On The Line: It Continues

Trench warfare, Sobleski-style. In his continuing series, Brent breaks both sides of the Browns' lines, giving insight as to how these crucial units are coming together and prgressing.

Day 2 (Friday): The tone of practice was ratcheted down a few notches throughout the single session today.  All participants were in full pads.  With an unexpected absence of right guard, Rex Hadnot, the offensive line units were shuffled.   As the practice wore on, it became obvious it was the defensive line's day as they dominated in most areas.

Defensive line

Louis Leonard - Big and strong at the point of attack, the young nose tackle struggled fighting pressure, using his hands properly, and getting off blocks throughout the session.

Chase Pittman -
The defensive end‘s straight ahead power is impressive from his newly-minted 300 pound frame.   Where he looked to struggle today is in his lateral movement, which was sluggish at best.   Overall, Pittman just did not appear explosive off the line of scrimmage today.

Melila Purcell -
Currently listed at 295 pounds, Purcell is slightly undersized to play defensive end, especially when his pad level was as high as it was in today's session.

Shaun Rogers -
The new car smell has quickly worn off, and Rogers made himself the story of the day dominating in each drill.   The explosion and quickness this man tipping the scales at 350 pounds displays at times is staggering.  His first step off the step is at times mind boggling.  On multiple occasions , the nose tackle was able to beat his blocker off the ball, clean to wreak havoc in the backfield.  When he came off the ball low and hard, it consistently took two or three offensive lineman to contain the nose tackle. Certainly, the highlight of the day was when Rogers was able to intercept a tipped pass and rumble for 20 to 30 yards like he was a natural running back.

Ahytba Rubin -
Again the rookie defensive lineman struggled some with his technique.   As he wears down it appears his stance suffers and he displays a tendency to stand straight up, being merely content to clog up whatever holes he can.

Brian Schaefering -
Each day he has approached practice with a blue collar attitude, but the hardworking potential defensive end again played a little high at times today.   Though he came off the line hard, he looked to have trouble getting off blocks as well. 

Robaire Smith -
The veteran end continues to do his job each day without much fanfare.   One area which could be seen as slightly lacking as the rust wears off going into a new season is Robaire's reaction to hat reads.   Sometimes if he could close down a running lane just a hair quicker, the back would not have any type of cutback. 

Shaun Smith -
Again started the day as the first nose tackle with the first unit.   This quickly changed as Shaun Rogers stole the show.   Throughout multiple practices, he has shown a nice burst off the line of scrimmage as well as being strong at the point of attack.

Corey Williams -
Continues to show improvements picking up the scheme and as his movements became more natural.   One area today which was a little lacking was the defensive end's inability to consistently break down an offensive lineman's hands.

Offensive Line

Nate Bennett - The tenacious guard has showed an early tendency to play over his toes, thus losing some of his balance when engaging in a block.  He certainly seemed more comfortable as he was moved back to the interior at guard.

Hank Fraley -
A tough day for the veteran as he bore the brunt of Shaun Rogers' excellent showing.   One on one, the pivot could not contain the big nose tackle.   He certainly fought hard and did all he could, which eventually proved futile. 

Lennie Friedman -
The team's resident utility lineman took repetitions as the second unit's center today.   A strength of the interior lineman's which quickly became apparent throughout the session was the quickness in which he shot his hands and established extension on usually larger opponents.

Rex Hadnot -
The right guard did not practice during Friday's session due to a slight ankle injury.

James Lee -
 Lee was presented with the opportunity to receive plenty of repetitions as the second team's left tackle.  The rookie slid well in his pass protection and generally looks athletic.   At times, though, his technique broke down and the consistency on his initial kick step was lacking

Cliff Louis -
The long and lanky tackle continued to struggle with his overall technique, and it reflected in his overall play.  

Seth McKinney -
Slotted in as the first unit's right guard, last season's starter really displayed nice technique, especially on getting extension and trying to drive off defenders. 

Derrick Morse -
Looked solid in the box, but struggled when asked to move in space and handling more talented defensive linemen.

Marvin Philip -
Continued to be strong at the point of attack, coming off the ball with a nice pad level and getting good pop, but did not move particular well laterally or get extension. 

Kevin Shaffer -
The right tackle liked to wrestle his opponents as the day commenced.  He lacked a strong initial punch, extension, and loved to get his hands all over the smaller defensive lineman or outside linebackers.

Isaac Sowells -
A move back to the strong side awaited the former Hoosier during this day.  One area in particular the tackle struggled throughout the session was timing his punches properly, which broke down everything past said point.  Overall, Sowells appeared much more comfortable at right tackle than he did at left a day previously.

Eric Steinbach -
Surprisingly, the athletic guard had a little trouble picking up stunts during one particular line drill today.  He certainly shined when asked to move in space and making key blocks down the field for his running backs.

Joe Thomas -
Hand play can still be improved.  The left tackle does reestablish his hands very well but at times just gets a little wide.  Also through the day, Thomas looked a little weak to his post leg with some pass rushers getting underneath the tackle on occasion.  Mainly, these are merely nitpicks on a player through practices who has shown very good athleticism, solid technique, and the ability to dominate his assignment.

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