The news is out there, but sometimes deciphering the muddled mess can be confusing, If not downright disturbing. In just a few years, Browns fans have gone from getting all their information from their local newspaper to dealing with information overload.
There's a lot more going on than just the "story of the day". For example, for every report discussing the state of quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, there is always a compelling story playing out elsewhere within the training camp roster. Over-emphasizing the common story of the day is easy, which is probably why we see it played out on a daily basis when talking about the Cleveland Browns.
Our motto at the Orange and Brown Report has been to be in-depth, be accurate and attempt provide the most extensive coverage of the team possible.
We don't lay false claims of providing the best Browns coverage, as others in the market have. We don't rely on reporting content days after the fact; we only seek to be a source of news and notes. If this approach provides an avenue for the other media to step-up their game, then we have been successful for all fans wanting to know more about this team.
Without further ado, we'll get right to the point:
- We recently had the opportunity to speak directly to an associate close to CB Ty Law. Law, a name consistently tied to the team due to the Browns' issues in the defensive backfield, has not closed the door on any potential opportunity, including the Browns. The veteran CB would like an opportunity to start in the 2008 season and is not readily receptive to playing for a minimal financial deal. In the past week, Law has spoken with a couple people associated with the Browns, who wanted to let the player know he would be a welcome addition in helping this 'team' get to the next level.
- Where did WR Steve Sanders come from? Well, if you have been reading the articles pumped through the Orange and Brown Report, you would have noticed plenty of discussion regarding this WR about seven days prior to him becoming a widespread story coming out of Berea. Sanders has endeared himself to the staff due to his hard work, attention to detail and endless pursuit of his dream. This WR has done everything possible to become a player at the professional level - a player for his hometown team. This young man has a chance; he is versatile in filling a couple different WR roles and has the ability. As one coach on this Cleveland staff likes to state "technique and preparation beats talent". This is Steve Sanders.
- With every turn, there is another story about third-year WR Travis Wilson. This column has talked with the talented WR on numerous occasions, maybe more so than any player on the offensive side of the ball. The young man has come a long way; he realizes his mistakes stemming from immaturity and what he needs to do to become a viable option, not only for the Cleveland Browns, but for any team in the NFL. This player is a case where the talent is there, but the preparation and technique weren't up to par. Thus some of the reasoning behind WR coach Wes Chandler riding the WR, as he knows this young man has talent and pushes him to reach his potential by working his technique and preparation to the fullest.
- RB Jerome Harrison can run with the football. I simply don't buy into the notion many have laid out there that this young man isn't a legitimate RB. All the garbage about the kid wanting to bounce everything outside to being poor on special teams doesn't wash with me. Having had the opportunity to watch the third-year veteran almost on a daily basis, I can tell you he has had more rushing success between the tackles than he did in his first two training camps with this team and he does bust his backside on special teams.
- It has been less than a week since DB Travis Key was added to the training camp roster. In this short period of time, Key has been in position often and made plays, something I could never see in the departed Steve Cargile and Nick Sorensen (excellent special teams player).
- There is merit for all the conversations about the Cleveland corners and how they can be abused at times in camp, But lets look deeper into the situation. Sure, A.J. Davis may be getting beaten by the likes of Braylon Edwards and Donte Stallworth in camp. The second-year CB does well against the remaining WR's, so what gives? Look at it this way: if Davis makes the final roster, it is not going to be as the #3 or #4 CB; he will man the 5th spot most likely, which only means he will not be facing the Edwards' and Stallworth's of the NFL. In that light, I don't see such a pressing issue at hand.
- In rookie and mini-camp, undrafted free agent CB Mil'von James was the source of a lot of buzz. The young man was around the ball and making plays. As the mini-camp and training camp sessions commenced, Damon Jenkins became a player of interest and surpassed James. Now, Gerard Lawson is catching the eye of those in sessions. Think about this: Lawson was not permitted to participate fully during the off-season sessions due to his graduation class date. Now, in camp daily, Lawson is gritty, fierce and pretty good technically.
- Throughout the rookie camps and well into this training camp, I wondered what has gone wrong with rookie NT Ahtyba Rubin. Over the past five days or so, we have given the rookie some love, as he turned it up a notch and started looking like the player we expected to slip on the Browns' uniform. He has improved dramatically; as with most rookies, that transition period and need to gain a comfort level can never be taken for granted. Keep those pads low and drive Rubin.
- Oh, OT Cliff Louis was released. Surprised? Not me. Watching him throughout camp, Louis is not nearly as athletic, physical and able to adapt to the technical aspects needed to play at this level. Meanwhile, undrafted free agent James Lee and Isaac Sowells continue to battle for a roster spot.