Quote of the Day is a recurring series that will single out something said by a Browns player, coach or executive in a given day and provide context behind its importance.
The quote: "I think our evaluation of that spot on our roster is still ongoing. Certainly, (WR Rashard) Higgins has done a nice job and been very competitive to try to earn that position. I think there is a very competitive situation on our roster for that spot and we have a lot of guys vying for it. I do not think anything is set in stone. I think the evaluation is still ongoing." — Pass game coordinator/WRs coach Chad O'Shea
Everyone knows who the Browns' top two wide receivers are.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry share a combined eight Pro Bowls, 1,028 receptions, 12,000+ yards and 80 touchdowns between them. They give the Browns' one of the best one-two punches at the position in the entire NFL.
Behind them, though, remains an ongoing competition, and O'Shea made that clear as he went down the line of potential options. Observations from practice haven't provided many tells, either. Each player in the mix has seemingly received an opportunity or two with the first offense.
The options are plentiful, though, and each player has seemed to make a positive impression on O'Shea, who has coached some of the best at the position across a career that includes five conference titles and three Super Bowl rings.
"When you look at that area and those guys that are vying for that position, whether it is Higgins or whether it is (Taywan) Taylor and Damion Ratley is coming off being injured and he is coming back to the field some … Really, there are a lot of guys that are doing a good job," O'Shea said.
"I would say the competition is still open."
Higgins has made a number of plays over the past week of practice, including a handful of touchdown catches during Thursday's shortened session. The veteran is coming off a disappointing 2019, but his chemistry with Baker Mayfield remains apparent. He received high praise from offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt earlier in the week, too.
"Higgins has stepped up," Van Pelt said. "He really has been impressive with his ability to finish plays. He battles right to the end in the run game, and in the pass game, he is getting better each day."
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Ratley has only participated in a few practices because of a groin injury. He's one of the team's fastest wide receivers and ended 2019 on a high note when he caught a long touchdown against the Bengals.
Taylor didn't see the field much last season after joining the team in a trade right before the season opener. The former third-round pick was productive in 2018, though, and has made a number of plays throughout camp.
KhaDarel Hodge, one of the Browns' top special teams players, recently rejoined the team after missing time for personal reasons. During the early part of camp, Hodge was on the receiving end of a number of big plays.
"KhaDarel Hodge is somebody that I have been extremely impressed with," O'Shea said. "I have a great deal of respect for the way he plays the game. The one thing that he has done is he has given himself an opportunity to play multiple positions because he studies hard and he knows what to do."
And then there's sixth-round rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones, who drew praise from Kevin Stefanski on Friday for his "versatility" and ability to help the Browns at a number of spots, including special teams. O'Shea's assessment of the rookie was matter of fact but he certainly did not eliminate Peoples-Jones from this wide-open competition to work alongside Landry and Beckham as the Browns' No. 3 receiver.
"There are some things that he is a making a lot of progress on and he is doing exactly the way we want him, and then there are going to be some times where there is not as much consistency as we want," O'Shea said. "I think that is true of all young players that try to transition into the National Football League, especially in a very unique year in which we have had the limited amount of opportunities to go out there together. I have been pleased with his work ethic and his overall attitude."