With the Cleveland Browns still trying to find their left tackle, the team has decided to see what they have with moving Joel Bitonio to the position.
The Cleveland Browns left tackle position has been the story that never ends during the first of week of the team’s training camp.
There are plenty of concerns with having Shon Coleman as the team’s starting left tackle to begin the season. There is also not that much depth behind Coleman to create much of a competition.
The uncertainty at the position has gotten to the point that the Browns have started experimenting with moving left guard Joel Bitonio to left tackle. With Bitonio at tackle, the Browns moved rookie Austin Corbett to guard to fill in for Bitonio.
With Bitonio getting his first reps at tackle on Wednesday, he has held up well against Myles Garrett, who Coleman was having issues with.
Bitonio has been playing guard ever since he entered the league in 2014 after playing at tackle during his college career at Nevada. It is unknown how many reps, if any, he has played at tackle since he entered the NFL.
This is the first season in Bitonio’s career that left tackle has been a concern for the team. Having Joe Thomas playing next to him, there was no need to experiment with Bitonio at tackle. But Thomas’ retirement has left a massive hole at left tackle.
Only days ago, Browns offensive line coach Bob Wylie said moving Bitonio to tackle would be the team’s last option. It did not take long after that statement for the Browns to reach the point where the need to look at their last potential option at left tackle.
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Bitonio did not get moved to tackle until Wednesday’s practice was nearing the end. Coleman was still rotating in at tackle, but starting to give Bitonio reps at tackle may be a sign of things to come in the next practices.
Behind Coleman, there is not much depth at the position to create a real competition. Greg Robinson was playing as the team’s second-team left tackle, but is currently in the concussion protocol.
This move also might mean the coaches feel that Corbett is not a viable option to play tackle. Corbett has been receiving some reps as the first-team left tackle, but mostly playing left tackle for the second-team.
But if the Browns decided to move Bitonio to tackle and Corbett playing as the starting left guard, the concerns about his length and agility were in fact true. That means that he is best suited to play on the interior, and they are comfortable moving Bitonio to tackle in order to give Corbett playing time.
Bitonio is one of the best guards in the NFL when he is healthy. Even though he played tackle in college, he might not be as good at tackle as he is at guard in the NFL. But the Browns might feel that having him at tackle and Corbett at guard will create the best potential starting offensive line they can put together in 2018.