Joe Schobert played every snap last season on his way to earning a Pro Bowl nod. But this year, he might get the chance for a breather every now and again.
Schobert, now entering his third season with the team, is surrounded by cast of talented linebackers that could give way to a slightly decreased -- but more effective -- workload for Schobert.
Head coach Hue Jackson told reporters after Day 4 of training camp that it's better for a linebacker not to play every snap.
"Joe did a great job, obviously played every snap, and he had to," Jackson said Sunday. "But could Joe Schobert be better if he doesn't have to play every snap? Can he take a series off and breathe for a second because we have some talented guys?I don't know how that's going to shake out. But we have some guys that can play, and that's a good thing. I think that's a good problem to have."
In addition to former Eagles veteran Mychal Kendricks, whom the Browns signed during OTAs, Jamie Collins is healthy after a season-ending knee injury last November, and the Browns drafted former Memphis star Genard Avery in the fifth round. The unit is much deeper, and the competition in practice is noticeably elevated.
"Every single position on this team has gotten ramped up in the competition aspect," Schobert said. "It's going to make the whole team better."
— Shon Coleman continues to progress at left tackle, but the coaching staff isn't ready to name a starter quite yet. Rookies Austin Corbett, Desmond Harrison and veteran Greg Robinson are all in the running.
— With all the attention surrounding the left tackle opening, right tackle Chris Hubbard has quietly transitioned from a backup role in Pittsburgh to a starter in Cleveland. Defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said he's impressed with Hubbard, who blocks him every day in practice. "He's a good, solid right tackle," Ogbah said. "He's going to do very big things for us."
Hubbard also garnered praise from Jackson, who said Hubbard has "been a really good find for us." Hubbard played in all 16 games for the Steelers last season, starting 10.
— Ogbah said he's "great as ever" following a season-ending foot injury last November. He and Myles Garrett bookend the Browns' defensive line, and Ogbah loves what he sees from that side of the ball so far. "We have a mindset that we're here to work," Ogbah said. "We're tired of losing. We're trying to change this program around so we're doing whatever we can to help this team win games." With Garrett and Ogbah both healthy, the Browns could have one of the league's top pass-rush duos. The pair combined for 11 sacks in 2017.
— When center JC Tretter signed with the Browns two springs ago, he knew he would be going up against some of the biggest defensive linemen in the league; the AFC North owns many of them. Tretter made a decision this offseason to tack on 10 pounds, helping him impose his will on defenders between the tackles. Tretter praised Browns nutritionist Katy Meassick — and the entire training staff — on helping him gain weight the right way.
"She did a great job of just giving me a meal plan of what I should eat, when I should eat it and what it should consist of so she was a huge asset this year," Tretter said. "She was a big help of getting me to where I needed to be and making sure that I am putting on good weight so that I can still be as agile as I want but also just have that extra weight to help me out."