What’s Going on in Browns Town?
In the months following the NFL Draft but prior to training camp – the Cleveland Browns get together and practice on the field. Granted it’s not what we will see this fall, but at least fans and reporters can get a first glimpse of the 2018 squad. So what occurred during this time frame? I discuss below plus give other thoughts surrounding the orange and brown.
OTAs in Session:
The Browns recently completed a weeklong session of Offseason Training Activities, which will continue for several more weeks. A few things I took away were the increased expectations of both Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry, possible depth at offensive line, and intrigue in the secondary.
It is appearing that the connection from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to Jarvis Landry is nearing pitch and catch. The duo appears on the same page and are completing a high percentage of passing plays. Having “inside” routes lends itself to a shorter passes and a higher percentage of completions – but there still needs solid players in order for the executions to work. I believe that Josh Gordon will get in synch with Taylor this summer, however the longer routes centered around timing will need a high number of repetitions first. I did not hear a tremendous amount of glowing reviews surrounding wideout Corey Coleman. I firmly believe 2018 will be his final one with the orange and brown – provided he does not improve substantially. This is a year where he will not see one of the top opposing coverage players,so he will get his shot to prove his worth.
I enjoyed hearing the rotations of both the offensive line and members of the secondary during the OTA practice sessions. Left tackle is the big question mark, but Shon Coleman and Austin Corbett should put on a solid competition during training camp. Chris Hubbard appears to be the front runner for the right tackle position, but there will be multiple players attempting to steal his spot. For the first time in years, it appears that the Browns have a solid unit upfront as opposed to a Joe Thomas and an Alex Mack. Meanwhile, the Browns have T.J. Carrie, Denzel Ward, E.J. Gaines, and Terrance Mitchell (to name a few) working at the cornerback positions. I’ll take my chances with these guys, as opposed to groups in the past. The two favorites at this point would likely be Carrie and Ward, but there could be some shuffling throughout the season. The safety spot features Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Jabril Peppers, and Demarious Randall – three very capable athletes who can anchor the back end of the secondary.
Gaining Respect for Baker
In a short video which featured several NFL rookies attempting to draw the helmets of their current team, Browns’ signal caller Baker Mayfield was included. It’s no secret that he had the easiest task, as the Browns do not have a logo on the side – like the other thirty-one clubs. However, his response to his final drawing what what I took away – “I didn’t draw the stripe because I haven’t earn it yet”. That says everything you need to know about Mayfield’s mindset heading into training camp. I believe he is sincere and not just saying what many think he should. I give him respect for this response, but clearly his play on the field is what matters most.