Position Battles: Where We Stand

Lane Adkins examines the battles for roster and depth chart positions. Who's moving up?

Position battles are still being fought, hard and furious, through the first two weeks of training camp. This is how we see things developing at this time:

  • Charlie Frye / Derek Anderson / Ken Dorsey / Brady Quinn: At present, Ken Dorsey is not in the running for the starting job. He is considered a mentor and tremendous asset to the other players at the position. Due to the average-at-best play of Frye and Anderson, though, Dorsey is not far from having the opportunity to jump into the fray. Frye and Anderson have been non-descript, though Frye has been the better of the two. Having been more consistent throughout the early stages of training camp and in the preseason opener, Frye is the number-one quarterback on the roster at this time. The loser of the Frye-Anderson training camp battle should be expected to be wearing another uniform in the 2007 season.
  • Ryan Tucker / Kevin Shaffer / Kelly Butler: A non-event at this point in time. Tucker's suspension for steroids has removed him from the picture, while Shaffer has moved over to the right side of the line and played very well. All indications are Shaffer is the man at right tackle, unless Butler's play (which has been solid) provides the team to trade the moderately unhappy former left tackle. At this time, due to injury along the offensive line, Shaffer remains a member of the Cleveland Browns.
  • Joe Thomas / Kevin Shaffer: See above. Thomas wins by default, as the team believes enough in him to put him at the ever=important position, while Shaffer looks to hold-down the right tackle position.
  • Jason Wright / Jerome Harrison: Harrison has bulked up and looks good in practice sessions, but his inexperience was evident in the Browns preseason opener. Jason Wright is not spectacular, but does everything right and is reliable. This is a battle to keep an eye on as camp continues.
  • Kenny Wright / Eric Wright / Daven Holly: Kenny Wright may have been listed at the top of the depth chart last week. Either the listing was made in error or the coaching staff does not want to make it appear the youth at the position hasn't earned the spot. In any event, Eric Wright and Holly have performed exceptionally well in training camp and in the preseason opener. One of these two players should line up opposite Leigh Bodden on opening day. This is a battle which should remain competitive until the final days of camp.
  • Seth McKinney / Isaac Sowells: This has been no competition. McKinney has been solid and healthy, while Sowells had an issue with the heat/head early in camp. Sowells has been perfecting the matador-style against onrushing defensive linemen.
  • Joe Jurevicius / Tim Carter / Travis Wilson: Carter got off to a very quick start in camp, but has struggled with injury. Wilson has been terribly inconsistent and needs additional time to improve his technique. Jurevicius has been a steady presence, works well with the receivers, and knows how to play the game. Hands down, Jurevicius is the number-two receiver on the roster at this time. Once Carter becomes healthy, we should get a better look at the quality and depth at the position.
  • Chaun Thompson / Antwan Peek / David McMillan: The back injury suffered by Willie McGinest changes the complexion of this area of the roster. Peek was penciled in to be a situational pass rusher, playing behind McGinest, but now is elevated to the starting role. If Peek continues to display the ability to play the run effectively and be average in coverage, the Browns should be fine. If not, look for Thompson and McMillan to gain practice and playing time when it matters in the upcoming weeks.

LA


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