The buzz and some thoughts about the Browns as the Off-Season Training Activities head towards the end of their first week...
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE STALLWORTH: Veteran wide receiver Donte Stallworth has been a consistent participant in the Browns off-season program. Signed as a free agent this off-season, Stallworth has quickly fit in with the players in the locker-room. There is some low-key anticipation starting to brew regarding how Stallworth could participate in Rob Chudzinski's offense. He could be a very significant addition, with his ability open up and further stretch the field making him more valuable than his statistics might show. Opposing defenses tried to pinch the Cleveland offense last season, some successfully. Stallworth will open up the underneath routes, by clearing a safety or additional defensive back from cheating up.
TRANSITION TIME: Defensive lineman Shaun Rogers is going through a transition as he start out in Cleveland. Rogers, a defensive tackle in the 4-3 throughout his career, is in the process of learning the intricacies of the Cleveland 3-4 defense. As Rogers noted after a recent OTA practice session, "It's (this defensive scheme) is different from what I have played in the past. But, I am a football player and I am excited about this opportunity." As for the possibility that Rogers would play defensive and and nose tackle with the Browns, Rogers added, "I am learning one position at a time and it won't be a problem."
PLAYER TO WATCH: Over the past month, this column has made reference to several players who could surprise heading into the 2008 training camp and season. Recently, defensive back A.J. Davis was mentioned due to his athleticism, coverage ability and time in the Cleveland system. Scout.com's Adam Caplan has also been talking about Davis' potential. This week, general manager Phil Savage noted Davis' potential when discussing the cornerback position, which got Davis onto the radar a little bit in the local press. You will likely continue to hear more and more about him in the months to come.
GLIMPSED DURING PRACTICE: While the OTA's generally do not provide much a sense of where offensive or defensive schemes will head, I am somewhat curious as to what the Browns might be doing at the cornerback position. Watching Eric Wright and Daven Holly on occasion in man / press coverage is sight to file away in the memory banks, as was how well the DB's were matching up with the likes of Braylon Edwards, Donte Stallworth and Kevin Kasper.
KASPER NOT A GHOST IN SEPTEMBER? Speaking of Kasper, he is the type of quick receiver who could potentially find a niche in the Browns offense. Despite the team's offensive success in 2007, the Browns lacked the type of receiver Kasper represents. Yes, he has bounced around throughout his career, but his size and quickness in the slot is something to keep an eye on.
CAMP BATTLE SCORECARD: Heading into the summer camp sessions which begin in June, a few position battles are in the offing. The starting CB spot opposite Eric Wright should be a battle between Daven Holly and Brandon McDonald. Ryan Tucker, Rex Hadnot and Seth McKinney will battle at right guard, while rookie Beau Bell will battle Andra Davis and Leon Williams on the inside, next to D'Qwell Jackson.