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Eric Wright Impressive Amongst Rookies

With all of the struggles on the offensive side of the ball during OTAs and minicamps, the most impressive rookie thus far appears to be cornerback Eric Wright. Wright, who was selected in the second round of draft, saw his value fall due to off-the-field issues, including a transfer from USC to UNLV, throughout college. Although we don't want someone like Pacman Jones on our team, Wright could be the steal that elevates the Browns secondary to the next level. Wright began minicamp on the second team, but eventually saw some reps with the first team. Part of that had to do with the injuries to Leigh Bodden and Gary Baxter, but part of it also had to do with Wright's quick progression.

"I see a very intelligent player. He's very instinctual and he's aware. And he's very coachable," said secondary coach Mel Tucker Jr. "He seems comfortable in the surroundings. He's not overwhelmed. He's not a guy that gets easily rattled."
Wright reportedly had three interceptions during minicamp. Although he's filling all of the requirements to be an impact cornerback, the Browns don't want to rule him as a starter just yet - after all, this was only minicamp. Wright has built a solid foundation for himself, but will have to keep it up come training camp and preseason.
"Right now, you can't see him making contact, making open-field tackles, playing run support, being a willing contact player," Tucker mentioned regarding the "safe" play in minicamp. "Now, we know what he's done in the past and I don't expect to be disappointed in that regard. I saw [on college video] a player that will get done what we ask him to get done."
So far, a secondary involving Bodden, Wright, Sean Jones, and Brodney Pool would seem pretty satisfying. Although our depth at cornerback is somewhat shaky at the moment due to Bodden's health still being in question, we still have Daven Holley ready to play just in case. Veteran Kenny Wright and rookie Brandon McDonald have received favorable reviews.

In regards to the offensive rookies, quarterback Brady Quinn spent his time with the third-team offense, while tackle Joe Thomas spent his time with the second-team offense. Part of that had to do with depth issues, while part of it had to do with the complications of Rob Chudzinski's offense.

Here are some other notes from minicamp, in general:

  1. Steal From Bengals: Could the Browns have gotten a big steal from the Cincinnati Bengals? The Browns are reportedly impressed with nose tackle Shaun Smith, a veteran who hasn't received much playing time in the NFL. If he is quicker than Ted Washington is and can still clog the hole in the middle of the line, he could receive some playing time this season.
  2. Upgrade Over Droughns: Were you sick of seeing Reuben Droughns get the football, move in the wrong direction, and get hit at the line of scrimmage for a one yard gain only? Hopefully that improves with Jamal Lewis, who has drawn nothing but praise from the local media and Browns coaches thus far.
  3. Winslow's Status: According to Tony Grossi, tight end Kellen Winslow could be in his best shape in four years, showing no signs of limp after surgery in the offseason. Maybe that means he'll be able to break tackles this year, or even get a quicker first step after catching the football while in a stationary position.
  4. Anderson Rules: Quarterback Derek Anderson wasn't kidding when he said that he shouldn't be left out of the starting quarterback job. After all, if the Browns want to start a veteran over Brady Quinn to begin the season, what gives Charlie Frye the right to automatically be handed that role? Anderson had the strongest arm in camp and had good pocket presence - one of the reasons he seemed to not be sacked as often as Frye was last year.
In the coming days, we need to evaluate the possibilities of Brady Quinn's contract, which could get extremely complicated. The Browns have stated many times in the past that they envisioned him to be a top-five player, which would certainly earn him a lot more dough than what a 22nd pick would get. So, will Quinn get fifth-pick money, 22nd-pick money, or money for someone in between? The Browns will see it one way, while agent Tom Condon will see it another way, I assure you.