After a good finish to last season, does this little waterbug still have a role as a slot receiver?
In part one of this week's mailbag, I talked about the history of Dawgs By Nature and what type of contract wide receiver Josh Gordon might receive. In part two, fans asked about how the team's depth chart will change as a result of Gordon being added to the roster.
Tim: "I'm as intrigued as any Browns fan as to what the wide receiver pecking order will look like coming out of camp. Norwood showed some things in a few games last year but I didn't hear as much about his spring as I did about MoMass'. What are Norwood's chances that he could be an emerging quality No. 3 receiver?"
Chris: "I really liked what Norwood had to offer last season, but we're definitely in a sticky situation now that Gordon is on the team. Don't get me wrong, it is a good position to be in, but it makes it more difficult to project what is going to happen. I like to play the numbers game -- the team will keep six receivers. Greg Little, Josh Gordon, and Travis Benjamin are guaranteed to be three of those receivers. Due to his return ability, Joshua Cribbs should be safe as well. For as much as Mike Holmgren and the coaching staff have hyped up Mohamed Massaquoi this offseason, you have to imagine he'll have a spot too. That leaves one spot between Jordan Norwood, Josh Cooper, and Carlton Mitchell.
There are so many combinations that Cleveland could go with up and down the depth chart that it is impossible to guess what Norwood's chances are at being featured regularly in the slot (also add in the fact that tight ends might be used in that role). If I had to make my own depth chart right now, I would like to pencil it in like this: Little and Gordon starting, Norwood in the slot, Massaquoi as the fourth guy, and Cribbs as someone who you insert into the game for plays here and there (he can play any role), with Benjamin being the seldom-playing rookie in 2012. I'll explain this more when I do my wide receiver preview for training camp next week."
C. Bellar: "With the addition of Flash Gordon, what role do you see Cribbs playing this year? A little bit of everything (wildcat, trick plays, receiver, returner, gunner, emergency safety, etc.)? Used mainly as a receiver, and return man (much like last year)? Or, back to his original role, where we fell in love with him, special teams ace (I pick this one)?"
Chris: "I predict that Cribbs will not be used as much at receiver, which makes sense since the team has added a couple of new players and hope some of their other guys mature more. There will still be a place for Cribbs in the offense, especially since he's probably the best blocker of the bunch. Instead of playing several consecutive plays, you can put him in for a play here and there to either run a play Cribbs specializes at, or to use him as a decoy to draw the defense. With Richardson being a planned workhorse and no quarterback competition in sight, I think the Wildcat is gone. The rest of Cribbs' time will be focused on being a special teams ace."
Matt: "Who is your favorite all-time Brown?"
Chris: "As I've stated in the past, I have to stick with the post-1999 Browns when talking about the team, so I can't name a Jim Brown. I absolutely love Bernie Kosar's commentary, but I haven't had the chance to see him play enough. I don't know if I have really had a 'favorite' player. The players I have gotten giddy about for periods of time included Dennis Northcutt, Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis, but as of today, I don't necessarily look back and say they were my all-time favorites. I think I like established players and someone who has been through all of the tough times post-1999, so I'll go with Phil Dawson with an always-honorable mention to Joe Thomas."
demange9: "Who won the caption contest for July 2nd picture?"
Chris: "Yes, it's been awhile since our last caption contest. They will return, but we haven't had to due them lately since news has been a little more plentiful. Gabe Durrant won that contest, which puts him in the two-win ranks. Here are the leaderboard standings:"
DBN Caption Contest Standings
Dawg Nuts - 3
Scenery - 2
Ted Washington's Belly - 2
Gabe Durrant - 2
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