Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Krunch Time With Katelin 7/26/17: 5 Things To Watch In Browns Training Camp

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

Football is back!!!!

The Browns are getting ready for the 2017 season, headlined by first overall pick Myles Garrett. Its been a successful off-season for the Browns. They've beefed up the offensive line, they've also added players on both sides of the ball in the draft and during free agency. But it wouldn't be an off-season with changes in the coaching staff. Gregg Williams is now the defensive coordinator after the firing of Ray Horton.

And with that being said the number one thing to watch for is the new defensive coordinator and his staff. Gregg Williams has a history of being one of the top defensive coaching in the NFL. He is a hard-nose football guy and is here to help change the culture. We've seen it already...during press conferences he's calling out players and members of the media *cough. And we've also seen bits and pieces of how he interacts with players (before the press conference of the first round picks). And that's what I'm personally interested in. Seeing how Gregg Williams interacts with the defense during camp and how it will set a tone of the defense throughout the regular season.

It wouldn't be a Browns training camp without a quarterback battle. But this time its s triple threat match between: second year quarterback Cody Kessler, Veteran quarterback Brock Osweiler, and rookie second round pick Deshone Kizer. There is an argument to be made for all three of these guys to start week one. Kessler has been in the system for a year and has made improvements to his game. For the record, he might be odds on favorite to start week one.

Osweiler was acquired during the off-season along with a second round pick from the Texans in a deal that was basically a salary dump. The Texans wanted Osweiler off the team and the Browns wanted the second round pick and his contract in order to meet the NFL's cap requirements. There were rumors about Osweiler being traded, which could still happen if there is an injury during the preseason. But as of right now he is competing for the starting job. Osweiler never seemed to fit into what Bill O'Brien wanted to do in Houston and the change of scenery might turn out to be a good thing. He did win a super bowl in Denver while playing a number of games during the regular season and he played well.

Last but certainly not least the second round pick out of Notre Dame, Deshone Kizer. This guy has all the tools to be an NFL quarterback. In my opinion he should just start week one. The Browns aren't going to win a lot of game so I don't see why the Browns would wait six-eight weeks for Kizer to start. I'd rather have a complete year grade for him and if the Browns end up with a top five pick in next year's draft they'd know what they have a the quarterback position. Kizer can make all the NFL throws and for the majority of last season was touted as the top quarterback in the class. But a terrible record and the questionable coaching he had in college seemed to have dropped his stock.

Rookies in general are always fun to watch during camp. They give fans a hope for the future and this year is no different. With 10 draftees this year the Browns are full of young talent. Three first round picks: Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, and David Njoku, Kizer, and defensive linemen Larry Ognujobi and Caleb Brantley are the ones should stand out.

But its not just the rookies this year to keep an eye on but the guys who are entering their second year as professionals. The wide receivers are still extremely young. These guys need to step up. Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins are all vying for playing time. Obviously, Coleman will get his chance as a first round pick, but the other three will be battling each other not just for playing time on offense but showing their worth on special teams.

This might not but just a training camp thing to watch but throughout the preseason is to just keep an eye on the secondary. This is Joe Haden's put-up or shut-up year. He's already been challenged by Gregg Williams this off-season and he is the leader of the defense. Haden had a bounce back year last year after a rough 2015 campaign. Even though 2016 was still an injury plagued season for Haden. Outside of Haden the Browns still have some questions. And it isn't in a negative way but just as an unknown.

Jamar Taylor seems to be a solid starter in the NFL and Briean Boddy-Calhoun played well at times last year. The Browns acquired two veterans Calvin Pryor and Jason McCourty late in the off-season. It will be interesting to see if a change of location would help Pryor and the were McCourty will even play. Whether at the corner position or a safety. And how McCourty's leadership will help the development of Peppers, Derrick Kindred, Bobby-Calhoun, and Ibraheim Campbell

There will be a lot more to talk about during the preseason and I will have articles on specific positions while we lead up to the start of the regular season. And as always I will have the Previews for each game and the recaps along with a random article Browns article during the middle of each week. Its good to be back in the groove of writing and talking Cleveland Browns!!!!

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