Each day next week, ClevelandBrowns.com will have exclusive previews on the quarterback, running back and wide receiver competitions, plus Mike Pettine’s final thoughts before his first training camp.
Things will culminate Thursday, July 24th on WKYC for our official Browns Training Camp preview show at 7 p.m.
It’s Wednesday, which means we are officially 10 days away from training camp. These 10 questions will be recurring themes to keep an eye on all throughout July and August.
1) How much read-option will we see?
With the Redskins, a large portion of Kyle Shanahan’s play calls gave the quarterback the option to run it, keep it, or throw it. It spurred one of the NFL’s most potent rushing attacks for two straight years. Will Shanahan keep it is a major installment of his offense, or use it more as a wrinkle now that he’s in Cleveland?
2) What will the defensive line rotation look like?
Don’t get your head wrapped up around which players start on the defensive line. Focus more on snap counts. Who will be on the first-down run stuffing unit? What will the third-down pass rushing personnel grouping look like?
3) How much wide receiver will
If there’s one thing Mike Pettine brings up in nearly every interview he conducts about Shanahan, it’s the way the offensive coordinator adapts his system. Cameron looked way too beastly in space during seven-on-seven drills in minicamp to not at least experiment with the Pro Bowler in the slot or even on the outside the edge. Shanahan has arguably never had a tight end with a skill set as elaborate as Cameron’s
First of all: will this even be a competition? Skrine was one of the Browns’ most improved players last season and he has continued that trend this year in OTAs and minicamp. That’s not knocking the ultra-athletic Gilbert, who admitted he needs to rely more on his technique instead of speed when training camp comes around. We’ve noted Skrine simply seems much more comfortable in Jim O’Neil’s island-style of man coverage rather than a multitude of zones. This defense could be where Skrine reaches his potential. Gilbert has ground to make up. Remember,
5) Can the Browns offensive line be dominant?
The talent jumps off the page at you. Many consider
6) Second-half collapses
In 10 games last season, the Browns either led or the score was tied at half time. Their subsequent 4-12 record convicts several things: A coaching staff who got outsmarted and players who lacked a killer instinct. Or maybe, as Pettine has said, is the Browns were waiting for somebody else to make a play. “We can’t say, ‘I hope the offense scores here that means we don’t have to go back out on the field,’” said Pettine. “We want our guys with two minutes left in the game to say, this is our wheelhouse. They hung a curveball and we’re hitting it out.” Pettine seems to be tackling this problem head on.
Pound-for-pound, it’s hard to argue another player more athletic on the Cleveland Browns’ roster. One of the coaching staff’s biggest challenges is turning Mingo’s flashes of brilliance in 2013 into consistent plays that disrupt rhythm for offenses. Mingo has every tool to be a player offensive coordinators must plan around. If the coaches put Mingo in the proper places and he feels more comfortable in the 3-4 hybrid defense, his 10 tackles for a loss and five sacks could both double in 2014.
8) Who is the Browns' return man?
Common sense says
10) Speaking of defense …
We made it 900 words into an article without mentioning Joe Haden,