Earlier this month, we highlighted the top five training camp position battles for the Cleveland Browns. Heading into the fourth preseason game on Thursday, are any of those position battles still up for grabs?
1. STARTING SAFETY - Usama Young vs. Mike Adams: This battle...never really happened up until now, because Young pulled his hamstring early and has not been able to do anything. He received positive reviews early in camp, but it is uncertain if he'll even play in the final preseason game. I'd say that Adams has the edge right now, but even without seeing much of Young, I'm still intrigued to see him start.
2. PUNTER TO REPLACE HODGES - Richmond McGee vs. Free Agent Market: A little bit of damage control was done by McGee last week against the Eagles. If he delivers another perfect game against the Bears, I imagine the team won't seek out a veteran punter. It'd be nice to somehow end up with Zastudil again, but that probably won't happen.
3. NICKEKBACK / THIRD CORNERBACK - Buster Skrine vs. Dimitri Patterson: Not that one person has played significantly better than the other, but I'm chalking up a "victory" to Patterson here. He hasn't appeared to be a liability in coverage and has enough experience with Dick Jauron from last year to keep the job.
4. WIDE RECEIVER (NON-STARTER) - Jordan Norwood vs. Carlton Mitchell: It's a shame that Mitchell injured his finger to keep him out for a couple of weeks. With that said, Norwood has made the most of his reps to the point where I think he could see significant action in the offense this season. Norwood won this battle pretty early. That doesn't rule out a roster spot for Mitchell though, because the team might keep six receivers.
5. STARTING RIGHT TACKLE - Tony Pashos vs. Branndon Braxton: Heard anything lately about this position battle? I don't think so. Pashos hasn't been as good as I would have hoped, but I don't get the sense that anyone is about to replace him, especially when two youngsters (Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston) will already be starting.