The Cleveland Browns have had a roller coaster of a week, ranging from the excitement of Jimmy Haslam III’s purchase of the team to the disappointment of linebacker Chris Gocong injuring his Achilles tendon, ending his 2012 season.
Every team deals with injuries during training camp and preseason, but the Browns couldn’t really afford such a big blow to the linebacker position. With Gocong out, the pressure is really on rookie James-Michael Johnson (and possibly even sixth-round pick Emmanuel Acho) to produce right away. Like rookie defensive tackle John Hughes, asked to step up in Phil Taylor’s absence, Johnson will have to shed the “depth pick” label quickly, or the Browns’ defense is in for a long season.
Here is another round of observations regarding Cleveland Browns training camp:
- Here’s a great profile on rookie right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. He is a true student of the game and, at least mentally, he appears ready to take on the starting role alongside guys like Joe Thomas and Alex Mack.
- With the additions of Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin, it would appear that the experiment of Josh Cribbs as a wide receiver may now be over. That and the fact that head coach Pat Shurmur called him “a special teams player that plays receiver.” Don’t feel too bad for Cribbs, though – until he became a wide receiver, he was arguably the best return man in the game. More importantly, Cribbs is in the last year of his contract, and a true return to his best position might be his only chance to remain with the team in 2013 and beyond.
- Quarterback Colt McCoy has been having a great training camp, though that really changes nothing in his standing with the Browns, as Brandon Weeden has been having a good training camp of his own. This might make McCoy a more attractive trade target before the preseason ends, but the team still might be best served keeping him as a backup.