Jump to content
THE BROWNS BOARD

Terry Pluto - Talkin' Browns


Dan in Florida

Recommended Posts

Excited faces (and May sunshine) brings optimism to Browns minicamp

by Terry Pluto/Plain Dealer Columnist

Saturday May 02, 2009, 4:25 PM

 

large_eric-mangini324.jpg

 

BEREA -- Optimistic scribbles on a nice day from Browns rookie camp ...

 

1. Eric Mangini seems comfortable as he talks about his expectations for players, his plans for the team -- and yes, how he does respect the Browns' culture. Jim Brown will continue to be around. Paul Warfield and Brown will talk to the team. When you walk into the lobby, there are now huge plaques of the Browns Hall of Famers -- where the public, coaches and players pass them each day.

 

2. The media is allowed to watch only part of the practice, so it's hard to make many judgments -- especially since they are not in pads and there is no hitting. I'm intrigued by Bryan Williams, and I believe that holds true of the Browns. Mangini loves "football players," meaning guys who can play different positions and want to be on the field all the time. Joshua Cribbs -- who talked to the rookies Saturday night -- has already emerged as one of the coach's favorites. I really believe Williams is in the mold. The Buchtel High and University of Akron product returned kicks, played running back as a junior (gaining 724 yards) and safety as a senior for the Zips. In high school, he was a tremendous linebacker along with being a star running back.

 

3. Just wondering ... Williams averaged 30.5 yards per kickoff return (a Mid-American Conference record) at Akron. Wonder if Williams could be the kick returner, allowing Cribbs to play more on offense and defense. Yes, Mangini is still talking about some type of role on the defense for Cribbs, although he is vague about it.

 

4. James Davis has the look of an NFL running back. The Clemson product had 1,000-yard rushing seasons in 2006 and 2007. One top NFL scout (not with the Browns) told me that Davis suffered from in-season coaching change, a poor offensive line and the rise of star running back C.J. Spiller (who may become a future first-rounder). His point was pay no attention to Davis' stats dropping to 751 yards as a senior. He was a good citizen in the midst of the turmoil, and he could be a nice surprise in the sixth round.

 

5. Mangini isn't the only one impressed with the speed of second-rounder David Veikune. He is all of 6-2, 257, but moves like a natural linebacker, rather than a lineman who early in his college career even played some nose tackle. He also won some money off Mangini by diagramming a complicated blitz formation in front of the entire team, explaining what each player is supposed to do.

 

6. While second-rounders Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi receive most of the attention among the receivers, Lance Leggett has attracted some notice. The 6-3 receiver was on the practice squad last season, so it's natural that he'd seem more comfortable in this setting. But he is the kind of guy who could get a chance from the new coaches. Robiskie looks polished and savvy.

 

7. Mangini believes the keys to building an offensive line are left tackle and center. In his first draft with the Jets in 2006, he took both in the first round -- OSU center Nick Mangold and left tackle D'Brickshaw Ferguson. He calls them "pillars" of the line. Mangini doesn't care if others believe you should not pick a center in the first round, he called it a "critical" position at Saturday's workout. So he drafted Alex Mack in the first round, and inherited Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas from the Phil Savage regime

 

link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Aloysius
5. Mangini isn't the only one impressed with the speed of second-rounder David Veikune. He is all of 6-2, 257, but moves like a natural linebacker, rather than a lineman who early in his college career even played some nose tackle. He also won some money off Mangini by diagramming a complicated blitz formation in front of the entire team, explaining what each player is supposed to do.

That's great to hear, especially since there are some bizarre rumors circulating that Veikune isn't too smart. Obviously, those rumors are baseless.

 

7. Mangini believes the keys to building an offensive line are left tackle and center. In his first draft with the Jets in 2006, he took both in the first round -- OSU center Nick Mangold and left tackle D'Brickshaw Ferguson. He calls them "pillars" of the line. Mangini doesn't care if others believe you should not pick a center in the first round, he called it a "critical" position at Saturday's workout. So he drafted Alex Mack in the first round, and inherited Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas from the Phil Savage regime

And I'm glad that he inherited Thomas. Despite all the fanfare D'Brickashaw Ferguson received as a rookie, he's been somewhat of a disappointment in New York. As a sophomore, he struggled to keep his weight up and got pushed back against the run and the pass. Adding Alan Faneca helped him some last year, but the Jets still were the worst team in the league in terms of YPC on runs off left tackle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...