Cleveland Browns: Preseason Week 1 right tackle review

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns have advertised a battle at right tackle this training camp. However, after Week 1 of the preseason, the battle is over.

The first preseason game brought clarity to one position battle. The battle at right tackle is all but settled after Cameron Erving and Shon Coleman left the field last Thursday night.

After watching the game film with a coach’s eye, there are definite reasons on film as to why Shon Coleman should be the starting right tackle. But for kicks, let us look at the good, the bad and the ugly from their play last Thursday.

The Good

Coleman showed the necessary technique to hold down right tackle. He showed great balance in pass protection and got his hands on defenders to hold blocks. In the run game he showed the ability to get on blocks and maintain the contact necessary for gains. Was it perfect? No. Was it good enough to start? Yes.

Erving had some good moments last Thursday too. But as always with Erving, the bad and ugly were more memorable.

Erving was excellent on zone blocking schemes. He has great position and athleticism to succeed in a zone blocking scheme. Given that he was drafted to play in such a scheme this should come as no surprise. The Good? He plays well in a zone run scheme.

The Bad

Coleman had some bad moments. Although his run blocking technique is adequate, he could help himself by focusing on gaining leverage. He continues to show signs of his college days of always playing in a two-point stance. When in a two-point stance he plays well. Unfortunately, Hue Jackson’s offense requires downhill blocking from a two-point stance. Coleman’s leverage was bad but more experience could help with this.

Erving’s bad was on full display on Thursday night. Like usual Erving looked lost. It is really a sad case. He has all the talent in the world, but when it comes to knowing assignments and using the correct technique, he looks as just about as lost as anyone can be.

The most blatant example was his attempt to pull on a power play and completely miss his block resulting in a five-yard loss.  In pass protection, defensive line stunts still baffle him. In the run game, he often does not get movement off the line of scrimmage.

The Ugly

There was some ugly on display last Thursday. Coleman’s inexperience was on full display. He played like a player (which he is) who has not seen a lot of game action. As a result, he looked extremely uncomfortable.

This was evident during attempts at chop blocks that hit nobody. He often was beaten a few seconds into a block. He simply looked like an inexperienced player. It was ugly. Playing time will solve this issue. The future is bright for Coleman.

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The ugly for Erving was on display as well. Balance continues to be Erving’s main problem. He was off-balance, bending at the waist during pass protection several times. Lack of balance made him open to bull rushes by opponents. This technique flaw led to several pressures on the quarterback.

He also was slow in his drops in pass protection which made him vulnerable to speed rushers. Erving’s pass protection technique was ugly. If things don’t change, quarterbacks will be feeling the pain.

Coleman is leading the right tackle position battle because between he and Erving, Coleman is the better tackle. Erving’s technique and mental game are a mess right now. The best outcome is for Coleman to start and for Erving to get traded to a primary zone run team like the San Francisco 49ers where his strengths can be highlighted.

Next: DPD Podcast Episode 16

This supposed tackle position battle is over. Shon Coleman is the starting right tackle.