American Football

5 questions heading into Browns training camp: Which is most pressing for the team?


Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal

Questions remain as we eagerly await the Cleveland Browns to take the field for training camp in two weeks.

Questions remain as we eagerly await the Cleveland Browns to take the field for training camp in two weeks. I have compiled a shortlist that needs answering as soon as possible.

When will Amari Cooper report to camp?

It came as a surprise when Cooper did not show up for the mandatory portion of the team’s OTA’s. After an entire offseason, there was no inkling from the team’s star receiver about being unhappy with his contract in the media.

The Browns are now in a predicament as we edge closer to camp. ‘Deadlines make deals’ is an old saying across the league but Cleveland should not give Cooper a similar deal achieved by Calvin Ridley via the Tennessee Titans.

What combination of five guys is our best on the offensive line?

The offensive line remains the most fascinating position group on the roster. The Browns have three starting offensive tackles who are coming off of season-ending injuries. Which two will be deemed the starters and on what side of the line?

Andy Dickerson should be willing to move guys around and experiment with different combinations early in camp. Priority number one has to be protecting Deshaun Watson and keeping him healthy for an entire season.

How different will the revamped offense look?

Most outsiders expect the Browns offense to be a slight differentiation from what Kevin Stefanski has done in the past. I expect more of a transformation on the offensive side of the ball.

How will the use of motion along with faster-developing routes help give Watson more answers in the passing game? Will Andy Dickerson bring more innovation in the blocking schemes within the run game?

One small thing that caught my attention during OTA’s is the switch to quarterbacks having their right foot forward in the shotgun. Alex Van Pelt, the team’s previous offensive coordinator was a stern proponent of leading with the left foot forward.

Will the team need to add another tight end during camp?

This situation may be similar to last season when the team decided to sign Shelby Harris before leaving the Greenbrier. Andrew Berry may want to have a chance to watch how the group performs in competitive sessions before making a decision. You could also make a sound argument to wait until rosters are cut down across the league. I expect many intriguing players to become available.

Who will call plays?

Okay, this isn’t at the top of my list but it will be the most asked question until Stefanski answers it. Most think that this is all about calling the perfect play in the perfect situation and catching the defense off guard.

While that can help, it’s still about the players being able to execute the play that is called in. This is where Stefanski has shined. It’s the communication between the play as he is talking to the quarterback about down, distance, and circumstances with his calm and cool demeanor that has allowed him to excel as a play-caller.

Ken Dorsey brings a lot of experience in the huddle on the biggest of stages during his playing career to the table. Dorsey brings the pedigree that could make him comfortable with delegating the task.

I suspect that when Stefanski is asked that on the first day, his answer will be genuine by stating they are still working it out. That trust may need to be earned during competitive sessions against Jim Schwartz and his defense.

What do you think? Are these the key questions to be asked? Let me know in the comments below.

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