I spent today in the sunshine (yeah, no sunscreen. don't ask.) watching the receivers work against different combinations of defensive backs. One of the big questions for Ray Horton's new defense is who will work the opposite side from #23 Joe Haden. With #43 TJ Ward in the middle and Hade on the right, we're looking for the answer to the combination 23-43-??.
A number of guys had their reps today, but #21 Chris Owens looked the best to me.While most experts feel Browns 3rd round draft pick from San Diego State #29 Leon McFadden is the top candidate for the starting CB job opposite Haden, He's got about 15 pounds on Owens, but I think Owens is making the most of his reps in camp.
As for the Tight Ends, I'm liking #82 Gary Barnidge and #87 Dan Gronkowski (yes, he's related to Rob). With off-season signee #81 Kellen Davis out with a knee sprain, #84 Jordan Cameron has some competition for starting TE. We've all seen what Norv Turner likes to do with a RB and TE in his offensive scheme (Hello? Ladainian Tomlinson? Antonio Gates? Ring any bells). So these guys are all interested in being the next great fantasy football TE. And look - they are TALL! 6'5" and 6'6", you gotta love a target that Brandon Weeden can see over the top of his linemen. Whichever one gets the nod, I'm good with it and excited to see what blocking and crossing patterns can do to get the Browns some TD's this year!
I saw quite a bit from RB #28 Dion Lewis. The Browns acquired him in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, sending them Emanual Acho. He stands 5'9" and weighs in a 190. He's quick, let me tell ya, really quick to hit the holes and move through the lines. Catch-and-run out of the backfield is also something I see being in his wheelhouse. I felt a bit like I was watching Gerald "The Ice Cube" McNeil. Yeah, he's that quick. But he's little so he has to rely on sliding through and passed the defenders. With top man #33 Trent Richardson back and healthy, Lewis could provide a nice change-of-pace the Browns have been missing.
Final note: Saturday camp is first day of Full Pads. This should be great - time to get a look at the Front 7's and see how they deal with a little pounding! If you'll be going to camp, two tips: #1 wear sunscreen. #2 check out the scissor lifts and see which ones have the video equipment setup on them. They'll play on that side of the practice field so you can pick a spot to sit and be closer to the action.