For the fans, trying to actually "critique" a player's performance in minicamp is about as meaningless as it gets. Training camp, which will begin in a couple of months, is where the evaluations really begin.
Nonetheless, minicamp is still very important to the many undrafted free agents who are fighting for a training camp roster spot. Based on reports from The Plain Dealer and the OBR, here are some news, notes, and nuggets from Day 1 of Rookie Minicamp:
- Head coach Eric Mangini has a strict policy when it comes to making mistakes:
"If you put the ball on the ground, you run," said Mangini. "If you get a penalty, you run. There's nothing more valuable than the football. And just looking at how turnovers affect games every single year. It's amazing and dramatic how much one turnover or plus-one or minus-one can affect a game, so there's nothing more important than the ball, and penalties are concentration errors. If you can't concentrate long enough to get the snap count, we need to give you some time to concentrate on that."An example? When WR Brian Robiskie dropped a punt, he was forced to run a lap.
- Besides blunders such as Robiskie's, players who commit penalties will also be scrutinized. Mangini will have officials at every practice to track types of penalties, who received them, and trends in penalties.
- In total, there were 47 players at the practice. They included the Browns' 8 draft picks, 14 undrafted free agents who were signed, and 20 undrafted free agents fighting for a contract in a tryout.
- There were 5 non-rookie players, according to the OBR, who participated: QB Richard Bartel, WR Lance Leggett, OL Kurt Quarterman, DL Melila Purcell, and LB David Holloway.
- RB James Davis, pictured at the top of this post, had the following to say on whether he thought he was a steal in the sixth round:
“I would call myself a steal,” he said. “But, I’m a hard worker and going to do what I can to contribute.”At least he didn't say he was the best running back in the draft.
- Mangini's core values were made clear: "communication," "focus," "finish" and "trust."
- Mangini stands behind his decision to draft LB David Veikune where he did in round two:
"I love the guy's motor," said Mangini. "This guy's got toughness, aggressiveness and a smoothness to the way that he changes directions and run games. I think he could play both outside and inside for us moving forward."
In an update from a previous story, Mangini has stated that he did not leak negative reports about Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree.