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Browns Camp Kick-Off

July 31, 2010

Time to check in with the Browns as the first year of "The Big Show" begins...

Offense


Sure Starters:
Jake Delhomme, Lawrence Vickers, Mohamed Massaquoi, Ben Watson, Alex Mack, Eric Steinbach, Joe Thomas

Possible Starters/Sure Contributors: Seneca Wallace, Montario Hardesty, Jerome Harrison, Peyton Hillis, Josh Cribbs, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey, Floyd Womack, Tony Pashos

Somewhere from Possible Contributors to Won't Make Roster: Colt McCoy, James Davis, Chris Jennings, Jake Allen, Bobby Engram, Johnathan Haggerty, Carlton Mitchell, Evan Moore, Robert Royal, Alex Smith, Billy Yates, John St. Clair, Shawn Lauvao, Scott Kooistra, Jason Capizzi, Pat Murray, Joel Reinders

Camp Fodder/Warm Bodies: Brett Ratliff, Thomas Brown, Jed Collins, Syndric Steptoe, Joel Gamble, Casey Bender, Paul Fanaika

Quick Take: This offense is going to run a lot. Both out of necessity, and out of playing to its strength. It is unclear which of those two reasons will be primary. The running game could potentially be very good, while the passing game will likely be very weak. A lot of guys can run on this team. Harrison, Hardesty, and Cribbs will all get multiple carries per game. In addition, Joe Thomas and Friends are likely the strongest unit on the roster. Alex Mack was a top-10 center last year, and could mature into a top-5 NFL center this season. If, and it is not that big of an "if," Mack can become a perennial Pro Bowl-type player, a pair of perennial Pro Bowl offensive linemen who are comfortably in their 20s is a great foundation to build an offense on. The seemingly annual "Is Eric Steinbach Starting?" stories are ridiculous. Steinbach is not an NFL youngster by any means, but he isn't old either. He has a well cemented reputation as a very good NFL starting guard. He is a very good NFL starting guard until we have actual-regular-season-game evidence otherwise.

On the other hand, the most optimistic thing to say about the passing game is that it has no where to go but up. Ben Watson was a very good, and somewhat underrated, addition. Between Smith, Moore, and Royal there should be enough depth to create a solid tight end position. As far as the wide receivers go, well, to keep this post short, let me just throw this out there: Josh Cribbs is a potential starter at receiver. Josh Cribbs is undoubtedly a better runner than receiver at this point in his career. I emphasize that Josh Cribbs is a potential starter at receiver. Think about that.

Thomas Brown fans may be dismayed to see him on my "Camp Fodder" list. However, and I am still waiting on Elias Sports Bureau for exact numbers but, running backs assigned number 59 in training camp have an extremely poor history of making the regular season roster.

Defense


Sure Starters:
Shaun Rogers, Sheldon Brown

Possible Starters/Sure Contributors: Kenyon Coleman, Robaire Smith, Ahtyba Rubin, David Bowens, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong, D'Qwell Jackson, Matt Roth, Jason Trusnik, Joe Haden, Eri Wright, Mike Adams, Abe Elam, T.J. Ward

Somewhere from Possible Contributors to Won't Make Roster: Clifton Geathers, Brian Schaefering, Titus Adams, Kwaku Danso, Derreck Robinson, Eric Barton, Marcus Benard, Titus Brown, Blake Costanzo, Kaluka Maiava, David Veikune, Coye Francis, Gerald Lawson, Brandon McDonald, Raymond Ventrone, Larry Asante, Nick Sorenson

Camp Fodder/Warm Bodies: Keith Grennan, Brian Sanford, Swanson Miller, Chris Chancellor, Matterral Robinson, Chris Roberson, DeAngelo Smith

Quick Take: Notice the number of "Sure Starters" versus "Possible Starters/Sure Contributors"? Mangini values versatility on defense, and this roster reflects that. None of the groups are superb, with the secondary the most likely to develop into a dominating position if (and this is a fairly big "if") at least two of the rookies break out and have very big years with absolutely no drop off from the anticipated production of the other veteran contributors. On the flip side, none of the positions can be pointed at as a major weakness. Shaun Rogers willingness to move to defensive end, a move I think he can be sold on and I also think is in the team's best interest, can help unlock this defense's potential by allowing Rogers to be a monster pass rusher while making room for a solid run stopper in Rubin to move into the lineup. None of the top, of I dunno, eight linebackers are superstars. Nevertheless, all are solid and will contribute. All will make plays from time to time. D'Qwell Jackson and (if he is healthy) Eric Barton will be the only contributors at linebacker who cannot comfortably line up either inside or outside.

The David Veikune pick seems worse and worse every time I have to think about it.

Overall: There is reason for optimism that this franchise is moving in the right direction, but it is unlikely they can contend this year. However, the games should be interesting and the product should be much improved from the first 12 games of last season. There is plenty of reason to be excited about the Browns, but temper any Super Bowl talk unless you are referring to a few years down the road.

Jack Bacevice

4 comments:

  1. Hey it shouldn't be any worse like you said, but the sure starters list on defense scares the crap out of me.

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  2. I feel like there should be more excitement around this franchise right now, we have Big Mike and he is going to get the job done. Are QB situation can't be worse than last year, are coach is actually upper tier. This might not be the year but I say we surprise.

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  3. Hey, I heard that there was an article up on the Browns roster...
    I am just wondering when something new might happen on that NFL home page here...

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  4. they are going to Pittsburgh next week to face Steelers.. lets see what happened as they loss their recent game with Falcons

    ReplyDelete