The Cleveland Browns have the impossible task of replacing Joe Thomas at left tackle. All the players they are throwing at the spot isn’t a good sign.
This offseason, the Cleveland Browns said goodbye to one of their best ever when left tackle Joe Thomas called it a career. Replacing someone of his caliber provides them possibly the toughest task of what has been a great offseason to this point.
Cleveland has some options in terms of replacing Thomas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have their guy. The Browns are still looking too as they have added several linemen since the start of the new league year, with the most recent being former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson.
Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com says it’s wise that the team is stock piling talent, but got the feeling that offensive line coach Bob Wylie isn’t sold on any of those options.
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“Listening to Wylie, it’s clear he isn’t sold on any of the candidates. Neither is the front office. You can tell as they added another name to the list by signing Greg Robinson.” — Pluto, Cleveland.com
The frontrunner right now seems to be Shon Coleman, who played on the right side last season. It’s fair to say Coleman was the weak link on an otherwise talented line, so it’s not like throwing him at left tackle will be a cure all.
The fact he wasn’t great on the right side also makes it less than shocking that the team has added players like Austin Corbett in the second-round, Donald Stephenson — albeit he has his own issues — and undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison in addition to Robinson.
There’s also been talk about moving left guard Joel Bitonio one spot over, but if that’s an option they have to hope the rookie Corbett is ready to step in and play left guard in his place.
Really, the big concern here is that all the different options means the team has no good option. It’s like the old saying goes:
“If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one.” — Mike Greenberg via Twitter
That’s just as true for a position as important as left tackle where the Browns have so many options that they truly don’t have a good one. If they did have a good option, none of these discussions would ever take place about who else could possibly play the spot.
Left tackle is arguably the second-most important position on the offensive side of the ball and if you’re insufficient at this spot, you’re not going to do well.
As for Cleveland, they may have a lot of bodies, but that doesn’t mean they actually have a left tackle.