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Intriguing Battles for the Roster – Offense

Intriguing Battles for the Roster – Offense

Guys to Keep an Eye on Next Month

Well, the Cleveland Browns are not full of Joe Thomases and Joel Bitionios – therefore several positions are up for grabs as the team gets back on the field in Berea in July.  Outside of the obvious (and annual) quarterback derby that has already been underway, there are a few key spots where one guy who can separate himself from the rest of the pack.  Let’s look further into those position groups.

Right Tackle

It appears that Shon Coleman will have the first crack at the starting lineup for the orange and brown.  He is big, mean, and has a solid track record in college; however the second-year athlete has yet to prove he can make it work (consistently) in the NFL.  I have faith that coach Bob Wylie will work his “magic” (pun intended) with the former Auburn star.  Meanwhile Spencer Drango and Cameron Erving are waiting in the wings for their opportunity.  I have mixed feelings about Erving, who has been rather underwhelming since joining the team.  Drango had an up-and-down rookie campaign, but getting another training camp under his belt should help his progress.

Tight End

The release of veteran Gary Barnidge opens the door completely for a guy or two to secure the starting position.  The frontrunners are rookie David Njoku and Seth DeValve, who have been impressing the coaching staff up to this point.  Both are receiving threats but could use some work attempting to develop as a run blocker.  Randall Telfair and maybe a wildcard could earn some playing time; however, I would be surprised if the aforementioned duo does not get the lion’s share of snaps.  The question might be, can DeValve hold off the first round rookie?

Wide Receiver

Under the assumption that Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt remain healthy and play up to their capabilities, the Browns will have their top two wide out options.  That still leaves another athlete or two who the team will be counting on to haul in passes for the franchise.  Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis, and Rannell Hall are three options to fill a void that was missing in 2016.  Like some of the tight ends, a young athlete (Louis) has been garnering solid reviews from his supervisors.  However, I am intrigued to see how Hall bounces back from a promising 2016 exhibition season prior to missing the entire year due to a broken leg.

Conclusion:  There is a long way to go until the regular season kicks off in just over two months.  However, the roster must be settled prior to that point in time.  This would include several competitions at position groups, hopefully with the best man winning the gig.  I would like to believe that these include guys who can play in the NFL and not roles just needing to be filled.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in NFL Season, Players, Training Camp

 

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Rob Housler…Come on Down!

Rob Housler…Come on Down!

The Browns Did It! 

The Cleveland Browns did something two of their division rivals could not accomplish – sign free agent Rob Housler to a contract. It is a one-year deal for the tight end, so it would be wise if the new member of the team rents a place to live for the next twelve months. Let’s see what this means for the franchise.

Filling a Role

Housler appears to fit the same mold as recently departed Jordan Cameron; a pure pass-catcher who is not expected to block even during a fraction of his playing time. While the tight end had a Pro Bowl year in 2013, Cameron was oft injured last year. Therefore, if Housler can have a respectable output in 2015 – over forty catches and five hundred yards – it would be deemed as a smart signing by the club.

Draft Ramifications

Several fans and media members have been predicting Maxx Williams be drafted by the Browns in the first or second round of the 2015 Draft. There was a gaping hole in the roster, and the team was in desperate need to fill it with a tremendous playmaker. While the acquisition of Housler is not going to make anyone forget about the top tight end prospect; perhaps the Browns now reconsider the position and choose a Clive Walford (still my favorite tight end prospect) in the third or fourth round.

Veteran Leadership

This signing by the team will add another presence needed by the offensive unit. Having gone through the rigors of the professional game, the tight end should be helpful with expectations all year long. This will come in handy, provided the Browns secure a guy at the same position draft weekend.

Conclusion:   Obviously this was not an Earth-shattering move by the orange and brown, but I do not hate it. They needed an athlete to fill the role of a receiving tight end, and possibly compete with younger guys who the team can sign in the coming weeks. Another ho-hum move during free agency by Ray Farmer and his staff, but hitting homeruns in the draft is where winning franchises are made.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Free Agency, Players

 

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