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Browns shut down minicamp with plenty of jobs up for grabs

June 13, 2009

CBSSports.com wire reports


BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns walked off the field following their final minicamp Saturday with more questions than answers.


The quarterback position is still unsettled. Braylon Edwards is the only established receiver on the roster, and he was mostly a spectator during the three-day camp because of an undisclosed injury.


The tight ends are unsettled following the trade of Kellen Winslow and the knee injury to Steve Heiden and both the offensive and defensive lines remain in flux. At nearly every position on the roster, jobs are up for grabs.


All of that's fine with new coach Eric Mangini.


As the Browns take seven weeks off before training camp begins Aug. 1, he's not searching for answers yet.


"This isn't a time when any questions get answered," Mangini said. "This is more of a time for gathering information. Until we get to a point where we cut down, it's going to be a constant evaluation. This is just another step in the process."


Before the first voluntary workout, Mangini said Brady Quinn held a slight lead over Derek Anderson in the quarterback competition, based on the offseason program. Mangini amended that Saturday, saying the two will enter training camp dead even.


"Done that before," Anderson said. "Not really anything new to me. Come back in July and get to work and see where it takes us."


Anderson practiced Friday and Saturday with a sleeve on his right calf, although the wrap on Saturday looked thicker than Friday. Both he and Mangini declined to clarify the injury. Mangini would only say he'll be fine for training camp.


The same goes for Edwards, who sat out Thursday and Friday, but did get in for a few plays on Saturday and even caught a pass. With Donte' Stallworth facing DUI manslaughter charges in Miami, rookie receivers Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi are the leading candidates to produce behind Edwards, who led the NFL in drops last season.


"I think it's the most fun I've had going into a training camp because you look at every position and you have guys in competition, guys who can get the job done," Edwards said. "It's a matter of picking and choosing. Whoever wins I know is definitely going to be able to play on Sundays."


Browns legendary running back Jim Brown, now a team adviser, watched the three days of practice from the sideline. He was part of the last Browns team to win a championship in 1964.


"Ultimately you've got to have certain talent," Brown said. "If you look at the receivers, if all those youngsters come through, if our running backs perform on a certain level and if our quarterbacks perform on a certain level -- right there you have three positions that are highly important, but we don't have superstars at any of them. If you can coach Robiskie and Massaquoi and Braylon is on his game, that's what has to happen."


It's an awful lot of "ifs" for one team, but then again, the Browns won just four games last year and overhauled the coaching staff for the fourth time since returning to the league in 1999.


"I think we've got a pretty good grasp on what we're doing, what they want us to do and what they expect of us," Anderson said. "That's the biggest thing we're trying to get done in June. When we come back, we'll hit on all cylinders."




* QB.. Say what you want.. I believe Quinn wins the job. Either way I support the winner. This topic has been battered to death on this

post so I will leave it with that.. My opinion..Quinn is the guy


* tight end position really is not unsettled. It's Robert Royal on running downs. At least he will likely be to start the season then it will be

between him and Heiden (when healthy). Either way these are 2 solid if unspectcular players who know how to get the job done. We may see Rucker

step in on the obvious passing downs.. Hopefully he will get stronger and develop his blocking skills and he could be a real good player

for us down the road. To me we are solid at the TE spot.


* as for the offensive and defensive lines in flux...


* I am fine with who we have on offense. On paper this may be the best line/depth we have had since the return. I know whoever wins

the starting jobs can do it. I also know the backups we have can step in with minimal to no dropoff. This is a strength IMO.


* Defensive line. Other than Shawn Rogers.. This whole deal is a question mark to me. I am highly skeptical. There does not seem to be

much talent here.. I'll give Corey Williams a pass on last year.. He is really the only one who seems like he could become a real good

player. Everyone else is journeyman or below who would have a hard time starting on any other team. Sorry guys.. but until I see us

stop the run, pressure the pass.. I cannot get excited about our DL. Hope they prove me wrong.. But this is THE.... THE weakspot on

our team. NO doubt in my mind about this and no one can convince me otherwise..this is the least talented area of our ballclub.


* Braylon is the only established reciever on the team.. I will give him a pass on last year...We say the REAL Braylon 2 years ago.. I think

he will be back. I am a fan of Mike Furrey. He caught 98 passes then 61 passes back to back season with Detroit from John Kitna..JOHN

KITNA??? haha. He can play and I really hope he makes the roster.. He may win a spot at the 2 or 3 spot.. He would be an amazing 4 if

he falls that far..Either way he is a saavy vet. who can play... I think Robiskie wins the 2 spot and I like what he brings to the team..

Mossaquoi and Furry battle for the 3 and 4 spots.. Hubbard should win a spot.. Steptoe... sorry don't let the door hit ya in the butt.

Stallworth is a questionmark but could be in this mix somewhere pending his legal issues.. We paid he roster bonus so i don't see us

cutting him loose unless he gets real jail time. If he can play with his head on straight after this ordeal.. The recieving corps could be

better than expected and quite dangerous. Stallworth can be a very dangerous weapon. We likely will have some growing pains here, but

hopefully a lot of preaseason reps will get the young guys ready.


* linebackers.. We pretty much know who our starters will be. Viekune and will be a situational guy.. a little more depth than in the past.


* Secondary... Safteys are pretty much a done deal with with Elam and pool. Not great depth behind them.

Cornerbacks... anyone's guess who comes out the top 3 starters, but I like that we have depth. Mangini did a great job of bringing in

a combination of youth and veteran experience. This should be a solid unit. Mangini needs to decide on his starters at cb quickly so they

can practice as a unit for as much of the preseason as possible.


*RB's.. so long as Mangini allows the young guys to get real reps to spell Jamal or get a real opportunity to take the job from him we

should be ok here. I think we would be best served this season from a committee approach unless one of the young guys can truly prove

he is a better 1st and 2nd down back than Jamal. Position could be a weakess or strength depending upon whether Jamal still has it or not.


* Overall. I agree with Mangini's approach at this point.. He needs to pick a QB sooner than later though.. I like the competion we have

across the board and should only make the whole team stonger.. I am not sure how many games we will win this year.. But so far I have

to agree with Mangini's approach. I also want to see how Mangini makes halftime adjustments.. That was a HUGE citicism in NY is that he

did not adjust well in the second half.. That is something we really won't be able to evalutate until after 3-5 regular season games have

been played...... GO BROWNS

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Guest Aloysius

Yeah, Coleman's a pretty big addition. He's not much of a pass rusher, but he's very good against the run. As Mangini put it, he's "country strong". He won't get blown off the LOS like Shaun Smith and Santonio Thomas were last year.


Williams still is a big question mark, but our improved d-line depth will help him be more productive. He played better late in the year when he was part of a 60/40 rotation with Louis Leonard at LE.


If you replace Leonard with a healthy Robaire Smith, our d-line looks pretty strong.

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