AFC lineup of happy rivals on their way to Super Bowl LVII, during which KC swept the Philadelphia Eagles by 38. -35.

“We had four or five rookies to play this year,” recalls Thornhill, who won the second Super Bowl ring of his career in February. “I was looked at as the guy who was supposed to be the leader, so I had to be the teacher in the room and be the guy they could lean on if things went wrong and support them.”

In Cleveland, Thornhill is expected to replace John Johnson III, a veteran who was cut for free by the team after a poor year for the Browns’ entire defense. After finishing in the middle of the group in yards per game allowed (331.2) and points per game (22.0), Cleveland also walked away from Joe Woods this offseason and hired Jim Schwartz as their new defensive coordinator.

Schwartz’s arrival is expected to be a much-needed change in the Browns’ defense talent philosophy. After talking to his new coach this week, Thornhill is ready to secure his presence in an aggressive scheme and hope to help win the Lombardi Trophy that has eluded Cleveland since its inception.

“He cheered me up,” Thornhill said. “That’s all I can say. It’s just that I’m already talking a little about football, the scheme, how he sees me in defense. He prepared me for the game.”


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