Notes of Note: Thursday P.M.

Lane dishes the straight skinny on yesterday's practice, including a certain QB/WR duo who are on the verge of clicking in a big way.



Who Practiced, Who Didn't

- S Gary Baxter (knees) was not at practice. Baxter is experiencing soreness in his surgically repaired knees and should be available Friday or Sunday.
- OLB Antwan Peek (knee) underwent a minor knee scope to remove loose cartilage. He is expected to return by the regular season opener.
- OG Seth McKinney (ankle) did not practice on Thursday and may resume practices with the team in about a week.
- DE Corey Williams (shoulder) was held out of practice and could resume practicing next week.
- WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring) did not practice with the team, but was on the sideline jogging. Kasper is expected to be back at practice next week.
- FB Lawrence Vickers (Hamstring) was held out of practice and was on the sidelines during the session.
- C Marvin Philip was not at practice on Thursday.
- OLB Willie McGinest (coach's decision) did not practice on Thursday.
- DE Robaire Smith (coach's decision) did not practice on Thursday.


Observations


- WR Donte Stallworth and QB Derek Anderson are slowing getting into the swing of things. All the after-practice tosses between the two is paying off, as Anderson is growing comfortable going deep to the speedy receiver in drills. On this day, Stallworth scorched CB A.J. Davis down the sideline.

- Speaking of Anderson, he is coming on strong with his deep vertical attempts, after a rocky start to camp when he was floating and overthrowing receivers consistently. To the surprise of many, the starter is growing into the role of throwing the short ball, but he still tends to be stiff and put a little too much mustard on it.

- Backup Brady Quinn continues to be strong in the short to imternediate game, often finding receivers sitting down on routes. Throughout the camp session Quinn has settled on the safe attempts, and rarely goes deep. When going deep he has been inconsistent, but his ball is taking an improved trajectory and his issues are becoming more timing related and less mechanical. Due to the lack of consistent routes run properly, Quinn has appeared to be somewhat pressing to impress.

- Backup WR Travis Wilson again is making strides to become a player of significance for this Browns team. Whether Wilson is sliding to the turf to field a ball or beating a CB down the sideline, the ever-maturing Wilson is earning every look he is getting in practice and as of this day, he is getting plenty.

- The starting CB tandem of Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald continue to be exceptional in drills. Lining-up against the likes of WR Braylon Edwards, TE  Kellen Winslow and Stallworth will teach a young player a lesson. As the days pass, I worry less about the starting CB's and question the overall depth.

- TE Brad Cieslak has bounced around practice squads, but has never had that real opportunity to stick at the professional level. In this training camp, Cieslak has been productive and a main target of Quinn and QB Ken Dorseyhe issue for Cieslak and Browns is the number and talent of the TE's on the roster. He dropped a couple balls the past two days which proves he is human, but this is a hungry and solid receiving TE who has worked diligently on his blocking.

- Another day, another solid performance for rookies Alex Hall and  Martin Rucker.
Hall is improving quickly in his drops and reads, while Rucker continues to impress in any situation. On this day, Rucker lined-up with the first-team on numerous occasions, while Winslow was in the slot and the rookie made his chances count. Rucker caught three passes of varying skill level in the sessionm including a dart down the seam which he had to turn his body to get into position.

- With McGinest and Peek not practicing, Shantee Orr received plenty of snaps against the first-team offense. Orr is a pass-rushing type who is not known to be a complete OLB, but this is could simply be a perception issue. In the session, Orr was giving RT Kevin Shaffer all he could handle and bested the lineman on a couple of occasions to the outside.

- Shaffer has had a solid camp and is much more at ease and settled in at the RT position. Throughout camp he has fared reasonably well against the likes of OLB's Willie McGinest, Antwan Peek and Orr. Granted, the RT has been beaten on a few occasions, but as the right-side of the line develops with OG Rex Hadnot stepping in for Ryan Tucker (hip), the play is expected to improve.


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