Training Camp Battles: Offense
Well the calendar has flipped, and it is finally July – the same month that training camp starts for the Cleveland Browns! Granted, it might not commence for several weeks – but it is never too soon to start looking at several position groups that need sorted out before the first regular season game in Philadelphia. In the first of our two-part series, we take a look into the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback: The most important position in football (and probably all of sports) is all but Robert Griffin’s to lose. Though coach Jackson will not admit to it publicly, he will be the man under center to begin the regular season. There have been conflicting media reports about Griffin play during minicamp, nonetheless training camp is his time to shine. I would hope he can separate himself from Josh McCown and rookie Cody Kessler in these practice sessions. Doing so would help give me a little bit more faith headed into the regular season campaign. Cody’s time will come, but not in September 2016.
Right Tackle: The departure of Mitchell Schwartz can either loom largely or not at all over the orange and brown this fall. That is dependent on the play of his successor; which raises the question, whom will it be? Alvin Bailey (a veteran) appears to have a leg up over rookies Spencer Drango and Shon Coleman. However, the youngsters might get their opportunity to unseat Bailey in the starting lineup. One thing is certain – protecting the quarterback and walling off defenders is vital for this offense to have any type of success.
Wide Receiver: Well, someone’s got to catch the football for this offense. Veterans Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel will get first crack at fitting into the starting roles – however, their final roster spot is still not guaranteed. A pair of rookies might be out on the field to start game one – possibly Corey Coleman and Rashard Higgins. Terrelle Pryor has been getting praise from his offensive coaches; it will be very interesting to see where he ends up on the depth chart.
X-Factor: This can go a myriad of ways. The first is utilizing Duke Johnson as a slot receiver, while Isaiah Crowell is lined up at running back – giving defenses something to think about. The second is the capability of Corey Coleman and what kind of spark he can provide to this offense. Finally, rookie Seth DeValve is a large receiving option and could present mismatches on the field – especially when paired up with Gary Barnidge at tight end. I am eager to see what Hue has up his sleeve for this offense.