BEREA, Ohio—Most Browns fans would agree that the Browns have a degree of uncertainty at wide receiver.
In 2014, even with the looming 10-game suspension of Josh Gordon, the team did not draft a receiver in the draft, but signed restricted free agent Andrew Hawkins and veteran Miles Austin. They also signed Nate Burleson, who didn’t make the team.
Fast forward to 2015, the Browns already know that they would be without Gordon for the season and did draft one player, Vince Mayle in the fourth round.
The team added Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline in free agency, but for the most part are counting on those two players that were released for salary cap reasons from their previous teams to come back in a big way. Rodney Smith was with the team most of last year but didn't play and Travis Benjamin is now a full season back after his torn ACL in 2013.
Mike Pettine was asked what areas he felt had the biggest question marks on the eve of training camp. His answer was not surprising.
"There's a question at receiver because of how many new faces we have out there," Pettine said. "You bring in a Bowe and a Hartline and then have Taylor Gabriel, Hawkins coming off productive years and with the draft pick Vince Mayle, who missed a lot of spring because of his thumb and now you have Terrelle Pryor coming in."
"if you ask me one position where there's the most uncertainty—outside of kicker—you'd probably have to say wide out because there's so many new faces we have there."
Pettine is confident the passing game will be productive.
"We have a lot of carry over from last year, but it starts with the protection," Pettine said. "We have guys back who were contributors last year and have added some new ones into the mix."
Ready to go: Pettine said he expected all of the players to be in camp when it opens on Thursday. The team was going to go through their conditioning tests later Wednesday and he said the players that don't pass the conditioning tests will be placed on the non-football list until they pass.