Adkins: Right to the Point

Some more expert analysis from the OBR's Lane Adkins, who gets the heart of player opportunities and the team's challenges. Which injured players aren't really being missed? Which roster experiments need to end (now)? Click it here for in-depth Browns analysis you simply can't get anywhere other than the OBR...

As training camp winds down and the pre-season games are recorded in the history books, we are going to tackle the issues, players, and happenings in and around the team. A straight response, no bias, no beating around the bush... let's get "Right to the Point".

  • Charlie Frye wins the battle for the starting spot to open the season. The organization does not feel there is a telling difference between Frye and Derek Anderson at this time, although some within the team are of the belief that Anderson is a better prospect. While Frye has the job for now, if a team comes knocking on the Browns' door for Frye, the Browns' may be inclined to deal him, for the right compensation.
  • Rookie Brady Quinn is not starting for a couple reasons. First, the team has nothing to gain at this point pushing him into the starting role. While his on-field performances have been solid, the belief is that giving him time to develop within the system will provide him a greater opportunity when he does hit the field. Secondly, the team anticipates some struggles to start the season and the organization does not want to expose Quinn to the early season issues. Whether he plays in game one or game ten, the organization is not going to rush him onto the field for the sake of playing.
  • The wide receiver issue is taking its toll on the patience of the staff. Tim Carter was being counted on to provide speed, quickness, and additional experience. Thumb and hamstring woes have slowed the spring standout, and the team is growing impatient. Carter is expected to return to full duty this week and have the opportunity to grasp the third receiver role. Second year receiver Travis Wilson could play himself off the roster. Wilson, a quick, good sized receiver has had issues with drops throughout camp and in pre-season games. Looking for viable options in the receiving game, Steve Sanders is gaining focus of the staff and could create a logjam at the position.
  • Of these three players, two may stick with the team, Darnell Dinkins, Ryan Krause, and Buck Ortega. The team likes what they have saw from Krause and Ortega, but due to he emphasis on the run, Dinkins is by far the best run blocker of the three and is expected to make the team. Being said, look for Dinkins and Krause to stick, with Ortega possibly finding a home on the practice squad. (Editor's note: The Browns, in fact, chose Krause and Dinkins over Ortega yesterday afternoon, after this story was written)
  • I have not been a fan of nose tackle Babatunde Oshinowo, but I must say, he did give a solid effort in the game against the Broncos Saturday night. In practices during training camp, Oshinowo has been a steady presence... not doing anything spectacular, but steady. In the pre-season games thus far, he has provided the same type of presence. After watching the defensive line and especially the play of the nose tackles, Oshinowo's energy and consistency may be a pleasant surprise. While not playing against the first-team Denver offense for the most part, Oshinowo was quick afoot and wasn't pushed around, like say Ted Washington, Ethan Kelley, and J'Vonne Parker. Maybe Oshinowo can make an impact, as the others manning the position have been very below average.
  • The Shaun Smith experiment at defensive end must cease, ASAP. Smith, a capable stopper in the interior of the defensive line again showed he does not play well in space and is a grinder. Help at defensive end is at a premium right now and Smith is playing out of position.
  • While the loss of outside linebacker Willie McGinest is a blow to a team searching for an identity, the Browns actually are not losing any sleep over it. Antwan Peek has been effective, and the team likes the opportunity which has been presented to Chaun Thompson and David McMillan. While neither Thompson nor McMillan will play the game with McGinest's veteran savvy, they certainly display much more athleticism. The real story is Peek, who has been solid from day one and continued with another solid performance against the Broncos. The only area of weakness from the Denver game missed containment on a couple running plays in the first half. Other than that issue, Peek and company are playing well in McGinest's absence.
  • When watching Kevin Shaffer and Ryan Tucker at right tackle, I see a healthy competition. Too bad the issues which have surrounded Tucker make him relatively unreliable at this time, because he has played a better right tackle than Shaffer throughout training camp and pre-season games. Shaffer has had a few bad moments, but Tucker has been as good, if not better than any time since joining this team.
  • Something to note for future reference. Running back Jamal Lewis started to run with some hesitancy during the Denver game, which is what he was doing last season in Baltimore. Furthermore, when running this way, Lewis does not hit the hole quickly and is less of a load to deal with. Keep an eye on this, and we'll see if it was Lewis just being careful in a preseason game.


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