Minicamp is in full force for the Cleveland Browns, taking a step closer to the much-anticipated training camp in July. Let's review some notes and nuggets regarding the Browns through various sources, including Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer, Fred Greetham of the OBR, and Patrick McManamon of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Thomas is Ready to Fight
- Big Battle: Our first overall pick of the draft, offensive tackle Joe Thomas, was involved in a scuffle with our sixth-round draft pick, defensive end Chase Pittman. Of course, it didn't escalate to anything beyond a few tugs of each others facemasks before it was broken up.
- Punt Return Roles: As I reported about two weeks ago, kick returner Joshua Cribbs is still the frontrunner to replace former Browns receiver Dennis Northcutt as our new punt returner. The other two people vying for the job are fifth-round cornerback Brandon McDonald, and seventh-round receiver Syndric Steptoe. Both men had experience in fielding kicks at the college level. Third-round cornerback Eric Wright and veteran safety Sean Jones are also trying out for the job.
- Arm Strength: It's still clear that quarterback Derek Anderson has the best arm strength amongst our quarterbacks, which certainly gives him an advantage in the quarterback competition. However, as head coach Romeo Crennel stated, "There's more to it than having a strong arm." Some fans adored Anderson for his display of arm strength last season in comparison to Charlie Frye. Frye's arm strength is reportedly better this season, as he has been seen throwing tight spirals 30-40 yards down the field. "He has worked hard this off-season and he seems to be stronger," stated Crennel.
- Learning the Offense: While all three quarterbacks are still struggling with the new offensive system, progress has been made. "We won't have a full grasp of the offense until the live bullets are flying in training camp," Frye said. "I think we've accomplished a lot in this camp. From starting at ground zero, we've put into the whole offense. All in all, we're all making strides."
- Long Break: After the final day of minicamp tomorrow, the Browns will be off until training camp begins on July 22. That'll be an exciting time, but unfortunately, the news in between will mostly involve the process of signing our draft picks, and nothing more.
Winslow Still Has Work to Do
- Baxter Update: According to Crennel, cornerback Gary Baxter's goal is to be ready by opening day against the Pittsburgh Steelers. If he continues to progress, there's a chance that he could be ready to take part in extensive drills during training camp.
- Winslow Update: Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. continues to progress, although not as fast as everyone had hoped. He was lined up in a few drills involving multiple tight end formations during minicamp.
- Quinn's Holdout: According to quarterback Brady Quinn, he hasn't thought of the possibility of holding out (hmm, like we haven't heard every player in the history of the league say that...). For the record though, Quinn did skip the opportunity to attend Game 3 of the NBA Finals (don't get me started on that game), so that he could further study the Browns' offensive playbook.
- Edwards Back: Wide receiver Braylon Edwards has finally caught up, and is back to running drills with the first-team offense.
- Set Your TiVos: This Friday at 8 p.m. and this Saturday at 4 p.m., the NFL Network will feature the Browns on their series of "Inside Minicamp" programs.