Cleveland Browns training camp: Storylines, position battles and what to watch
3 Position battles to watch in camp
One of the most exciting aspects of every camp is the battles that take place up and down the roster. From bubble players trying to make the team to youngsters fighting for a starting job, there’s never a shortage of battles. Here are the top three to watch this year in Berea.
3. Felton vs. Johnson
On offense, all 11 starters are back which means there won’t be any starting jobs open but there will be two running backs going toe-to-toe for the third spot. Third-year back, and former AAF star D’Ernest Johnson held the job down in 2020 and had 166 yards rushing and 14 receiving.
He’s facing off with sixth-round pick Demetric Felton who could be a Swiss Army Knife for the Browns. Felton played wide receiver, running back, and was a returner. He could offer up a nice change of pace as a receiving threat out of the backfield and his return skills could help him as well since one thing holding Johnson in place was his ability to run kicks back. This one could be a battle that comes down to the last practice.
2. Greedy vs. Newsome
Greedy Williams is trying to return from a nerve issue that cost him his entire second campaign. Many are writing him off but they shouldn’t. Williams was good as a rookie and should only get better the more he plays.
That doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to start if he is healthy though. That’s because Cleveland added Greg Newsome II with the No. 26 pick. Newsome has his own durability concerns but he’s talented enough to start. Whoever loses that battle will fall to fourth on the depth chart since Troy Hill will be the slot corner, making this a battle with some high stakes.
1. Linebacker battle royale
The Browns weren’t great at linebacker last year, so they signed Anthony Walker and drafted Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Tony Fields. Walker should be a starter at the MIKE but Owusu-Koramoah could be in a battle with Jacob Phillips to start at WILL — unless they believe Phillips can play the strong side.
There’s also Malcolm Smith, Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson in the mix. There aren’t stand-out stars at the position but they should be better in 2021.
Training camp will also be our first chance to see what Joe Woods has planned for the position and where everyone will line up.