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Friday, August 18, 2006

Cleveland Browns: Offensive Roster Spots on the Line

Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel will have their eyes peeled for players able to make an impact and grab a spot on the Cleveland Browns 2006 roster. The defense (other than the corner backs) looks to be under control. There are actually some playmakers on the roster this season, and the line and linebackers will sort itself out without any major decisions to be made. Sean Jones and Brodney Pool still seem pretty equal at safety even though Crennel stated that Jones is the starter right now. Once Gary Baxter, Daylon McCutcheon, and Antonio Perkins return at the CB positions, the defense should be pretty solid. Keep an eye on Ralph Brown as he'll start opposite Leigh Bodden tonight. Brown will need have a better outing than Pete Hunter had last week to be considered for roster depth at CB.

Don’t worry too much about the defense; it’s the offense that needs to move the ball tonight to give the front office something to gauge the players on. After last week’s inept performance, players need to step up and give Savage a reason to keep them around.

Here’s a look at the offensive position battles heading into preseason game #2 with the Detroit Lions.

QB – Charlie Frye’s the starter. The back-up is still in question as Ken Dorsey was not impressive in game one. Lang Campbell moved the offense against the Eagles “last team,” but that should get him more of a look this week. Derek Anderson and Dorsey need to show some life or Savage will be making the rounds looking for a veteran QB to sign.

RB – Reuben Droughns ran hard last week, and it appears after the attempted trade of Lee Suggs that William Green will be the #2 back. Green still needs to return to his form when he could actually break a tackle. That hasn’t been seen for quite sometime. Look for Suggs to see time so the Browns can show that he’s still worth something in trade. Jerome Harrison needs to get some reps carrying to ball this week to see what his true value will be for the team this season.

WR – With Joe Jurevicius, Dennis Northcutt, Braylon Edwards, Travis Wilson, and Josh Cribbs eating up five roster spots, there isn’t much room left for any more receivers. Frisman Jackson wasn’t great last week, but he’s shown in previous seasons that he’s capable of making an occasional play. The rest of the receivers you’ll see tonight are basically fighting to earn a spot on the practice squad.

TE – It would be nice to see Kellen Winslow catch a pass downfield tonight. Heck, it would be nice to anyone catch a pass downfield for once. Steve Heiden is the number two TE, so that leaves Darnell Dinkins and Paul Irons. If you care that much about the third TE on the roster (and true Browns fans do!) keep an eye on Dinkins and Irons.

OL – Here we go…I know it hurts to even discuss this, but we’ll give it a shot. At least a few spots are already determined. LT Kevin Shaffer, LG Joe Andruzzi, and RG Cosey Coleman will all be starters in the regular season barring _nj_ry. I don’t even want to write the word! Ryan Tucker, when he returns from his, will be the RT. A backup tackle position is still up in the air between Nat Dorsey and Kirk Chambers. Dorsey played last week, but is out for tonight’s game. He wasn’t great last week either, so Chambers will get his shot tonight to show whether he can earn a spot on the team.

And finally, one more position. I tried to put it off as long as I could. Ross Tucker is not playing for just a role as a backup. As we all know the chronicles of the center position for the Browns, the saga continues tonight. Alonzo Ephraim had his chance last week to start, but regardless of his performance he’s out for four regular season games after failing a drug test. Apparently he wasn’t expecting a call from any teams in the near future as he sat at home not on an NFL roster.

Ross Tucker could be the starter for the 2006 season. It looks like he’s the Browns fourth choice at center behind LeCharles Bentley, Bob Hallen and Ephraim, but he does have experience. Plus he came from the New England Patriots system that is similar to the Browns. Maybe Romeo found someone who’s actually better than Bob Hallen. It’s always a possibility...just look at the Browns’ luck.


  • At 8/20/2006, Blogger Dygger said…

    Good points, RW. How about Jerome Harrison? He could be a solid 3rd down back... maybe even good enough to take in my fantasy draft?

    I'm sticking with 7-9 this season with some close losses as Frye and the offense ride the learning curve.


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