Before I begin, I'd like to say that I was inspired to write this post after seeing Tony Grossi and Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer "hand out" training camp awards (in the newspaper) after yesterday's practice. Since there is no practice or game today, I will be covering four camp awards today, starting with the "Offensive MVP." The categories to follow include "Defensive MVP," "Surprise of Camp," and "Disappointment of Camp."
Training Camp Offensive MVP - TE Evan Moore
First off, I'd like to say that offensive linemen were not eligible to win this award, because their jobs are pretty standard and not easily distinguishable unless they are giving up a ton of sacks. Therefore, I'd say that tight end Evan Moore was the clear winner in this category.
There wasn't a practice I attended (except for the one he missed with a head injury) in which Moore was not making highlight-reel catches. They became so routine that they weren't even labeled highlight-reel catches. It's not that Moore makes spectacular leaping/diving catches, he just has an uncanny knack for using his size perfectly to shield off defenders and catch the ball at its highest point in the end zone. He had a couple of one-hand stabs in camp too that drew applause from the crowd.
Moore was utilized often with the first- and second-team offenses. He's still behind Ben Watson on the depth chart, but he saw enough action to make me believe that he will see just as many snaps as a guy like Greg Little will this year. The Browns should be selective with not over-using him, because it seems like he gets banged up easily, but they should not under-use him like Brian Daboll did the past couple of years.
- RB Brandon Jackson - With the Browns missing Montario Hardesty most of camp, Jackson stepped right in and looked very impressive as a receiver out of the backfield. I don't think I saw one drop from him, and I was surprised at how well he caught the ball every time he ran a wheel route with tight coverage on him.
Preseason Offensive MVP - QB Colt McCoy
Even though it was only two preseason games, the actual games are different than the Berea sessions. McCoy showed a welcomed confidence and command of the West Coast Offense in camp, and his quick maturity as the weeks went on was evident. Still, there were throws he made that were off, and he failed to execute in other situations.
During the games against the Packers and the Lions, McCoy has thrown for five touchdowns, and has made great reads and throws. He looks especially confident throwing the ball 20+ yards down the field where only his receivers can catch the ball. Good playcalling goes hand-in-hand with McCoy's success, but it has Cleveland fans very optimistic right now.
- TE Evan Moore - He didn't see a ton of down-the-field action in the first game, but what he has done all of training camp showed in the game against the Lions.