Q: I have read with great interest about the development at the wide receiver position for the Browns. I wonder, do players like Travis Wilson, Steve Sanders and Syndric Steptoe have trade value which could provide this team help in the defensive backfield?
LA: Travis Wilson easily would generate the greatest opportunity in trade. That might not be something the team wants to explore, however, given that he may be the best option for the Browns right now. Being a third-round draft selection, coming off a solid camp and having pro-caliber talent, Wilson would garner something in trade. Sanders and Steptoe have fared very well in this training camp and could make this roster, or possibility another team roster if the opportunity were to present itself. Right now, I believe Wilson has value to a team with needs at the WR position.
Q: Wide receiver Donte Stallworth has always been a player that was intriguing due to his physical ability. I had read that he was a malcontent, which helped lead to him jumping from team to team. Has this been an issue since coming to Cleveland?
LA: Donte Stallworth has been anything but a malcontent since his arrival. Stallworth has fit right in and been active on and off the field, not only with teammates, but the organization itself. The veteran WR has had some injury issues in the past, which have been magnified to a degree and some media tend to sensationalize aspects of a player or an organization's thoughts on a player. For Stallworth and the Cleveland Browns, it has been only about the "now" and the marriage is going well.
Q: If you had to make a choice, would you use kick returner Josh Cribbs exclusively in this role, or would you get him on the field at receiver as much as possible? Being such an explosive player, could he not add another element to the Cleveland offense?
LA: Josh Cribbs is not given the credit he deserves for the work he has put in to become a better WR. Cribbs worked long and hard this off-season to become a viable receiver, an not just a guy that could come in for a handful of plays or to run some trick-type plays. Cribbs has looked good in the offensive scheme, his routes have become much more precise and his improved physical strength is evident getting off the line and fighting in routes. While he has been catching everything and anything thrown his way in recent weeks, I still have some reservations about his receiving skills, as he tends to let the ball get into his body. However, Cribbs is definitely a dynamic talent that needs to be utilized to the fullest.
Q: With Ryan Tucker expected to return soon, should we expect any immediate changes to the Browns starting offensive line and what does his return do to the depth along the offensive line? Does the team perhaps release a young player that has impressed to make room for him?
LA: Let's look at the Cleveland offensive line depth this way: Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, Hank Fraley, Rex Hadnot and Kevin Shaffer are the starters right now. Lennie Friedman and Ryan Tucker definitely take the number of offensive linemen on the roster to seven.
Now, the question becomes how many linemen the team is going to keep heading into the season. We have veteran Seth McKinney, Isaac Sowells along with rookies James Lee, Nathan Bennett, Derrick Morse and recently signed Jonathan Palmer on the roster.
No more than two of the remaining six players make the roster -- with Seth McKinney being the front-runner -- while Issac Sowells and rookie James Lee battle for what could be the final offensive line spot.
Q: I'm sorry if this has been addressed, but I am concerned about the cornerbacks and particularly interested in Ty Law. People keep saying he is not good enough to be a starting quality player any longer, but last season with Kansas City, the Chiefs pass defense was not bad at all. Can this player still add something to a team like the Browns that could be very good, but a little short on depth?
LA: I'm sorry, just who is this Ty Law you speak of? OK, just kidding. I look at Law a little differently than some I suppose. As a third CB, Law would provide experience, quality and depth. In the scheme of the Cleveland defense, Law would not be exposed on an island as significantly as in some other schemes. Granted, this veteran isn't the same player he was a few years back and he should not be counted on to be a press-corner.
Cleveland will use more over the top help in a cover-base system, which would help a player such as Law who may not be able to stay with some WR's at this point in his career. I remain of the belief Law can step-in and start if necessary, and will not hurt the overall scope of the defense in this role for a limited time.
If Law was receptive to the role of a third corner and would accept a lower-end deal, he would already be in Cleveland. The door is not closed on Law, but the veteran is waiting to see if a team comes calling with a starting job and much better financial offer. Until or if this occurs, the Ty Law ties to Cleveland will continue.
Knowing this team is competitive and young in the defensive backfield, I would feel a little better with Ty Law in Cleveland.