Training Camp 2017 – Cleveland Browns
In just a matter of days now, the orange and brown will put their pads on and head onto the practice field in Berea. In addition to the many position battles; there is a handful of interesting aspects of this franchise. Overall, I feel this camp will be much improved from the 2016 one – hopefully that translates into the season. Let’s look at a few interesting parts of training camp.
Responding to Williams
At this point, Browns’ fans are well aware of new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and what he brings to the table. However, in addition to the yelling and firing up the unit – it will be fascinating to see how the athletes respond to this much different form of coaching. I anticipate improved play, as athletes attempt to avoid criticism while getting into Williams’s good graces. Some guys could get defeated mentally by this; however that could be pretty apparent if an athlete or two are released after having tough practices.
Hold the Peppers?
In this day in age, the holding out of rookie Jabril Peppers is simply asinine – and the safety could enter camp in trouble. Ed Reynolds, Ibraheim Campbell, and Calvin Pryor will all enjoy their reps with the defensive unit, while the unsigned rookie is sitting and waiting. While not a murder’s row of NFL-caliber defenders, they will be ahead of Peppers. As Corey Coleman proved last season, missed time definitely hurts one’s development. I don’t want it to see that happen two years in a row – but that might be what happens to this franchise.
Which Kind of Experience is Better?
Brock Osweiler is the only quarterback on the Browns’ roster who has earned a victory in the NFL – while making some plays for two other franchise prior to being traded to Cleveland. Meanwhile, Cody Kessler is the only signal caller who has experienced the tutelage of Hue Jackson firsthand. Will one of those factors matter in the quarterback derby? I would like to believe that Osweiler’s multiple seasons in the league makes him significantly better than his two competitors, but this position has been unpredictable for decades now.
I’m not trying to get ahead of myself, but one could make an argument that the Browns are quietly building depth on both sides of the ball. Therefore, seeing Williams shuffling defensive linemen around in certain packages should be expected. If the coach can lock down how to best utilize these athletes now, the defense will be in good shape come September. Meanwhile, the offensive side of the ball might feature some rotations to determine who can be counted upon in 2017. Right tackle, wide receiver, and the running back pecking order are a few areas of this team that Jackson and company would like to sort out over the next few weeks.