Training Camp

News & Notes: Browns hopeful current cornerback bunch will prove capable in the slot

Cornerback depth hasn’t been a concern for the Browns since they selected Greedy Williams with their first pick of the 2019 draft. Williams’ selection added to a cornerback group that already featured talented second-year veteran Denzel Ward and reliable cornerbacks in Terrence Mitchell and T.J. Carrie.

That depth doesn’t appear as deep, though, at the slot cornerback position, which has increased in value as more teams utilize three wide receiver sets and place a heavier emphasis on passing the ball. Ward, Mitchell and Williams have played almost exclusively as outside cornerbacks, and Browns cornerbacks coach DeWayne Walker doesn’t expect that to change.

But after 12 practices of training camp, he still believes the Browns have players capable of plugging the hole.

“We have a handful of guys that we will continue to evaluate and continue to go through the process and see where we are Week 1,” Walker said. 

So, who has impressed Walker so far? Carrie and Phillip Gaines have looked solid thus far and are the only two cornerbacks with experience at the inside position. Safety Eric Murray has received reps as an inside cornerback, too.

Walker values the versatility the Browns have in their secondary, and that’s why he’s confident someone will step up and succeed as the slot cornerback position gains heavier importance in the league.

“You want to make sure you have guys that are versatile because in this league, you’re going to have injuries and things are going to happen,” Walker said. “Those guys that can play inside and outside are really unique because not all outside guys are comfortable playing inside.”

Check out photos from the thirteenth day of Browns Camp by team photographer Matt Starkey

— Quarterbacks coach Ryan Lindley appreciates the familiarity the Browns have in their quarterback room. Lindley worked alongside quarterback Drew Stanton and head coach Freddie Kitchens when he was a quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.

“It is huge,” Lindley said. “I think everything we do and right now we are kind of past the basic stuff, we are moving on into kind of different creative sides that we can get into the offensive system and having that to bounce back on. We can refer back to some things that we do and bounce it off (QB) Baker (Mayfield) and if he likes it, we roll with it.”

— Walker is still evaluating whether Greedy Williams will be fit for a Week 1 starting role. Williams impressed with an interception in the Browns’ first preseason game Thursday, but Walker isn’t sure if the Browns will immediately deploy Williams as a starting cornerback similar to what the Browns did with Denzel Ward a year ago.

“I think the situations are a little different,” Walker said. “This staff, we want him to maybe have to earn it versus with Denzel last year, he kind of proved early that he belonged. With Greedy, just kind of bringing him along a little slower. At some point — he is a good football player — he is going to help our team.”

— The following players did not practice Saturday due to injury: Antonio Callaway (ankle), T.J. Carrie (hamstring), Seth DeValve (concussion), Kyle Kalis (concussion), Jarrell Owens (groin), Brian Price (concussion), Damion Ratley (hamstring), Tavierre Thomas (hamstring) and Anthony Zettel (ankle).

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