Inside Buzz: Big Names Edition

Is Eric Steinbach falling out of favor? With Jamal Lewis not on the field, is he assured of starting? And are the Braylon trade rumors really dead? Lane answers all of this in more in this Big Name edition of his Inside Buzz...

- Despite some opinion in the media to the contrary, offensive guard Eric Steinbach has not fallen out of favor with the new coaching staff. Steinbach, a mainstay at left guard since arriving in Cleveland via free agency, is one of several offensive linemen involved in the competitive process during the early off-season mini-camp sessions. The Browns coaching staff likes the Steinbach's technical abilities and has worked with the lineman to add bulk to his frame so that he can provide an increased physical presence. One thing is clear coming from the new coaching staff in Cleveland: the team is expected to be more physical at the point of attack. This is part of the reasoning behind evaluating some of the linemen at several positions in the camp setting.

- Although it's very early in the process, RB Jamal Lewis is expected to be a major competitor for the Browns in the 2009 season. Coming off ankle surgery, Lewis has been limited in mini-camp activities to date, but has been diligent in weight and film sessions. However, Lewis will not be the lone runner in the backfield for the team this year, unless the unexpected occurs. Lewis is expected to be the primary RB, with another RB spelling him and playing in various situational roles -- much like how the New York Jets utilized their running backs under head coach Eric Mangini while in New York.

- Any and all talk of trading WR Braylon Edwards has ceased, as the player and coaching staff appear to be on the same page. Edwards skipped the majority of off-season voluntary sessions and was the center of trade talks between the team and New York Giants leading up to the NFL draft in late April. Upon involving himself during recent mini-camp sessions, Edwards has the opportunity to rebound from a disappointing 2008 season and be the focal point in the Browns passing game.

- As the offense struggles somewhat while installing the new offensive scheme, the defense has been moving forward quickly and efficiently. Led by numerous former Jets players under Mangini's watch in New York, the defense has quickly gained a leg-up in practice sessions. Much of the new Cleveland defense is a base 3-4 scheme, but the difference in these early sessions comes from the mindset of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Ryan, a former defensive assistant with Mangini in New England and more recently with Oakland, has geared the Browns defense to become increasingly aggressive and utilize the strengths of players -- especially those within the front-seven -- to create mismatches.

- Defensive linemen Shaun Rogers, Corey Williams and Kenyon Coleman have been quite impressive in team and individual drills and recognition activities. Ryan has unleashed the linemen to play to their strengths and the early results are promising, in part due to the quick recognition and athletic ability of the inside linebackers, Eric Barton and D'Qwell Jackson.

- Early evaluation and work with outside linebackers Kamerion Wimbley and Alex Hall has been promising. Both OLB's will be asked to play a different role in the new defensive philosophy with the Browns. Early film and camp session work has been dedicated to getting the players to understand the terminology of the new scheme, as well as adapting a new mind-set in recognizing and attacking the offense from various angles.


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