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Training Camp Report: Day 4 (Morning)

Day 4 of training camp brought the second occurrence of two sessions in one day. Today was the day in which cornerback Gary Baxter was supposed to return, but don't get too excited for the morning session, because he wasn't there. Baxter is expected to be on the field for the evening session of practice. Plenty of things happened in the morning, so let's get started on that:

  1. It's Beginning: We were wondering when Ryan Tucker would finally start seeing some reps at the guard position. Tucker was lined up at right guard this morning a few times, with Joe Thomas at left tackle, Kevin Shaffer at right tackle, Eric Steinbach at left guard, and Hank Fraley at center. We'll see if this continues into the evening session.
  2. What About Frye?: Still, the national media seems completely ignorant of the fact that Charlie Frye is having the best camp thus far. In Peter King's writeup after attending the team's camp yesterday, he acts as if the quarterback competition is between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn (whenever he signs). With the exception of that fact, King's article is a good read.
  3. Anderson Improving: As I stated yesterday, Derek Anderson is getting more comfortable again based on his past several efforts. Frye still has the edge, but at least Anderson isn't rolling over and dying, as it appeared he was doing in the first couple of practices.
  4. More O-Line: The best news in training camp this year by far has to be the fact that our offensive line looks tremendous, and that the backups aren't doing bad either. With how well Seth McKinney looks at guard and Kelly Butler looks at tackle, it'll be a shame that they will be resorted to backups. Once again though, depth is always an asset. If Butler keeps impressing people though, it may make the Browns more inclined to trade away Shaffer if the option comes up.
  5. Babysteps: So far, Nat Dorsey and Travis Wilson have looked fairly poor in camp. This morning was better for Wilson, who was at least holding on to the ball more so than yesterday. The type of camp he's having sounds very similar to the one that Brandon Rideau had last season. As far as Dorsey goes, he still flashes the potential to be a powerhouse, but then gets beat easily on the next play.
  6. Underrated D-Line: My biggest concern with the Browns remains the defensive line. In camp, Robaire Smith and Shaun Smith are adding quickness to the line. Without question, our defensive line will be better this season barring injury. However, considering that I feel we had the weakest defensive line in football last year, almost anything would be considered an improvement.
  7. Banged Up: Between all the players on defense, I believe Orpheus Roye is the man that's most likely to suffer an injury. Roye missed most of the morning practice and had his right knee wrapped. Crennel said that it was only a precautionary thing for Roye, who will receive plenty of "days off" during camp. Receiver Mike Mason did not practice due to soreness in his knee.
  8. Mr. McDonald: We haven't heard much about some of the lower level rookies in camp this year. Cornerback Brandon McDonald has been pretty good in coverage, and even intercepted a pass from Ken Dorsey after it bounces out of the hands of receiver Efrem Hill. On punt returns though, McDonald was clearly having struggles while Syndric Steptoe was not. Joshua Cribbs wasn't fielding punts because he's "already ahead of the others", according to the OBR. If the Browns are still weary about Cribbs fielding punts, Steptoe will win the job.
  9. It's a Fake: The Browns successfully activated a fake field goal during practice. After Dave Zastudil took the snap, he stood up and tossed the ball to a wide open Darnell Dinkins. Early prediction: the Browns will only attempt one fake field goal this season.
  10. Rookie Coverage: Cornerback Eric Wright has been staying right with all of the receivers in camp so far. It would be a surprise if Wright did not start on opening day.
I'll have a report on the evening practice either late, late tonight or early tomorrow morning.