OTAs & Minicamp

Working toward a starting job, Austin Corbett bolstered by organization’s confidence in him

Austin Corbett's rookie season was an unfamiliar experience for a variety of reasons.

He was in a new city with a new team and entirely new surroundings. Most importantly, he was on the bench.

Corbett started just once while appearing in 11 games in a reserve role in 2018, his first campaign in the NFL. He was selected by a team that already had its guard positions solidified and was only offering room for promotion at tackle. His first training camp revealed he'd likely be a guard in the NFL, not a tackle, which wasn't exactly a surprise.

Check out photos from the third day of OTA practices

He was left in a logjam, though, and learned new lessons about adversity. He also built up quite an appetite for opportunity, should it arise.

Arise it did in March, when starting right guard Kevin Zeitler was traded to the New York Giants.

Corbett has since said all the right things about the open right guard spot, emphasizing that it won't be handed to him. But as Week 2 of OTAs begins, Corbett revealed the efforts being made to acclimate to what he rightfully believes can be his place for many years to come.

Check out photos from the second day of OTA practices

"Being able to go into OTAs and just know I'm working at right guard," Corbett explained Monday at the Cleveland Browns Foundation golf outing, "being able to focus in my stance and put weight in my stance where it needs to be, how to move, and just being able to get comfortable in a right-handed stance, having played the left side my whole life, just knowing that and having that confidence I know just to study the right guard position and watch other players around the league ... just being able to focus on the right guard, it's been huge in the short time that I've been back so far."

Corbett spent his first training camp getting reps at a variety of positions, even including center. It was a bit of a feeling-out process for both he and the Browns' coaching staff, which afforded him less opportunity for consistency in one place. This time around, with the trade of Zeitler, those in charge are clear in indicating where they see Corbett.

That confidence -- that the team would trade a reliable starting guard because it feels it has a worthy understudy -- is a bit of a boost for the second-year lineman from Nevada.

"Their belief in me does mean a lot," Corbett said. "They are entrusting me and opening this spot up for me and now I have to go and show and prove them right that this is why they drafted me. I've got to go make it happen. It's all on me, there's no one else. If I don't get the starting job, it's my fault that I didn't do well. And if I do, that means I'm stepping up and I've got to keep showing them that."

While it is a mild gamble, Dorsey didn't push all of his chips into the center of the table when he shipped out Zeitler in a deal that landed the Browns Olivier Vernon and Odell Beckham Jr. The Browns GM also went out and signed a handful of quality linemen for depth: center/guard Eric Kush, guard Bryan Witzmann, and tackle Kendall Lamm.

No matter who ends up at right guard or elsewhere, though, the objective remains the same, because as Corbett said Monday, this team has a lot of potential with the talent Dorsey has assembled. It's just up to the starting five up front to help them make things happen.

"It's up to us for them to make those plays," Corbett said. "We've got to give them time, and if we give them half a second more than they need, something cool is gonna happen. Those guys, those are phenomenal football players."

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