BEREA—Uncertainty on the defensive line abounds as the Browns prepare for training camp in a strange way: Two of the three projected starters on the defensive line are awaiting gun related chargers for attempting to board airplanes with loaded guns in their carry-on luggage.
That leaves the Browns in a precarious position as they try to decide who to keep for this season.
Aside from the legal issues, the Browns starters on the defensive line have 30 years of experience between them. Smith is entering his 11th season, while Rogers his 10th. Kenyon Coleman is preparing for his ninth NFL season.
After the aforementioned trio, the Browns are trying to determine who the rest of the group will be. Ahtyba Rubin played extremely well when Rogers broke his leg last season and the Browns have talked about moving Rogers to end in some situations.
Brian Schaefering also took advantage of an opportunity late in the season and could push for playing time. C. J. Mosley came over as an unrestricted free agent in 2009 from the Jets, along with Coleman, and he played well until ending up on injured reserve with an injury.
Beyond the veteran group, Cliff Geathers was drafted in the sixth-round. He is a raw physical specimen, who has the bloodlines to make an impact, but it is hard to count on him immediately as a rookie.
Rogers and Mosley are trying to return from injuries, while several of the young players are trying to show that they can be productive players in the NFL. With the uncertainty of Smith and Rogers' possible suspensions, it is imperative the Browns are able to find capable players to step in.
Here are the candidates for the defensive line as the Browns prepare for training camp.
Robaire Smith (6-5, 310) – Smith started 15 games with 62 tackles, fifth on the team. He added 1.5 sacks. Smith had 12 tackles against Green Bay on Oct. 25. Smith has played with the Titans, Texans before joining the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2007.
Kenyon Coleman (6-5, 295) – Coleman started 13 games in 2009 with 38 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Coleman played with the Raiders, Cowboys and Jets before joining the Browns. His best season was 2007 when he had 90 tackles. In 2006, he had four sacks with the Cowboys.
Shaun Rogers (6-4, 350) – Rogers played 11 games before suffering a season-ending broken leg. He finished with 36 tackles and two sacks. After his first seven seasons with the Lions, Rogers came over in a trade for Leigh Bodden and is entering his third season with the Browns. He has 556 career tackles with 36 sacks. He has 13 career blocked field goals and three career blocked PATs.
C.J. Mosley (6-3, 305) – Mosley played in the first 12 games before suffering an ankle injury and being placed on injured reserve. He had 18 tackles, including seven against the Bills on Oct. 11. He came over to the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2009. He is entering his sixth NFL season.
Ahtyba Rubin (6-2, 330) – Rubin could be one of the rising stars on the Browns defensive line heading into his third season after being a sixth-round draft choice in the 2008 season. He played in all 16 games with five starts. He finished the season with 38 tackles and a forced fumble. Rubin started the final five games after stepping in for Rogers when he broke his leg.
Brian Schaefering (6-4, 295) – Schaefering was with the Browns in 2008 and joined the Jets in 2009. The Browns re-signed him to the practice squad on Sept. 7, 2009 and he was promoted to the active roster on Dec. 2. He played in five games with one start. He finished with 12 tackles with 1.5 sacks.
Keith Grennan (6-4, 298) – Grennan was signed as a free agent in 2009 and ended up on the practice squad injured reserve.
Titus Adams (6-4, 305) – Adams was drafted by the Jets in 2006 and spent the 2008 and 2009 with the Patriots. The Browns claimed him off of waivers on Jan. 1, 2010.
Derreck Robinson (6-4, 295) – Robinson signed in Dec. 2009 and played in three games. He has appeared in 25 games in his career with the Chargers and Dolphins.
Cliff Geathers (6-7, 300) – Geathers was drafted in the sixth-round from South Carolina. Geathers' brother plays with the Bengals. His father and uncle, Jumpy both played in the NFL.
Kwaku Danso (6-5, 336) – One of the more interesting stories of training camp as he is a 28 year old rookie from East Carolina. Danso is a native of Ghana and has just played football for a few years.
Jonathan Lewis (6-0, 305) – Lewis was on the practice squad in 2009 after being signed as a free agent from Virginia Tech.