Berea—Persistency pays off.
It's no secret that Eric Mangini is a fan of Abram Elam.
He tried to sign him as a restricted free agent. When the Jets matched the offer, Mangini then engineered a blockbuster trade on draft day that had Elam as the centerpiece of the deal.
What does Mangini like so much about Elam.
"He is smart," he said. "He is a really tough player. He has familiarity with the system. He has value on special teams. He's played multiple roles on special teams. There are so many things that I like about him as a person and the other thing I like is he's gotten better as a player. There are plenty of things he can work on to continue to improve, but he's built that way."
Mangini thinks Elam's developmental curve is on the upswing and is counting upon him to be a key fixture in the Browns' secondary.
"He's going to constantly work to get better," Mangini said. "Individually, he is one of those guys that is going to get the group and say, ‘Hey, let's go watch some extra tape. Let's go sit down and get this adjustment right before we go home tonight.'
"You need that," he said. "You need to be able to get people in the locker room who are going to get other people together to go improve outside of just the normal meetings and practice."
Elam is known as a physical player and is expected to be a big help against the run.
"He is a physical player and has been a good tackler over time," Mangini said. "Sometimes, you can be overly aggressive. All those guys can be overly aggressive and give some things up that you don't want to. That's another thing that you have to almost tempo it down a little bit to make sure everything is covered."
Eric Wright said that Elam's presence has already been felt, even though Elam is new to the Browns.
"Abe's familiar with the defense," Wright said. "He makes sure we're all on the same page in the meeting room.
"He's a great leader," he said. "He has helped us adjust to adversity and make defensive adjustments."
First Depth Chart: Mangini released his first depth chart. He gave the impression that not much should be read into it as he is mandated by the league to submit a depth chart.
"I didn't put a lot of time into it," he said.
Offense: WR- Braylon Edwards, LT Joe Thomas, LG Eric Steinbach, C Hank Fraley, RG Floyd Womack, RT John St. Clair, TE Robert Royal, WR Mike Furrey, QB Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn, FB Lawrence Vickers, RB Jamal Lewis.
Alex Mack is listed behind Fraley and Ryan Tucker is behind St. Clair. Joshua Cribbs is behind Furrey, while Jerome Harrison is behind Lewis. Mohamed Massaquoi is behind Patten. Brian Robiskie is behind Cribbs with Lance Leggett behind Robiskie. James Davis is fourth behind Noah Herron.
Mangini said he will decide later this week on whether Quinn or Anderson will start the first preseason game against Green Bay this Saturday. He said the pair will play evenly.
Defense: LE Corey Williams, NT Shaun Rogers, RE Kenyon Coleman, OLB Kamerion Wimbley, ILB D'Qwell Jackson, ILB Eric Barton, OLB David Bowens, LCB Eric Wright, RCB Brandon McDonald, S Brodney Pool, S Abram Elam.
Robaire Smith is listed behind Coleman, Titus Brown is behind Wimbley. Beau Bell is behind Jackson with Kaluka Maiava behind Barton. Alex Hall behind Bowen. Hank Poteat is behind Wright with Rod hood behind McDonald. Mike Adams and Nick Sorensen are behind Pool and Elam, respectively.
No Sequel for Wright/ McDonald: DB Eric Wright said he has no intention of he and DB Brandon McDonald being the next Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon.
"Those guys were great players," Wright said. "We're not trying to be them. They have their own legacy.
"We want to just be Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald," he said. "We're not trying to be the sequel. Those guys were great players."
Ratliff Likes his Role: QB Brett Ratliff likes the role of the underdog. He came over in the draft day trade along with Abe Elam and Kenyon Coleman. He ran the two-minute offense with the first team at the Tuesday morning practice.
"I prefer to be the underdog," Ratliff said. "It's always been like that."
Since Mangini found him and brought him along, does that give him an advantage?
"It doesn't give me an edge," he said. "But, I've worked my way up from the bottom and that's how (Mangini) did it."
Ratliff thinks he could be more than a third quarterback.
"There's always competition," the second year signal caller from Utah said. "I will always feel that I'm in competition to be a starter. That's my mindset."
Ratliff threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to David Patten and hit Patten for 58 yards to the six, which set up the tying touchdown in the scrimmage.
Carr in Town: Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr was a visitor at practice. He talked to one of his former players, Braylon Edwards.
"It was good to see Braylon again," Carr said. "(Braylon's) really excited for this season."
Edwards said his best season was while he was at Michigan, but Carr said he's done well at the NFL level.
"He was an All-American and one of the greatest players ever at Michigan," Carr said. "But to make the Pro Bowl at the NFL level proves he could play at the highest level."
Impressions: Mangini mentioned rookies WR Mohamed Massaquoi and DB Coye Francies as standing out in the scrimmage.
"Mohamed made some really nice catches, especially one on the sideline on one," he said. "(Francies) made some good plays and on special teams, as well."
Nothing New: A judge in Florida lifted WR Donte Stallworth's restrictions allowing him to workout other than at home. Mangini said really nothing has changed until word comes down from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
"We'll just work with the guys we have right now," he said. "We'll see how that works out."