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: "That is what Andrew (Berry) and his staff are working on every day. I think they walk in the building and say, 'Look at the roster. How do we improve it?' I know with the opt-outs at that position, it is certainly something that we will continue to look at. As it pertains to practice reps, you have to get your starters ready. You also have to get your backups ready this year. We have to be very mindful of how we divvy up those reps. I have sat down with the coaches already and we have a plan for that, but I don't think it is a season where you just say, 'Hey, I'm just getting my starters ready.' I think that may not be smart." — Head Coach Kevin Stefanski on the team's need for depth at guard
One of the biggest storylines heading into training camp was the Browns' open competition at right guard. The developments of the past week, though, have changed almost everything from what was discussed in all of the previous ones.
Three players who were thought to be in the mix — Drew Forbes, Colby Gossett and Malcolm Pridgeon — announced they had opted out for the 2020 season. As of Saturday, the Browns have two players on their roster listed at guard — starting left guard Joel Bitonio and last year's starter at right guard to close the season, Wyatt Teller. A handful of others who are listed at center, such as rookie Nick Harris, Evan Brown and Willie Wright, have the ability to play guard if necessary.
Check out photos of the team working out Friday
Certainly, the Browns will need some more players at the position by the time full-team practices arrive next week. Acquiring these kinds of players is a little trickier than normal years because of testing protocols and other restrictions with tryouts, but it's something the Browns have been preparing for throughout the offseason.
Stefanski made one thing clear: Whoever the Browns add to the mix, it won't be just "a body."
"I think we need good players," Stefanski said. "I think Andrew and his staff are going to work really hard at all of these positions. If we should have a need somewhere, we want to get a good player in here. We want to make sure that we are bringing guys in who have a chance to develop."
In an unprecedented season like this one, development beyond the starters will be vital to a team's success. The "next man up" — and the next one behind that guy — will have to prepare as if they'll be called upon at the drop of a hat to play significant snaps.
That's what Stefanski stressed on a question about how he'll operate his first couple of full-team practices. Though the construction of a depth chart might be a little more difficult this year because of the lack of a traditional offseason program, Stefanski said there's a plan in place to divvy up the snaps appropriately — especially at unsettled positions like right guard.
"Positions are open and this is a competitive place," Stefanski said. "Now, someone has to start, but the next period, you may start somebody else, and the next day, you may start somebody else. We will just make sure with each one of those positions that are up for grabs and have an open competition, which I think I think brings the best out of people.
"We will make sure that we get the amount of looks that we need to make an informed decision moving forward, but we do have time."