Top Training Camp Battles – Offense
Well, let’s face it – while all on the same roster, not everyone will play nice with other guys in their position group. The NFL is a job and everyone is fighting for a gig, thus making for intriguing competitions in training camp. Let’s review a few that will occur with the offense, which will amp up intensity this summer in Berea.
Quarterback: Johnny Manziel vs. All Quarterbacks not Named Josh McCown
According to the media, it’s a foregone conclusion that Josh McCown is the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in 2015. That could be debated, but his play in minicamp and OTAs has reinforced this. While Manziel is still vying for a shot at the starting role, he must make sure he can hold off the likes of Connor Shaw (who had a decent start to close the 2014 campaign) and Thaddeus Lewis (who had a couple nice starts in the league). Nothing is given in the NFL, but I would be disappointed to see Manziel struggle mightily in training camp while one of the other signal callers steals the backup job.
Running Back: Terrance West vs. Duke Johnson
Is Isaiah Crowell the leader for a majority of carries with the Cleveland Browns? He arguably played the best of the bunch in 2014 and was not called out onto the carpet the way West was by coach Pettine. Therefore, the second-year pro from Towson will be tested against highly touted Duke Johnson to see who will shoulder the load when Crowell is not. Their styles are a little bit different, but whoever can hit the lane quicker and can display catch-and-run ability better will have a leg up.
Wide Receiver: Terrelle Pryor vs. Travis Benjamin vs. Vincent Mayle
The fifth and sixth spots at wide receiver appear to be up for grabs among this trio. A year ago, Travis Benjamin was coming off an excellent year as a returner and a deep threat at wide out. However, a tumultuous year returning punts and a quiet year as a receiver (sans the Titans victory) leaves his position with the team in doubt. In comes rookie Vincent Mayle and former NFL quarterback Terrelle Pryor; there’s a chance that either two of these guys make the roster or none of them do. I am eager to find out which guy stands out and gets that opportunity to perform in the fall.
Offensive Line: Right side of the Offensive Line
In looking at John Greco, Mitchell Schwartz, Cameron Erving, and Michael Bowie – this is likely the least exciting offensive competition for two reasons. One, all four (barring something wildly unexpected) will make the roster. Two, not a ton of people will focus on the blocking upfront this July and August. Nonetheless, two of these guys will likely start on the right side of the offensive line – while the others will be primary reserves. Speed, athleticism, and versatility will be scrutinized to ensure the best five athletes are on the field a majority of the regular season for the Browns.