Adkins: Camp Fodder

Lane continues to find information even during the NFL dead zone, this time zeroing on what the coaching staff wants to do a key positions and providing injury updates on three players. More exclusive info from the only Browns site too stupid to plan to take vacations in July...

- Linebackers Alex Hall and David Bowens are the top starting options for the Browns at strong-side OLB heading into training camp. Bowens' experience and recognition of the new Cleveland defensive scheme makes the veteran a viable choice, while the second-year Hall and rookie David Veikune work their way through the process. Regardless of which player starts, each is expected to contribute in some capacity for the Browns in the 2009 season.

- Plenty of attention was directed toward the Browns utilization of offensive linemen in the OTA and mini-camp sessions. Nothing was more telling than Rex Hadnot working at left guard, at times ahead of 2007 and 2008 starter Eric Steinbach. The Browns staff wanted Steinbach to gain weight to potentially help the veteran play within the increasingly physical scheme the Browns will incorporate along the offensive line. Steinbach has done everything requested of him. If Steinbach can maintain the added bulk and continue to play at a high level, the Hadnot experiment during off-season sessions will be for depth and nothing more.

- The coaching staff has spent a good amount of time evaluating the play of DE Corey Williams. Hampered throughout the 2008 season with a shoulder injury, Williams was relegated to playing the game with one good arm -- a difficult task for any professional lineman. Presently, the new staff in Cleveland is unsure whether Williams is a solid fit at DE for this team, or is better served playing inside.

- Former Browns OLB Willie McGinest, thought to be ready for the retirement bus a season ago wants to continue playing. Coming off a disappointing 2008 season with the Browns, McGinest believes he has more to offer and would like to leave the game on a high-note -- and that swan-song is not expected to be in Cleveland.

- The vast majority of players within the Browns roster have adjusted to the changes within the coaching staff. The direction of the team has changed significantly -- head coach Eric Mangini has been stoic at times, but treats each member of the roster equally. One would say, working under Mangini is a cultural change from the regime of former head coach Romeo Crennel. While Crennel was much easier to deal with, those within the roster note that knowing the Mangini they see daily doesn't change, so the expectations are known.

- Some injury recovery updates: WR Braylon Edwards is suffering no lingering effects from an ankle/foot related issue which limited his participation in mini-camp sessions. According to the WR, everything is a go for the start of training camp. TE Steve Heiden is coming along well in his continued physical work due to knee surgery. Heiden is expected to be full-go at some point in training camp. DE Robaire Smith is ready to go after tearing an Achilles tendon last season.


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